The Nintendo Switch Lite Is a True Handheld—with Some Key Features Missing

Nintendo is making its massively popular console even more handhold-able. On Wednesday, the company debuted the new Nintendo Switch Lite, a colorful, smaller version of the tablet-sized Switch designed purely for handheld play. It costs $200, which is a good deal cheaper (nearly $100) than the original Switch, and it will be released on September 20 in three colors: yellow, turquoise, and gray.

Nintendo Switch


The thing is, the Nintendo Switch Lite sacrificed some features so that it could be smaller. For instance, you can’t connect it to your TV to use as a console. Nor can you separate the Joy-Con controllers from the machine; they’re built in to the body of the device. The Switch Lite also dumped motion cameras and rumble features, meaning some motion-dependent games won’t work with it. As a general rule, you have to check Nintendo games to see if they allow for handheld play. And you’ll still need separate Joy-Con controllers to play games like 1-2 Switch.

The release of the Switch Lite coincides with the release of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, and you ought to be able to play a game that intense on the handheld without a problem; Nintendo says its performance is the same as the OG Switch. And after Link’s Awakening comes Pokémon Sword and Shield. It also very smartly coincides with the holiday season, so you can expect it to be one of the top-selling gifts of 2019, just like its predecessor.

As far as other features go, the Lite doesn’t differ too much from the original. Its touch screen is 5.5 inches across (the OG is 6.2 inches), and its battery life is supposedly “slightly” better, the Verge reports. The resolution is 720p, like the original, although you can’t change the brightness.

The Switch Lite isn’t supposed to overshadow the original Switch—nor could it, not without TV connectability. Nintendo wants them to exist in one happy family. So if you really miss truly handheld video gaming, or you’re pining over your long-lost 3DS, hold out until September.