After months of rumors, Nintendo has made the cheaper Nintendo Switch a reality. The so-called Switch Lite is smaller, lighter, and less versatile than the original console. However, it costs a mere $199. It plays all the same games, but it’s not a replacement for the OG Switch. Buyers can choose the version that works best for them when the Switch Lite launches on Sept. 20th.
The rumors, in this case, were pretty dead-on. The Switch Lite has a 5.5-inch 720p LCD instead of the 6.2-inch display on the original Switch. The bezel around the display is a bit slimmer, and the color matches the console. You’ll have three different color options at launch: yellow, turquoise, and gray. There will also be a special edition light gray Switch Lite for Pokémon: Sword and Shield.
The smaller display helps make the Switch Lite a bit less hefty, and Nintendo also says the battery life will be slightly better. That’s good because the Switch Lite is a handheld-only console. While it has the same USB Type-C port on the bottom for charging, it can’t switch to dock mode and output video to a TV.
The more compact body comes with integrated controllers instead of removable Joy-Cons. So, you won’t be able to use motion controls in games. You can still pair Joy-Cons with the Switch Lite, but that’s a bit silly when there are already controllers on the device and motion controls are rarely integral to the experience. On the rare instances you come across a game in the eShop that requires Joy-Cons, you’ll get a warning before purchasing on the Switch Lite. Gamers will, however, be happy to know that the new integrated controllers have a traditional d-pad instead of the separate directional buttons from the original Switch.
Nintendo says there’s no difference in performance between the two models — the Lite still has the same Tegra X1 chip, 32GB of storage, and NFC in the thumbstick for Amiibos. There’s even a gyroscope inside for the games that support it.
There’s still no sign of the rumored, more powerful Nintendo Switch. The Switch Lite looks like Nintendo’s play for this coming holiday season, so I wouldn’t expect any news on another Switch variant until next year at the earliest.