Nintendo Switch Lite: A New Model That Can't Connect To TVs

If a Switch can't switch is it really even a Switch?

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Now Playing: Nintendo Switch Lite Release Date And Price Announced - GS News Update

It's been rumored for some time that Nintendo would announce one or more new versions of the Nintendo Switch. With no warning, Nintendo has decided that mid-July the right time to reveal just such a thing, as Nintendo has announced a new Switch model--and it releases quite soon. The Nintendo Switch Lite is a leaner version of the existing Switch model that sacrifices some features. The most notable point of distinction is its inability to output video to a TV; this is a handheld only, rather than a hybrid that can be played on the go or on an external display. Despite that, it will still bear the Switch name that references this functionality in the original system.

These concessions lead to a price that's $100 less than the original model; Switch Lite sells for $200 in the US. It releases on September 20 in a trio of colors, with a special-edition Pokemon version arriving in November. If it feels soon for a new model, bear in mind this was a longer wait than with other Nintendo systems. [Update: There's also a new version of Switch's original version on the way that offers better battery life but is otherwise unchanged.]

The Switch Lite features a 5.5-inch screen that displays at a resolution of 720p. This shrinks the screen down slightly from the original Switch's 6.2-inch size, and the overall size of the system is smaller as well. Battery life is also said to be improved, lasting as much as six hours depending on the game.

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The headphone port is still there (Bluetooth headset support has not been added, sadly), and the button layout is largely unchanged. However, the Switch Lite no longer has detachable Joy-Con controllers. Furthermore, the Switch Lite will not have rumble or the IR motion sensors. Joy-Con controllers can still be connected to the Switch Lite wirelessly, which will be necessary to allow certain Switch games to work on Lite. Nintendo has swapped out the four small buttons that serve as the directional inputs on the Joy-Cons for a traditional D-pad on the left side, now that those buttons don't need to double as face buttons when a Joy-Con is used horizontally.

One other thing to consider is that Nintendo Labo, which allows users to build peripherals using cardboard, won't work since the Switch Lite is smaller. Other games will need to support handheld mode in order to function. Titles like 1-2-Switch and Super Mario Party will require you to purchase standard Joy-Cons in order to play them.

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The Switch Lite is matte plastic and, according to CNET, which had a chance to go hands-on with it, has a "solid feel reminded me a lot of the recent Nintendo 2DS XL handheld. No detachable Joy-Cons means the sides of the Switch Lite don’t flex or creak as much, either."

When the Switch Lite launches on September 20, it will be available in grey, yellow, and turquoise. A limited edition Pokemon-themed design that has etchings and an off-white case will arrive alongside Pokemon Sword and Shield, though it will not include the game as part of a bundle.

Nintendo Switch Lite Specs

Nintendo Switch Lite console
Size91.1mm x 208mm x 13.9mm
Please note: 28.4mm at the thickest, from the tips of the analogue sticks to the ZL/ZR Button protusions.
WeightApprox. 275g
ScreenCapacitive touch screen / 5.5 inch LCD / 1280x720 resolution
CPU/GPUNVIDIA customised Tegra processor
System memory32 GB
Please note: approximately 6.2 GB of internal memory is reserved for use by the system.
Communication featuresWireless LAN (IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac compliant) / Bluetooth 4.1 / NFC (near-field communication)
Video output-
Audio output-
SpeakersStereo
Control inputs"Left Stick
Can be pressed down and used as a button."
"Right Stick
Can be pressed down and used as a button."
A/B/X/Y/L/R/ZL/ZR Buttons
+ Button / - Button
+Control Pad
POWER Button
Volume buttons
HOME Button
Capture Button
USB terminalUSB Type-C terminal
Used for charging the console.
Audio jackStereo output
Game card slotExclusively for Nintendo Switch game cards.
microSD card slotCompatible with microSD, microSDHC and microSDXC memory cards.
Please note: an update via an internet connection is required to use microSDXC memory cards.
SensorsAccelerometer / gyroscope
Operating environmentTemperature: 5 - 35°C / Humidity: 20 - 80%
Internal batteryLithium ion battery / battery capacity 3570mAh
Please note: the internal battery cannot be removed. If the battery needs to be replaced, it can be replaced for a fee via Nintendo Customer Support.
Battery lifeBattery life can last for more than six hours, but will vary depending on the software and usage conditions.
For example, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild can be played for roughly four hours on a single charge.
Charging time3 hours approx.
Please note: this is the time taken to charge while the console is in sleep mode.

Reports of new Switch models being in production surface in June. At the time, Nintendo said it would not announce the new systems during E3, and they stuck to their guns on that. Reports have indicated that two new Nintendo Switch models are in the works. The first, a less expensive iteration with pared-down features, we now know is the Switch Lite.

However, it has also been reported that an "enhanced" version of the Switch targeted at "avid" gamers is also in production. Nintendo has not indicated this is the case and there are far fewer rumors, reports, and early rumblings relating to this more powerful version that there was for the Switch Lite.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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5tu88sy

I doubt any adults will be interested in this thing, kids will love it though.

