When the Nintendo Switch dropped back in early 2017, it was highly praised for the way in which it deconstructed the boundary between handheld systems and the classic console. It’s main draw was that you could dock it for playing on the TV, or you could attach the joy-con controllers and play in handheld mode. Nintendo is currently working on an updated Switch model, but to tide us over, they’ve decided to release the Nintendo Switch Lite – a solely handheld version of this insanely popular console.
Switch Lite: Handheld Gaming Only
Yes, that’s right – a handheld-only version. You can’t dock it to a TV or remove the side joy-cons (though you can use other controller peripherals such as the Switch pro controller). It’s meant for gaming on the go – another reason it weighs just 20 grams. Since it lacks any moving or detachable parts, the Lite is more resistant to damage from dropping than your regular gaming console – making it a good option for the younger children you don’t trust with the $300 regular version.
Although the Lite’s battery is a bit smaller than the regular Switch’s (13.6W/h to 16W/h), it reportedly has the same battery life in handheld mode: approximately 7-8 hours. The only real downside we can find so far is the Lite will not have access to the full library and features of Switch games; it will only work with games that have a specific handheld mode. As of now, this means all available Switch games, but Nintendo has specified that not all future games will have a handheld mode. And some game features – such as the Toad Rec Room mini-games in Super Mario Party – aren’t designed for handheld play, so you’d be missing out on those too.
Right Around The Corner
The Switch Lite is set for a release date of September 20, 2019 – in plenty of time for the holiday season. Pokemon Sword & Shield fans may want to wait a few extra weeks, however, until November 8, when Nintendo will release the Zacian & Zamazenta editions; these will feature cyan and magenta buttons along with illustrations of the two new Legendary Pokemon.