Nintendo confirms the Switch Lite — smaller, lighter and cheaper than the original, for handheld play

After much speculation, Nintendo has finally confirmed the Switch Lite — a smaller, lighter and cheaper version of the original Nintendo Switch and it’s designed specifically for handheld play. According to Nintendo, the focus on handheld play was developed based on how users primarily used the Switch — which is to say mostly in handheld mode.

How small is the Switch Lite? It’s about the size of the original Switch with one controller removed.

Here’s a full breakdown of the differences between the Switch and Switch Lite.

Smaller, lighter, cheaper

The Switch Lite will be available in the U.S. from September with a price of US$199, US$100 cheaper than the original but the cheaper price means the Switch Lite will lose some of the features available on its bigger brother.

For one, you don’t get a the removable Joy-Con controllers. The Switch Lite is a single unit with the controllers fixed in place. The display is slightly smaller at 5.5-inch touch display (compared to the 6.2-inch on the original Switch) and it retains 720p display resolution as with its bigger brother.

With the built-in, non-removable controllers, you also lose the ability to play games with motion controls. If you still insist on playing with motion controls however, you can pair the Switch Lite with the removable Joy-Con controllers.

The other limitation is that you won’t be able to connect the Switch Lite to your TV. However, Nintendo has designed for the two systems — the Switch and the Switch Lite — to complement each other.

Slightly better

On the flip side, the Nintendo Switch Lite comes with a number of enhancements as well. Being a single-piece design, the Switch Lite is lighter and should be more solidly built than the modular Switch. The controllers also get a proper D-pad compared to the separate buttons on the removable Joy-Con controller. The single-piece design also means the Switch Lite doesn’t have a kick-stand.

Nintendo also claims a slightly better battery life with the Switch Lite due to a more power efficient chip and because of the single piece design, the Switch Lite does away with need to have saperate batteries to power the controllers.

Other than that, the Switch Lite is virtually identical to the Switch in terms of performance and gameplay.

The Lite will be available in several colour options — yellow, grey, and turquoise — as well as a special light grey Pokémon Sword and Shield edition.

The Nintendo Switch Lite will be available in the U.S. from September 20th for $199.99. The Pokémon version will be out on November 8th at the same price.

Full details on the Switch Lite here.

Amin Ashaari