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Nintendo announces the Switch Lite, coming this September for $199

Updated Jul 10th, 2019 8:57AM EDT
Nintendo Switch Lite
Image: Nintendo

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It finally happened: Nintendo announced the cheaper Switch console that kept popping up in rumors and reports on Wednesday. Called Nintendo Switch Lite, the device costs $199.99, and it’s meant to be used in handheld mode only, as it can’t be connected to a TV at all, despite the fact it’s still called a Switch.

Just as leaks revealed in previous weeks, the Switch Lite has a different design than the standard console, featuring built-in controllers rather than the removable Joy-Con controllers of the original. And those accessory leaks were spot on when it comes to the Lite’s design, right down to the button placement.

The portable console is also more compact than the Nintendo Switch, with the Lite featuring a 5.5-inch, 720p screen as opposed to the 6.2-inch display of the standard model.

Nintendo told The Verge there aren’t any performance differences between the Switch and Switch Lite, and you can use the same accessories for both of them, including the Joy-Con controllers, Switch Pro Controller, and the Poke Ball Plus. You can see all of the differences on Nintendo’s new landing page.

The smaller console supports Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC, and features built-in gyro controls. It doesn’t have IR sensors and it doesn’t support HD rumble and motion sensors. That means it can’t be used to play games that make use of these features, so you’ll need an extra Joy-Con controller for them. For that same reason, the eShop will warn you about titles that can’t be played in handheld mode when attempting to buy one.

The Nintendo Switch Lite comes in three colors — yellow, grey, and turquoise — and launches on September 20th alongside Link’s Awakening. A Pokemon-themed version of the console will be out a few weeks later, on November 8th. This version will cost the same as the standard Lite, and won’t include the new Pokemon game.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.