Nintendo announced that the Nintendo Switch Lite is their new SKU for the hybrid console. However, you won’t be able to use the device in TV mode. It will only be available for handheld play starting September 20th, 2019 for $199 from participating retailers.
In the announcement, they revealed that since the Lite version of the Switch is designed only for handheld play it means that the Joy-Cons are attached to the main unit, which means that they don’t feature IR compatibility, nor do they offer HD Rumble effects. This means that for games like 1-2 Switch, you won’t be able to play it on the Nintendo Switch Lite since some of the mini-games require the HD Rumble feature.
They don’t mention if the battery life is any longer than the standard Switch, but it is more compact and the controls are smaller than the main unit. You can get a glimpse of what it looks like in the announcement video below.
A few other design changes have also been made to the Switch Lite, including the removal of the separated directional pads in place of a standard digital pad on the left hand side of the unit.
The analog placements are still the same, along with the snapshot button, home button, and the plus and minus pads.
The Switch Lite will come in three different colors, including gray, turquoise, and yellow.
I’m not sure why they don’t have a red version available at launch, but it’s Nintendo, so expect a proper red and blue version to launch at a later date and likely with a higher price.
There are no other special features for the Switch Lite, other than that it can only play Switch games that support handheld mode. Any game that does not support handheld mode cannot be played on the Switch Lite.
Additionally, the Switch Lite will run said games according to the Switch’s handheld specifications.
You’ll still be able to play LAN via tabletop mode with other standard Switch units, but you won’t have access to TV mode features.
As mentioned at the top of the article, you can look for the Switch Lite to launch on September 20th, 2019 for $199.99 at local retailers.