For the first time in months, Nintendo has finally broken its silence to announce a new gaming console named The Switch Lite. The new model will be a cheaper handheld version of the old Switch, and it's sold for US$199.
True to their Fashion, the Japanese gaming company quietly unveiled its new unit. Nintendo said that the new console is dedicated for handheld play, similar to the portable Gameboys of the early 90s.
The controls are integrated into the body of the console, in short, you won't be able to plug it on your HD TV. It has a slightly smaller 5.5-inch screen compared to the standard Switch which has a 6.2-inch display. Both models sport the same resolution.
According to Nintendo, the new console can play every game in the Switch library that can support handheld play. Surprisingly, some titles will have restrictions. The company also redesigned the D-Pad on the left-hand controller. It replaces the four different buttons found on the standard Switch model.
The original Switch has sold 34 million systems worldwide for the past two years. Nintendo plans to double that number by releasing the Lite version. It's cheaper by $100, and although it deviates from what the original console is all about, the Switch Lite promises a less complicated way of gaming.
Both consoles share identical hardware, 32GB of storage, an extra microSD slot, same button layout for the volume, and a headphone jack. The Switch and the Switch Lite use USB-C for charging.
The new model still has all the necessary connectivity modules like Wi-Fi and NFC. It can also connect to extra controllers; the smaller Switch also uses a more efficient processor that dissipates heat better than the original. It also has at least 20 to 30 percent more battery life than the old console.
It feels like the Lite isn't a sequel to the Switch; instead, it's a lower cost spinoff targeted for a different market. It may lack the features that made the original a game-changer, but a less complicated handheld gaming platform is what gamers need right now after the disappearance of the PSP.
If you're all set, the Switch Lite will launch on September 20 with three different colors to choose from: yellow, grey and turquoise. Nintendo is also scheduled to release two limited edition Switch Lite consoles by November 8.
This article was first published in IBTimes US. Permission required for reproduction.