Here's everything you need to know about the Nintendo Switch Lite

Jacob Krol, CNN Underscored
Updated Mon August 26, 2019

Story highlights

  • Nintendo is growing the Switch line with a new hand held console
  • The Nintendo Switch Lite lands on September 20 for $199.99 in three colors

Nintendo is back with a new product in the Switch family. The gaming giant has just unveiled the Nintendo Switch Lite, a purely hand-held device that lands on September 20 for just $199. That's $100 less than original Nintendo Switch.

What does the Switch Lite compromise on?

And as you might guess, with a lower price tag the Switch Lite opts for a smaller feature set than the larger Nintendo Switch. For starters, it's purely a hand-held device. It's also much smaller with a 5.5" touch screen in an overall build that is 8.2" long and 3.6" wide. The original switch has a 6.2" touch display and is 9.4" in length.

It also will not support the Nintendo Switch Dock, so you won't be able to take the game to the big screen. And while the buttons might look like Joy Cons, these are non-removable and the controllers are built into the sides. The Switch Lite, however, does excel when it comes to battery life, as Nintendo is estimating three to seven hours depending on the game.

What games work on this hand held?

Speaking of games, the Nintendo Switch Lite lives within the Switch family, but it will only support hand-held games. Luckily there are a good amount that supports this mode, including "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild" ($49.99, originally $59.99; amazon.com).

When shopping for games, Nintendo will include a Switch icon to make these titles easily identifiable. While larger triple-A games designed for the big screen aren't available to play on the device, this smaller size and traditional controls on the side brings back a more classic gaming experience, or one that might be similar to playing on a Gameboy or even a Nintendo DS. Titles from Sega like "SONIC The Hedgehog" ($7.99; amazon.com) or "Mega Drive Classic" ($44.86; amazon.com), or even the forthcoming "Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games: Tokyo 2020" ($59.99; amazon.com) will be a unique experience on this console.

Nintendo fans will be happy to know that the Switch Lite will support Nintendo Switch Online, including access to the classic NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) games. And yes, you'll be able to play Fortnite with multiplayer so you won't miss out on the popular battle royale.

Is the Switch Lite worth it?

While we're eager to fully review the Nintendo Switch Lite, for now, it seems like a very compelling option. It also comes in three fun colors (yellow, gray and turquoise), plus a special Pokèmon Edition that has a design etched in the back.

If you're cool with a smaller screen, non-detachable controllers and a hand-held experience, the Switch Lite offers a pretty compelling value. And leading up to the launch on September 20 (which also happens to be the same day Pokèmon Sword ($59.99; amazon.com) and Pokèmond Shield ($59.99; amazon.com) will be launching), we'll get a clearer idea of what games will and won't offer hand held mode, as well as any special deals.

How to pre-order?

Amazon and BestBuy are currently taking pre-orders for the Switch Lite (full details below).

And if you really want to play on a Switch in the meantime, you can always opt for the original Nintendo Switch.

Keep checking back as we'll continue to update this guide with pre-order details, a list of supported games and our impressions of the Switch Lite.

Note: The prices above reflect the retailers' listed prices at the time of publication.