Nintendo has launched a more affordable version of the Switch known as the Switch Lite priced at $199.99 (roughly R3 000), which is about R1 500 less than the Nintendo Switch. The Switch Lite is a handheld console only, which means it can’t be used in tabletop or dock mode. The Switch Lite will be available in South Africa from the 20th of September 2019.
The launch of the Nintendo Switch Lite had been rumoured for some time, and now the news is official. The Switch Lite does not have removable controllers. This reminds us of the Nintendo 2DS, which was a stripped down version of the Nintendo 3DS and lacked 3D and could not be folded. The Switch Lite can play any Nintendo Switch game that works in handheld mode. The Nintendo Switch Lite will be available in three colours — gray, turquoise, and yellow — and two special editions for Pokemon Sword and Shield.
There are a few notable omissions with the Nintendo Switch Lite. It doesn’t feature HD Rumble (Nintendo’s vibration tech for controllers) or an IR motion camera. Since the controllers are not removable and this console is handheld-only, motion controls won’t work. It also doesn’t ship with a set of Joy-Con controllers or a dock.
With that said, there are some advantages to the Nintendo Switch Lite. The most important of these is the fact that according to Nintendo, it offers better battery life when compared with the Switch. Nintendo claims the Switch Lite offers three to seven hours of battery life (this number is 2.5 to 6.5 hours for Switch). If you’re playing a game such as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Nintendo claims the Switch Lite will run for four hours on a single charge.
The Nintendo Switch Lite has a smaller 5.5-inch screen and its dimensions are 3.6 inches width, 8.2 inches length, and 0.55 inches depth. The Switch Lite weighs around 290 grams, which is about 90gl grams lighter than the Switch with Joy-Con controllers attached.
If you want to play games that do not support handheld mode on the Nintendo Switch, then you will have to purchase a controller separately. You can use any compatible controller to play these games on the Switch Lite, which is all well and good but the device lacks a kickstand. This means you will have to find another way to prop up the Nintendo Switch Lite if you want to play games that do not support handheld mode.