Nintendo Switch Lite - September, 20, 2019, $200 MSRP

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#1 Edited by liquiddragon (3554 posts) -
No Caption Provided

Bullet Points -

  • Handheld exclusive device, will not connect to TV
  • System comes in yellow, grey, turquoise
  • 3.6 inches high, 8.2 inches long (down from 4 and 9.4)
  • All-in one piece (no joycons, no IR sensor, no HD rumble or otherwise) (you'll be able to connect joy-cons to play motion based games)
  • Wifi, Bluetooth 4.1 (updated from 3.0), NFC, and gyro still included.
  • D-pad
  • Slightly smaller screen size (5.5-inch down from 6.2), same resolution, no brightness sensor (manual adjustment only)
  • Lighter
  • Similar layout
  • Slightly better battery life
  • No kickstand
  • System release same day as Link's Awakening
  • Pokemon Edition 11/8 (same price)

Link to Nintendo Lite site

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#2 Posted by Captain_Insano (3541 posts) -

Interesting that it is handhold only bit I suppose with no new "3DS" generation it makes sense to double down on the Switch and focus just on the one console for 1st party development

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#3 Posted by TheRealTurk (599 posts) -

I'll admit that I would have been totally into this when I was a kid going on long car rides with my family, but the idea of "portable" just doesn't fit with where I am in life right now. I commute, but not on public transit (which between the noise and 'I will probably be mugged for having this' has always struck me as the absolute worst way to play games, but apparently this is a thing), my job doesn't involve a ton of travel, and I'd much prefer to play games after a long day while lying on my couch in front of a large TV.

I think I'll wait for the more powerful version of the Switch that is allegedly coming at some point. Or continue to wish that Nintendo would just bit the bullet and become a software only company so I can enjoy their games on my PS or XBOX.

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#4 Posted by nicksmi56 (850 posts) -

I had dismissed the rumors as wishful thinking, but it actually exists. Huh.

Personally, the original Switch is great for me and I love the TV functionality too much to give it up, but I can definitely see a market for this.

When I decided to get into the 3DS family, I looked at my options and picked up a 2DS despite all the kicking and screaming about the system at the time. Why? Because the thing was like $60 cheaper, I didn't care about 3D in any capacity, and I could easily grab a case for it and carry it around in my backpack. Years later I still use it regularly and have never once wished I made a different choice.

So this is perfect for any people with the same mindset about the Switch. My girlfriend for example hasn't used her dock even once despite getting the system on launch day. For those people, this system is a freaking steal. I have a feeling it's going to do better than naysayers expect.

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#5 Edited by nicksmi56 (850 posts) -

@therealturk said:

Or continue to wish that Nintendo would just bit the bullet and become a software only company so I can enjoy their games on my PS or XBOX.

NEVAH!!! Nintendo's unique systems must stay alive! If it wasn't for the Switch, I wouldn't have bought a next-gen system in the first place!

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#6 Edited by Gundato (369 posts) -

D-Pad: I want it to be good, but the pro controller d-pad is "okay" at best. I'll stick with my modded joycon

Fully portable and joycons attached to the switch: F'in A! The build quality of the switch is complete dogshit and I periodically have to jiggle my joycons (which have been detached a grand total of three times...) when the contact is loose

No Rumble: Honestly? Kind of a plus. I don't care about Nintendo's half-assed haptics and when it is actually acting as rumble it sounds like shit (EDIT: Just saw Jeff's tweet. Did not even think about how this almost assuredly means rumble on the switch is gonna be as popular as the touchbar on the DS4. So a plus all around in my eyes)

No dock: My Switch has never actually been docked

An even smaller screen: Yeah, that is the no-go for me. Already hard enough to read text in the text heavy games

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#7 Posted by wollywoo (325 posts) -

So, there's not even any option to display it on a TV? I figured it would be compatible with the dock, just wouldn't have the dock included. Weird decision. Is it necessary from a hardware perspective? It seems to defeat the whole idea. Cool for people who only ever play in handheld mode, but I really like having the choice.

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#8 Posted by jeremyf (417 posts) -

I'd say my Switch is used 60-40 in favor of handheld mode. I'm too used to the TV to leave that behind. I'm sure there are people who will like this, though. I ended up surprisingly liking my 2DS.

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#9 Posted by Gundato (369 posts) -

@wollywoo: Haven't checked against the dock itself, but the lite is a smaller unit. Without detachable joycons it likely won't actually fit in the existing dock.

It is kind of surprising Nintendo aren't selling an adapter or a new dock-lite. Although that is probably a "yet"

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#10 Posted by PDXSonic (576 posts) -

The odd things for me is the lack of motion controls. It basically means that you can't play Pokemon Lets Go unless they patch it. And that it fractures the development base.

