The murmurs were right!
After being badgered constantly by the press and investors alike (the latter literally just asked about it this past week), Nintendo has finally unveiled a new Switch model: the Switch Lite.
Nintendo states that the device will be portable-only, and will launch on September 20 for $199.99 (the base Switch is $299.99 still) with three different colors: yellow, gray, and turquoise. The publisher plans on launching an official carrying case and screen protector set for it. So here’s the rub. The Switch Lite will not have a kickstand but will support controllers as normal and will sport a real d-pad. Also as previously discussed, there will be no TV-out feature at all, and as such no HDMI cable or dock will be bundled with it.
The screen is 5.5 inches (down from 6.2″ on the base Switch) and will weigh .61 pounds (down from .88 pounds with Joy-Con attached on the base). Battery life will last you 3-7 hours, which is more than the average of 2.5-6.5 on the base (though “more demanding” games like Breath of the Wild will only last four on the Lite). Here’s another potential proviso: “The new device can play all games in the robust Nintendo Switch library that support handheld mode, although some games will have restrictions. Compatible game modes will be listed on the back of game packaging and in Nintendo eShop.” Nintendo says you can read all about the differences here and check out the new Pokemon edition hardware here.
So yeah this is kind of what we expected! Will we see a more powerful “Switch Pro” next that’s focused on TV-centric play? Probably! Nintendo is going to keep riding this Switch wave for as long as possible, and remember: they want “multiple Switch units per household.” This is the way to do it, by slowly phasing out the 3DS and having the Switch Lite be the “entry point” for a younger audience while the normal model/Pro satiate the hardcore crowd.