Avatar image for iloveqwop
Iloveqwop

Just you all know an HDMI port would have costs 30 cents to add to this given the Tegra SoC. If you dont think this is a cash grab your wrong.

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onehitta323

I've been enjoying my Switch. Amazing games. Such a great hybrid. Reading all the negative comments are funny. If you don't like the Nintendo Switch Lite then don't buy it. Plenty of people will. LOL

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ZombieVirolina

They still need to update the security to be similar to phones. You are using these devices in public places and someone can just pick it up and walk off with it and have full access to your games, personal info, and credit card/PayPal info. I’m not overly concerned if I leave my phone on a table and turn my head, but if someone picks up your handheld, it’s gone forever and identity theft is right around the corner.

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Zousa81

Makes perfect sense, this is the Switch to replace the 3DS now that the Pokemon game is comming. The old Switch is too fragile and expensive to give to little kids, so this fits right into their product line.

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amillionhp

I think this is a great idea for Nintendo. I can imagine a great number of people who only care about portable gaming would want this. People who dont have regular access to large TVs or monitors. If it wasnt clear before, i think people should definitely know now there wont be anymore split between portable and console systems from Nintendo. Which i think that is great because we wont have to purchase separate systems now. Looking at games like Link's Awakening, its obvious something like that would have been a DS release and not WiiU. This should translate into a bigger library of games to choose from.

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thedarklinglord

Now how about a non-switchable Switch that goes the other way?

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Thelostscribe

Nintendo knows how to get money when it's devices are on fire. The Switch has always seemed a bit over priced to me. I always thought that the Switch should be around $250 and this should be around $150-$175, but they are experts on putting out things at costs the market will bear. I'm not a huge fan of the Lite as I was looking more for a Switch with a bigger screen, so I'm looking for the opposite of this.

Still, a cheaper model is a good idea, this will definitely feed into the DS crowd. Don't know why they chose not to let the Switch or the Switch lite play DS games. Would have been a great incentive for those gamers to make... THE SWITCH, haha.

Avatar image for tingtong
tingtong

Thats nice, we got a kids version that you can feel more comfortable buying them & won’t have to worry about them hogging up the TV…now let me know when the real shit comes out for the millions of us that wanna take full advantage of our 4KHDR TVs…Nintendo’s gonna have to catch up with the rest of tech eventually at least for the sake of compatibility if nothing else.

Its also pretty obvious that they wanted 3rd party devs/triple A games to be more of a thing but so far that experiment has been more than less a failure.

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Zousa81

@tingtong: Why is it a failure? Ports keep being done for the Switch.

Avatar image for tingtong
tingtong

@zousa81: Yes, and if you have actually played said ports and read reviews etc then you would know what I mean…Just because something was ported doesn’t make it an automatic success.

The last port I played was literally unplayable (Doom). Learned my lesson there…From now on everything else is PS4 Pro all day, except for Nintendo exclusives obviously; which is the main reason I got it in the first place so I’m not too disappointed…

Now if it would just get more Nintendo games that would be great & what 99% of Switch owners actually desire…They can keep all their 3rd party/triple A games which will just be one underwhelming experience after another instead of a fine tuned Nintendo game.

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monkyby87

@tingtong: it’s those few standard titles though that sell the systems and keeps people going.

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lorddaggeroff

What I dislike about the switch in general is the thumb sticks, one is raised and one is lower.... Sure makes perfect sense I'll use my palm to control the tiny nobs and slap that d-pad a bit. Throws switch in bin and hugs wiiu.

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PrimusTool

Maybe I'm out of touch but this seems like the opposite of what many of us wanted. I'd be much more interested in a cheaper, more powerful home version of the Switch because I only play video games at home.

Avatar image for monkyby87
monkyby87

@PrimusTool: you’re out of touch, lol. Many people HERE, on video game websites full of hardcore gamers may not want this. But there are a lot of people that would like this. It’s really not for us and never was meant to be.

Avatar image for zousa81
Zousa81

@PrimusTool: This is for kids. Look at the design.

Avatar image for NickBasile
NickBasile

Not a perfect product by any means but I somewhat dig this. I own a Switch happily, but this is a nice option with a few minor improvements as well as some (obvious) shortcomings sacrificed for the price. I don't feel it's all that bad of a move on Nintendo.

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dragonsama

Not interested at all! No TV out is dumb. It should be there as an option if you want to use it with a separate dock. Not sure who this is for at all.

Actually I wanted them to announce a Switch Pro that had better specs and 4K

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monkyby87

@dragonsama: lol, that’s the original switch. Which exists.

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TexasStuBaby

@dragonsama: Actually, it's probably for the people who are currently playing the DS.

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Ives74

Arg. I don't own a switch and the $200 price tag is very tempting but the inability to display on a larger screen is a deal breaker for me. Plus any games and peripherals will very quickly put the price tag over $300 anyway. If there were even just a mini hdmi port this system would be a lot more appealing. I wouldn't even ask for upscaling. Just put the 720p picture on my tv and I'm good. Ah well. I'm only really itching to play Mario Odyssey. This'll probably be a console I pick up near the end of its life. Or if Metroid becomes impossible to resist.