But hey, a Switch for $200 is nice.

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#11 Posted by ripelivejam (13242 posts) -

This woukd have been perfect for me, I would have picked this up and given my "old" one to my friend, if onky it had dock ability.

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#12 Posted by nicksmi56 (850 posts) -

@pdxsonic said:

It basically means that you can't play Pokemon Lets Go unless they patch it.

You can use regular controls for Let's Go in handheld mode. You use the stick to aim and the A button to throw. So no worries, it should be fine!

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#13 Edited by Sweetz (1185 posts) -

Freaking Nintendo always has to make it flawed in some way, don’t they?

Inability to connect to TV is astoundingly idiotic. They could have easily sold this as handheld with opportunity to “upgrade” later by buying a separate dock and pro controller.

It’s also yet another fantastic way to confuse casual consumers (a la Wii U) given that Switch was marketed as a device that’s both a TV console and handheld and now there’s a Switch that doesn’t have that capability.

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#14 Posted by JasonR86 (10274 posts) -

I know this isn't a novel thought, but it does seem weird go back on the 'Switch' concept of 'a handheld and home console in one device.' On the one hand, I'm all for people having choices. On the other, this seems like a bizarre, indirect admission that the concept for this console had limited reach, I guess. It also seems like a way to totally zap the potential for motion control games and games that take advantage of HD rumble as well as potentially splitting the market with 'handheld only' games.

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#15 Posted by ltcolumbo (195 posts) -

@sweetz: I think they made that device and it’s called a “Nintendo Switch?”

It’s a low-end switch. They wanted something they can market to people who want to spend less than $200 to play a game, with the upside that they’ll probably convert a certain percentage who buy the cheap version and decide they want the upgraded version after playing. It wouldn’t make any sense to include everything useful (which really is JUST the ability to dock) in the low end version if they’re going to keep selling the original.

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#16 Posted by chilo (58 posts) -

I think it makes perfect sense; this will be fantastic for families with kids that want their own personal Switch to play and not have to share.

Also good for folks who travel a lot and don't play in docked mode.

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#17 Posted by bmccann42 (446 posts) -

Does it get any better battery life than the current switch?

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#18 Edited by SuperKMx (27 posts) -

@bmccann42 said:

Does it get any better battery life than the current switch?

Slightly. Original Switch is advertised as 2.5-6.5 hours. Switch Lite is advertised as 3-7 hours.

So an extra 30 minutes! Wow.

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#19 Edited by liquiddragon (3554 posts) -

@jasonr86: I think it's likely that certain features like motion will not get used by developers very often from now. Tho you'd think more games might feature touch controls. We might see more games suited for handheld mode just cuz everyone could still do that.

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#20 Edited by BisonHero (11640 posts) -

@superkmx: Yeah, my biggest complaint with the Switch in handheld mode is how abysmal the battery life is. It doesn’t even really last an evening on the couch. If I start playing at 6, it’s pretty much dead by 10. Maybe I could stretch it out more if I really lowered the brightness and turned off all network stuff, but its battery life is overall much worse than the 3DS, which itself was much worse than a DS Lite. Not an encouraging trend.

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#21 Posted by SuperKMx (27 posts) -

Y'know, I like the concept and the design of the Switch Lite, but I can't see the reason for ENTIRELY stopping it from being dockable or outputting to a TV. I get what they're going for, but it just seems shortsighted.

I can't imagine that the physical dock connector would cost more than pennies per unit to have included, and it would give people two upgrade paths. Your one option to play Switch on a TV if you buy a Switch Lite and really love it is to go out and drop another $299 on a standard Switch, which would then render your Switch Lite all but useless. I mean, you'll be able to trade it in or give it to a family member, but otherwise...

If they had included a port for a dock, they could market a standalone basic dock + Pro Controller bundle to convert the system into a "full" console, or even throw together a basic dock/Joy-con charger stand/Joy-con set bundle for those who want to play stuff like Fitness Boxing (which requires Joy-cons.)

Even with a substantial markup, they could get that going for a decent price to the consumer and it would be a much, much more palatable path to take if you want to play the thing on your TV.

I'd be tempted to trade in my standard Switch for a Switch Lite if I could do that. But as it stands, I've no interest.

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#22 Posted by PDXSonic (576 posts) -

@nicksmi56: Well I guess I learned something new today. Guess I just went with the gyro controls since they worked well.

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#23 Posted by liquiddragon (3554 posts) -

@superkmx: well they don't want you to replace your Switch. They want you to consider buying another one. At the very least they want to make it a tough choice and not make the regular switch obsolete.

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#24 Posted by nicksmi56 (850 posts) -

@pdxsonic: You got me curious so I looked it up. Gyro is still in according to Polygon. I guess the lack of motion controls only applies to joy-cons.

