Nintendo unveils handheld-only Switch Lite

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Nintendo Switch Lite

Nintendo has unveiled the Switch Lite, a slimmed-down, cheaper version of the Switch which operates only as a handheld.

Rumours that Nintendo was working on two new versions of the Switch have persisted for some time, and the Switch Lite is the first Switch variant to surface. It will be released on 20 September 2019; Nintendo confirmed that it will cost $200 in the US, $100 cheaper than the original Switch.

Nintendo described the Switch Lite thus: “Nintendo Switch Lite is a compact, lightweight addition to the Nintendo Switch family, with integrated controls. Nintendo Switch Lite supports all Nintendo Switch software that can be played in handheld mode. It’s great for people who have lots of opportunities to play outside, and also for anyone who wants to play online or local wireless multiplayer with friends or family who already own a flagship Nintendo Switch console. As a dedicated handheld gaming device, Nintendo Switch Lite does not support output to a TV.”

So, there is no way to hook a Switch Lite up to a TV, nor to dock it like the original Switch. Its integrated controllers, which resemble the original Switch’s Joy-Cons but are not removable, lack a number of the Joy-Cons’ features including HD Rumble, IR Motion Camera, and motion-sensing. Nintendo said: “However, Joy-Con controllers (sold separately) can be wirelessly connected to Nintendo Switch Lite to use these features. A Joy-Con charging grip or flagship Nintendo Switch console (HAC-001) is required to charge Joy-Con controllers.”

The Switch Lite is well endowed as far as local and online multiplayer is concerned, however; Nintendo said: “Players can sync together up to eight Nintendo Switch or Nintendo Switch Lite consoles to play competitive and co-operative multiplayer games. With a Nintendo Switch Online membership, you can play with friends far away and players around the world.”

Initially, the Switch Lite will be available in three colours: yellow, grey and turquoise. It should prove popular among those with limited budgets looking to get access to the Switch’s ever-growing library of games who wish to play on the move, rather than hooked up to a TV.

For further Switch Lite information, including a definitive UK price, keep an eye on the forthcoming console’s website.

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Steve Boxer
Steve Boxer has been writing about videogames since the early 1990s. His first console was an Atari VCS, and he misspent most of his youth in the 1980s in the arcades. As well as for Green Man Gaming, he can be found writing for The Guardian, Empire, TechRadar and Pocket-Lint. He’s currently having trouble deciding whether his favourite console is his Xbox One X or his Switch, and plays a wide range of games, but especially RPGs (he loves a good JRPG) action-adventure titles, shooters of all descriptions and driving games. Follow him here.