Yesterday, Nintendo confirmed months of rumours and speculation by finally announcing the Nintendo Switch Lite, a smaller and cheaper version of its insanely popular hybrid portable console.
The machine launches in September and will retail for $199.99, making it the perfect Christmas gift for millions of kids who are finding that their battered old 3DS doesn’t really cut it anymore.
But is the Nintendo Switch Lite worth a look if you already own a Nintendo Switch? What are the key differences between the two devices? What has Nintendo had to remove to get that price down? Relax, we’ve got all the answers here!
Nintendo Switch Lite vs. Nintendo Switch: Size and Weight
The Nintendo Switch Lite is, as the name would suggest, slightly smaller than the existing Nintendo Switch model. The original Nintendo Switch is 4-inches high, 9.4-inches wide and just over half an inch thick. The Nintendo Switch Lite, on the other hand, is 3.6-inches high and 8.2-inch wide, while it has the same thickness as the older version.
That might not sound like much of a difference on paper, but in reality, it makes the Nintendo Switch Lite a lot more portable. It’s also less heavy; the original Switch weighs .88lbs with the Joy-Con attached, while the Nintendo Switch Lite is .61lbs.
Meanwhile, the screen on the Nintendo Switch Lite measures 5.5-inches, which is a drop down from the 6.2-inch display of the original model. Both are 720p displays.
Nintendo Switch Lite vs. Nintendo Switch: Joy-Con
One of the big selling points of the Switch is the fact that its Joy-Con controllers can be removed and used as stand-alone pads, which effectively means that you’re ready for two-player local multiplayer at all times. The Nintendo Switch Lite sacrifices this feature to achieve its lower price point and more robust design; the Joy-Con are built into the machine and cannot be removed.
This means that certain games will be incompatible with the Nintendo Switch Lite, such as Nintendo’s DIY Labo range of titles. The Nintendo Switch Lite also removes the IR Blaster that is found on the bottom of the right-hand Joy-Con, which will also prevent it working with some titles which rely on it, like 1-2-Switch.
Nintendo Switch Lite vs. Nintendo Switch: Gameplay Modes
The Nintendo Switch Lite can only be played in handheld mode, whereas the original Nintendo Switch can be played docked, handheld and in tabletop mode. In fact, the Nintendo Switch Lite has no docking capability whatsoever, which makes its name a little bit misleading. The USB-C port on the bottom is only used for charging the console.
Nintendo Switch Lite vs. Nintendo Switch: Battery Life
The original Nintendo Switch boasts battery of between 2.5 – 6.5 hours, depending on the title being played. The Nintendo Switch Lite offers between 3 – 7 hours, again dependant on the game being used. According to Nintendo, Zelda: Breath of the Wild can be played for around 4 hours on the Nintendo Switch Lite.
Nintendo Switch Lite vs. Nintendo Switch: What You Get
Because the Nintendo Switch Lite lacks the ability to connect to your TV, there’s not dock or HDMI cable included in the box — you get the power supply, and that’s about it. Compare that to the original Nintendo Switch, which comes with the dock, HDMI cable, power supply and two Joy-Con, along with two Joy-Con rail covers with wrist straps.
Nintendo Switch Lite Vs. Nintendo Switch: Price
The Nintendo Switch’s retail price has been $299.99 since it launched – Nintendo has resisted bringing up the price. The Nintendo Switch Lite, on the other hand, will retail for $199.99. The UK price is yet to be confirmed, but it will probably be between £179.99 and £199.99.