Today, Nintendo announced their upcoming handheld console, the Nintendo Switch Lite. The Switch Lite will be able to play all games that can be played on the Nintendo Switch in handheld mode (so pretty much all Switch games), and it will cost $199.99, which is $100 cheaper than the regular Switch. The trade-off is that the Lite cannot be docked, it has no kickstand, and the joy-con controllers cannot be removed. It’s also slightly smaller (5.5 inches compared to the regular Switch’s 6.2-inch touch screen), but it has slightly better battery life (3-7 hours of battery life compared to the 2.5-6.5 hours of battery life on the regular Switch).
So is this a good trade-off? It depends. I’d say if you have a child who you don’t necessarily trust with a $300 piece of hardware in their hands, the $200 Switch Lite is a good compromise and you’ll have no shortage of family-friendly games since this is a Nintendo console. But as someone who owns the regular Switch, I’d say it’s worth the extra $100. Games look incredible when the Switch is docked (they look good handheld, but the clarity is night and day between the two), and being able to break off the joy-cons for multiplayer gaming is really nice if you’re like me and prefer local multiplayer to online multiplayer.
That being said, Nintendo has always been savvy with how to offer different varieties of their consoles that trade features for a lower price point. The Switch has a really strong library of games that isn’t slowing up (I’m getting Fire Emblem: Three Houses later this month and possibly Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order if the reviews are good), so the software isn’t the issue. I’ll be curious to see what the reviews of the Switch Lite have to say, but if you’re on the fence about the regular Switch, I’d say go for it if you can afford it.
If you want to wait for the Switch Lite, the console will be released on September 20th. It will be available in yellow, turquoise, and grey.