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NickBasile

@ives74: Dude not trying to tempt you, but Mario Odyssey is SO good -- hopefully you play it some day, great game that I feel was mildly overshadowed by the release of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Avatar image for zousa81
Zousa81

@NickBasile: On my view both games are hugely overrated. Sorry, I know that is unpopular, but both games I played for a few hours and put them away. Finished both, but I found them to be just 8s, not 10s.

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NickBasile

@zousa81: You know what man? I may disagree with your opinion, but I always appreciate that not all people will bow down to the perceived consensus. I feel as though there are times when people are told to think how good a game/series is. As much as I loved the games, I can see that there will be parts that people can find flaws in. Furthermore, seeing as how you played the games through, it seems that you at least gave a genuine effort to see what others see. Unfortunately, it didn't live up to the expectations brought forth by others, but you can at least assist in giving others an alternative opinion from persons such as myself who provide the standard "the game was awesome".

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V1ndictive

I'm not entirely sure who this is for...I wouldn't consider it more portable than the normal, unrestricted Switch. It's "only" $100 cheaper, a price you'll no doubt have to make up in buying joycons or whatever anyway if there are games you need them for. I just. I don't get this.

Granted, I didn't get the original 2DS either, but that seemed to sell well enough to keep making.

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ZmanBarzel

@v1ndictive: "a price you'll no doubt have to make up in buying joycons or whatever anyway if there are games you need them for."

New games that require Joy-cons for motion control are going to become very rare.

Avatar image for lordroberts774
lordroberts774

@v1ndictive: it's for the 3DS owners who haven't comitted to Switch, because it's "not a handheld"- well, that argument is gone!

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Iloveqwop

@lordroberts774: Its always only been a handheld with tv-out.

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lonesamurai00

Oh my gosh the Witcher 3 on this thing... It's going to need even more serious cuts - I'm talking Japanese steel.

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demon-returns

@lonesamurai00: like the hattori hanzo?

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nintendians

the "switch" lite is probably not for me then, i usually game on a big screen.

"If a Switch can't switch is it really even a Switch?" - gamespot. my answer: no, if you mean "hand-held" to "tv" then "no", but you could still "switch" other things like system settings and video games, then "yes".

Avatar image for NickBasile
NickBasile

@nintendians: lol that's actually not a bad point haha At least when Nintendo released a non-3D 3DS, they changed the name to the 2DS haha What would be a good name for this? The Swap? lol

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brazzo09

Should've just called it the Nintendo Bait and Switch.

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BeantownSean

Nintendo Switchless

Did anyone ever really consider the Switch a "Console" in the first place?

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PrpleTrtleBuBum

@beantownsean: Meh, I play most my games on my immobile PC. Mobile game market is full of trash. Switch is the perfect answer for actual games I play on the go and has that docking ability just in case. Nintendo games don't really even benefit from 4K120fpsHDRraytracing stuff. Yes its a small shame games like Witcher3 and Doom suffer a bit, but if Nintendo did a "proper" console it would just be PS4 with Mario. And it still wouldn't compete with PC in technical prowess.

I'm a little past it, but especially my kid self would have adored Switch since I was pretty much playing at home, playing in car and dragging big consoles and games to holiday locations and sometimes forgot some wire making it all pointless.

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megagood2345

@beantownsean: I didn't realize until this thread that people actually debated this issue. Gamers really can argue about everything! :)

Avatar image for lordroberts774
lordroberts774

@beantownsean: nope, always considered it a handheld with a dock, because in Japan it's literally sold without the dock as a handheld system! More so now- kind of like DS and DS Lite, but still, it's a handheld, always was, always will be.

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nintendians

@beantownsean: it's a hybrid.

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Iloveqwop

@nintendians: Its a full-blown handheld console with tv out.

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nintendians

@iloveqwop: that's what a hybrid is.

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Iloveqwop

@nintendians: So most tablets are hybrids then? Lol you are plain wrong. The thing is a tablet with a controller attached to it.

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nintendians

@iloveqwop: as long as you treat it like one and output to your tv via hdmi then could be, if you want to.

it doesn't have to be tablet or gaming console depends on the user.

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itchyflop

@beantownsean:

you know i used to think this, only using it as a mobile platform.

Then i took it on holiday and used it as a console on the tv there (when i wasn't doing holiday things).

Its great, portable and has the power to run the likes of zelda, mario or dark souls, yes they're are older games like this, but great for travelling.

I then carried on playing on the plane home!

Plus You tube for the kids in a foreign country on the big(ger) screen is a bonus too ( if you dont have any channels in your language. )

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Nargg

@beantownsean: Yes, it's a console. You must have not received the memo.

Avatar image for lordroberts774
lordroberts774

@nargg: then why are you able to play it without AC power, a television, an HDMI, or controllers as a handheld? PS4 is a console, and you need AC power, a television, HDMI and a controller, something that the handheld Switch already has. Plus, in Japan it's sold as a handheld already (no dock), proving it's a handheld with a dock to play it on television.

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onehitta323

@lordroberts774: Ok so it's still a console. What's your point?