A Nintendo Switch that doesn’t, well, switch has been made official by Nintendo — and somewhat out of nowhere.
The Nintendo Switch Lite is a leaner, more compact variant of the existing Switch model but doesn’t have detachable Joy-Con controllers and won’t be able to plug into a TV for docked play.
But instead of selling for $300 (about P15,386), like the regular Switch, the Switch Lite has been priced at $200 (P10,257) in the United States. We expect pricing in the Philippines to be somewhere between P11,000 ($214) and P13,000 ($253) after taxes and shipping. It releases September 20 worldwide, the same day the much-awaited remake of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s awakening arrives.
Yellow, turquoise, and gray are your color options for the matte-plastic casing at launch. A special Pokémon-themed design is scheduled to drop later in November ahead of Pokémon Sword and Shield.
First look at the Nintendo Switch Lite
The Nintendo Switch Lite has most of the standard Switch features intact, including a similar button layout with a proper direction pad, 32GB of expandable storage, a headphone jack, and USB-C for charging.
Battery life is estimated to be 20% to 30% better, depending on which game you’re playing. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, for example, can be played for around four hours on one charge.
Moving to the front, the Nintendo Switch Lite has a 5.5-inch LCD touch display at a resolution of 720p. The company has shrunk the screen a bit from the 6.2-inch display on the original Switch, a decision that may have had as much to do with its portability as its cheaper cost.
Also, the Switch Lite doesn’t do video output, so its USB-C port won’t work with the existing Switch dock. This is a dedicated handheld console, and the lack of a kickstand doubles down on that fact. It’s also missing IR motion sensors and Nintendo’s HD rumble feature, although it still supports Amiibo figures in compatible games.
Some Nintendo Labo kits, as well as some games like Super Mario Party, aren’t compatible with the Switch Lite unless you buy Joy-Con controllers separately.
According to an FCC filing made earlier this month, Nintendo could also be preparing to launch a new and more powerful Switch console with a faster processor and more storage. The better internals might allow the console to run games at 4K over a TV in docked mode.
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