The final nail in the DS coffin.
Surprising no one except perhaps in its timing, Nintendo has announced the Nintendo Switch Lite. The new system will come in three color options with attached Joy-Con and no option to connect to your TV, making its name highly inaccurate.
The attached Joy-Con means the Nintendo Switch Lite is meant specifically for handheld gaming; there’s not even a kickstand. As such, the Switch Lite will only be compatible out-of-the-box with games that support handheld mode, and some of those will have restrictions. You can wirelessly connect another set of Joy-Cons, but make sure you’ve got a separate charger for them as well. Nintendo has created a Switch comparison guide to help you see all the differences.
But there’s no reason for us to focus on what you don’t get with the Switch Lite. Here’s what you do get:
- Available in three colors: yellow, gray and turquoise.
- Smaller and lighter than then standard Nintendo Switch (about half an inch in height and an inch in length), making it even more portable. This comes with a smaller touchscreen, as well: 5.5″ vs. the Switch’s 6.2″ screen.
- The Switch Lite has a suggested retail price of $199.99, a full $100 less than the Switch.
Whether the savings are worth it will depend largely upon how you game. The Switch Lite appears to be a good system for those who focus on portable play or are just looking for a replacement for their DS, but the fact that it won’t support all Switch games is a red flag (expect plenty of consternation when people don’t know to look for the Handheld Mode icon when picking out gifts). I’d rather spend the extra $100 to make sure I’m not closed out of any gaming action.
Instead, I see it mainly as a cheaper companion for those looking for a multi-unit setup. Getting a second Switch for additional family members now makes as much as sense as buying multiple DSes for multiplayer gaming on car trips or when sitting against a large window with excessive natural lighting that washes out the screen.
Personally, I’d get one just so I don’t have to split the screen when playing multiplayer games in the living room with my kids. I’d still get the TV, of course…I don’t like gaming with my readers on.
The Nintendo Switch Lite will launch on September 20th. For more information, visit www.nintendo.com/switch/lite/.[Update: If you’re in no hurry, Nintendo has also announced that a Nintendo Switch Lite Zacian and Zamazenta Edition will also be available beginning November 8th, while supplies last.]