Nintendo is releasing a cheaper, more colorful version of the Switch
Playing mobile games on your phone no longer cutting it? Looking for a new portable gaming system? Nintendo's got you covered. The seminal video game company is introducing a brand new version of its popular Nintendo Switch system, only this time it's cheaper, smaller, and far better suited to carrying around in your bag or in your pocket. It's called the Nintendo Switch Lite, and it's headed to your favorite store this September.
The Switch Lite is a $199 version of the console-handheld hybrid that features a smaller screen, integrated Joy-Con controllers, no rumble features, and no option to dock and hook up to an external display. These are all features the original Switch had, but that version is also $299, so it makes sense that they've been removed for a more affordable edition. For $100 less, you're getting a much more polished version of the system that should fit better in your hands and you might feel a lot less trepidation about taking with you on your commute — it can be a bit daunting to take the wide, much more expensive version around town with you.
The system will come in three colors: gray, yellow, and turquoise. They're all quite muted compared to the wild color patterns and shades the Nintendo 3DS line came in, but considering there have been no colored Switch consoles to date aside from various Joy-Con options, the fact that there are three different hues to begin with is pretty exciting.
If you're less into plain color and want something with a bit more panache, you can go for the Pokémon Sword and Shield limited edition of the Switch Lite, which is the exact same configuration as the regular models, but features a special Pokémon design. It's got a gray body with cyan and magenta buttons, with the Legendary Pokémon Zacian and Zamazenta illustrations emblazoned across the back. It won't be releasing in September alongside the first three colors, and instead can be bought on November 8, just a few days ahead of Pokémon Sword and Shield's Switch debut.
The Switch Lite will also feature a built-in D-pad on the left side of the console, which replaces the traditional Joy-Con controllers' directional face buttons. Nintendo has stated it has no plans to release Joy-Cons with the D-pad as an option for the traditional Switch, so if you prefer a D-pad this may be the only way you can get one for now.
Nintendo hasn't released any information just yet on what type of internals the Switch Lite will feature or whether players can expect the same sort of visuals or performance from the system. Mic has reached out to Nintendo and will update this article if and when any further comment on the matter is received, but for now it's likely safe to assume that the Switch Lite will simply feature the same processor and performance as the regular version, with all the components that support docking and TV play stripped out.
The original Nintendo Switch first debuted in 2017. It'll still be available for $299, and there are currently no plans to decommission it or anything, so if you'd prefer the ability to play games on your TV still or detach your Joy-Con controllers, there's no issue there.
What could end up happening, however, is that Nintendo decides to release a new "Switch Pro" version in the future to give players three options for the system: a budget/entry handheld, a standard version, and a premium version. It really depends on how sales will do, but given that the Switch has been quite lucrative so far, it's very possible this is how things will go down.
If you're ready to pick up a Switch Lite, there are currently no live pre-orders at the moment, so you'll have to keep an eye out for a way to put down that precious cash, especially if you want a Pokémon edition. The regular gray, yellow, and turquoise versions are hitting stores on September 20.