Switch Lite

What can we expect from the Nintendo Switch Lite?

Switch has a ton of ports and some of the top tier latest Nintendo games on the system

Nintendo recently unveiled plans to release the new Switch Lite. The handheld console is due for worldwide release on 20th September 2019.

The Switch Lite offers players a device that is lighter, more on-the-go for playing Nintendo Switch games. In the Nintendo trailer for the Switch Lite, this element of portable play-ability is shown to be the main USP for the handheld.

To be sold at a cheaper price point of £199.99, the Switch Lite is a more affordable alternative to the flagship Nintendo Switch. Many gamers are likely to be excited at this news – the Switch’s popularity is booming. In fact, Nintendo have so far sold over 35 million units of the Switch worldwide.

The Switch Lite will certainly appeal to casual gamers and particularly children looking for entertainment on long car journeys.

Check out the Nintendo Switch Lite trailer below:

Switch Lite Specifications

The handheld is much smaller than it’s predecessor measuring at 3.6 inches wide by 8.2 inches in length. Naturally, the Lite is also much lighter, weighing at 9.8 ounces in comparison to the Switch’s 14.1 ounces.

These cutbacks in size do also mean a screen size reduction. While the original features a 6.2 inch LCD screen, the Lite holds a 5.5 inch LCD screen.

It is worth noting that Sony’s last handheld console, the Vita, only offered a 5-inch screen. Therefore gamers who value portability are unlikely to be deterred by this reduction in screen size.

Due to the lightweight design of the Switch Lite, it lacks certain capabilities offered by the Switch. The handheld does not connect to the TV and cannot be docked. This is a key unique feature of its predecessor, but as a cheaper handheld, this is to be expected. Likewise, the Switch Lite does not support Joy Cons.

The Switch Lite reportedly has a slightly better battery life, of around 3 – 7 hours of playtime. It also has an internal storage capacity of 32 GB.

Will the Switch Lite play Switch Games?

Switch Lite

A lack of Joy Con controller support means that the Switch Lite will be unable to support certain Switch games. This includes games which use Joy Con controllers such as Mario Party and the Just Dance games. Therefore games using motion controls and rumble features will not function with the handheld.

This is because the Lite will rely upon the built in directional pad rather than the detachable Joy Cons featured in its predecessor. However, the Switch Lite will be capable of syncing with separate Joy Cons (not included).

Nintendo have also confirmed that the Switch Lite will be incompatible with Nintendo Labo. If you are not aware, Nintendo Labo are DIY cardboard kits that gamers can make Toy Cons to use with the Switch.

These include a fishing rod and a toy piano. Gamers use the Joy Cons to control the game, but the features of the cardboard Toy Con are sensed by the Switch and it acts accordingly.

For the most part, the Switch Lite should be compatible with the vast majority of Switch games.

This is excellent news for gamers. As the Switch has a ton of ports and some of the top tier latest Nintendo games on the system, gamers have likely been drawn to the Lite because of this impressive catalog.

Gamers have been told by Nintendo to check whether a video game is compatible with their Lite system by checking the back of the game box. All Switch games will display a handheld compatible sign if they are indeed compatible with the system. This is something gamers should bear in mind going forward.

Design and Pokemon Special Editions

The Switch Lite will be available in three colours: turquoise, yellow and grey.

There will also be a special Pokemon Sword and Shield limited edition design to be released in November 2019.  This is of course to promote the latest Pokemon game – which will likely prove popular with Switch gamers.

The design is quite aesthetic with blue and magenta buttons set into light grey casing. Pokemon fans will likely be happy with the inclusion of brand new Pokemon on the rear of the system.

Which Switch should you get?

Gamers are not only choosing between the original Switch and the upcoming Switch Lite. A new version of the Nintendo Switch has been announced for release. While a definitive release date has not been confirmed as of yet, experts estimate a late 2019 or 2020 release.

The New Switch will offer an improved battery life but with the same design and functionality. The New Switch console is really just an improved version of the flagship Switch, rather than a whole new generation.

There is not a definitive best answer for which of these consoles gamers should buy. This is because it really does depend on individual preferences, playing habits, budget and needs.

Individuals looking for casual and portable play (or those on a stricter budget) will likely find the Switch Lite caters to their needs.

Those who want the full Switch experience – both portable and TV supported console play – may be better off purchasing the original Nintendo Switch. The new version of the Switch will likely appeal to existing Switch owners fed up with the battery life of their current console, or to those looking to purchase the best straight off the bat.

There has been some talk as to whether the Switch Lite will replace the Nintendo 3DS and 2DS. This speculation chiefly started because the Switch Lite positions itself as the latest portable handheld.

In addition, the line of DS handhelds have spanned many versions over a very long time. No other range of handhelds have exceeded this time, with product life cycles often being much shorter. More Switch games are also being released in comparison. Nintendo however reportedly disagree, and suggest that the Lite will not replace the 3DS and 2DS.

Upcoming Switch games

Switch Lite

Switch and Switch Lite gamers have good reason to be excited.

A ton of excellent games will be released for the Switch in 2019. Gamers can look forward to releases such as Luigi’s Mansion 3 (October), a remastered version of the classic Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (September), a Switch Port of the hugely popular Dragon Quest 11 (September) and more.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is also expected for release on the Switch and Lite versions in 2020. Pokemon Sword and Shield is expected in the nearer future, in November 2019. Huge upcoming titles like these will draw a mass of fans to purchase these consoles. It really is no competition between the Switch versions and other handhelds like the 3DS at this point.

Those completely new to the Switch consoles (be it the original, lite or new version of the Switch) are likely to want to pick up some of the highly rated Switch titles. These include Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, Octopath Traveller and Splatoon 2.

In Conclusion

The Nintendo Switch Lite is an exciting upcoming release.

Geared towards players who like to “play on the go” or value portability, it is a great way to play Switch games on a cheaper alternative.

The handheld boasts a lighter, more compact frame and a slightly better battery life. Disadvantages of the Switch Lite include a lack of Joy Con integration, incompatibility with Nintendo Labo and the removal of TV support.

Whether these criteria make the Lite a deal breaker, or are a mild inconvenience really does depend on individual needs and preferences. Those who are likely to be frustrated with the Lite’s limitations are probably better off purchasing or saving up for a Nintendo Switch.

Still the Lite appears to be a decent offering and will fulfill the need the needs of a certain target market. Nintendo are on the right track by launching a more affordable and compact alternative to the very popular Switch.

The Switch Lite will be launched on 20th September 2019.


camera-iconImage respects to - The Verge, GameSpot, TechRadar, Nintendo Life