By: Nick Gambino
Doubling down on the success of the Switch, Nintendo is releasing a cheaper and even smaller version called the “Switch Lite.”
“Adding Nintendo Switch Lite to the lineup gives gamers more color and price point options,” Nintendo of America President Doug Bowser said in the press release announcing the new gaming device. “Now consumers can choose the system that best suits how they like to play their favorite Nintendo Switch games.”
Unlike its bigger brother, the Switch Lite is a portable-only device that allows you to take it on the go…and that’s it. You won’t be able to play it on your big-screen TV or remove the side controllers or “switch” at all. Now, lest you think this is just another hand-held that’s gearing up to replace the 3DS, it’s not. At least, that’s according to Nintendo.
“We’ll continue to support our 3DS line of systems as long as there is demand,” Bowser says (I can’t get over that name). That kind of statement doesn’t exactly scream reassurance about the future of the 3DS.
The main appeal of the Switch Lite is its even lighter weight design and cheaper price point. The touch display comes in at 5.5 inches, where the original Switch tops off at 6.2 inches. You’ll save $100 by shaving off those 0.7 inches, but you’re still losing plenty of the Switch’s appeal.
Using the “Switch” branding is clearly an effort to capitalize off of the success of the console, but for all intents and purposes this new hand-held is not a “Switch” device and it does not do what the name implies. You can’t switch between mediums where one moment you’re playing a home console system and then next a mobile game.
On the plus side you’ll have access to the entire library of Switch games, albeit with some exceptions. Any games that aren’t portable friendly, even with the original Switch console, won’t be accessible from the Switch Lite.
Personally, I think they would have been better off releasing a smaller version of the console with the same capabilities. Though, they might be chasing a different target audience altogether.
The Switch Lite launches in three different colors on September 20 for $199.99.