Nintendo is targeting gamers on the go by revamping its highly successful Switch console as a smaller, cheaper and solely portable device.
At $199.99, the Nintendo Switch Lite is $100 cheaper than the original. It can’t connect to a television for playing on a bigger screen, and the controls on the sides don’t detach. It also lacks a kickstand, so it can’t sit upright on any surfaces while you play.
Nintendo envisions the Switch Lite console will attract gamers who travel frequently and game on the go. It will hit shelves September 20.
The Switch Lite is priced close to refurbished original Switch consoles offered by GameStop and Best Buy, making it a slightly more affordable option for those who want a new Switch. Nintendo acknowledged that the price was one of the attractive features of the Switch Lite.
“It’s really about choice, you know, and budget might come into that decision-making a little bit as well,” said Krysta Yang, a PR manager for Nintendo. “But at the end of the day, the most important thing is how you want the system to fit into your lifestyle.”
You won’t save much on bag space if you get the Switch Lite. It is only one inch smaller than the original Switch and a touch lighter. The screen is nearly an inch smaller as well, but both have the same resolution.
Nintendo anticipates the Lite can play 3 to 7 hours on a single charge, compared with 2.5 to 6.5 hours on the original.
It comes in a bright yellow or turquoise, but also in a standard gray. A special Pokémon-themed version is set to come on November 8, just days before the highly anticipated “Pokémon Sword” and “Shield” games launch on Switch.
The original Nintendo Switch has four, separated directional buttons on the left hand side, but the Switch Lite swaps these out for a control pad, which could be an enjoyable throwback for some. The rest of the controls and ports stay the same as the original.
The Switch was a blockbuster hit for Nintendo when it launched in 2017. It sold 10 million units in less than a year and supply shortages made them hard to find. Although hardware sales generally have been down this year, Nintendo came in first place in sales last month and is the only video game console maker to boost sales, according to NPD Group industry analyst Mat Piscatella.
“Nintendo is having a great year overall. No. 1 in hardware, leading software publisher, Nintendo platform exclusives are all over top ten,” said Piscatella. “They’re doing very well.”