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#25 Posted by SuperKMx (27 posts) -

@bisonhero: Couldn't agree with you more. My Switch has been more or less docked since launch, mainly because the battery life isn't just poor, but it's so erratic depending on what you play.

I grabbed Virtua Racing the other day and sat and played on the couch at about 7pm. It was dead by 11pm. Then I'll play some of the ported Neo Geo titles on the train for 3 hours and it'll have 50% battery life left at the end of the journey. Makes no sense!

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#26 Edited by SuperKMx (27 posts) -

@liquiddragon said:

@superkmx: well they don't want you to replace your Switch. They want you to consider buying another one. At the very least they want to make it a tough choice and not make the regular switch obsolete.

Well no, they don't want to replace a Switch that I've already bought. I get that.

But let's say you get a Switch Lite for Christmas and don't already own a Switch. Your only choice to play on TV is to buy a new full-sized Switch. If they had included a dock port and sold upgrade bundles as I mentioned, it would still be a tough choice for consumers and the original Switch wouldn't be obsolete, while new people coming into the ecosystem would have options going forward.

I imagine they'd probably also be able to clear more profit from bundling hardware together that's much cheaper to produce than they would get from the sale of a standard Switch, too. (That's very much an assumption, though.)

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#27 Posted by liquiddragon (3554 posts) -

@superkmx: I imagine the meeting where the Switch Lite was pitched going something like...

"we give them everything they want...except...(crosses out one of the essential features of the Switch - TV out)" and the whole room giving it a standing ovation. What your suggesting gives you what you want. What they r looking to give you is almost what you want. It's good and you might buy it but also you might buy the next thing.

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#28 Edited by Sweetz (1185 posts) -

@ltcolumbo: This will arguably be a better unit for handheld play than the normal Switch. So it would be a good purchase for someone who primarily expects to play handheld, but why not even give the option to do the one thing the console is named for! Given the absurd prices that Nintendo sells docks and pro controllers for, I'd have to assume they'd make better margin getting Lite owners to buy those as accessories instead of an additional regular Switch.

That said, I just thought of a potential "excusable" reason why it doesn't have the ability to dock. It may be the case that chip in it either isn't rated for running at docked clock speed or they can't run it at that clock speed without active cooling. Therefore it wouldn't be able to do 1080 and maybe Nintendo considered that unacceptable?

Although that said, why not just allow it to run 720p even when docked? Switch games barely run 1080 anyway (i.e. several notable games like Zelda run around 900p and scale up). Give people the option at least.


Edit: I just noticed the vents on the top, so it looks like it may even still have active cooling, which probably contributes to the underwhelming increase in battery life.

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#29 Posted by FrodoBaggins (2120 posts) -

Oh my kids getting this for Xmas.

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#30 Posted by Pezen (2394 posts) -

Baller move by Nintendo releasing their own Vita and probably having it be a great success. I'll admit that if that screen works better in sunlight than the Vita, I might consider it as a portable system. For vacations and playing a game while still slightly social in the living room. Not that I have a great grasp of what's worth playing on Switch these days and if those games are something I am interested in portability wise.

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#31 Edited by Shiftygism (1129 posts) -

I mean shit, couldn't they at least offer an hdmi out?

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#32 Posted by Hayt (1698 posts) -

I was hoping a new Switch would bump down the price of the old one but this isnt a replacement for it at all after all

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#33 Edited by ArbitraryWater (15756 posts) -

This is 100% for kids to play Pokemon on or for anyone who doesn't plan on using the TV docking functionality at all. It's going to do quite well, but I don't think it's for most of the people here.

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#34 Posted by frytup (1367 posts) -

I would say this is 85% for the Japanese market. Any other sales are a bonus.

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#35 Posted by BoOzak (2686 posts) -

If you cant even hook this thing up to a TV why even call it a Switch? It should be called an UnSwitched!! (sorry)

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#36 Posted by Teddie (2162 posts) -

Cool, even more reason to not support all the different control schemes this console already had.

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#37 Posted by kmj2318 (48 posts) -

I wonder if an inch narrower and .2 pounds lighter is a big change. I never play my switch in handheld because I hate how wide and heavy it feels. Having non detachable controllers may also improve the feeling of build quality.

I still use my 3ds and I love of light small and cheaply toyish it feels it feels. It’s the complete opposite of the switch.

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#38 Posted by SloppyDetective (1620 posts) -

@chilo: really? My first thought when hearing it doesn't dock is how this won't be good for families. If you can't put your switch on the big screen like your older siblings or your parents that's gonna be disappointing.

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#39 Edited by chilo (58 posts) -

@sloppydetective: For me I'd think that just having a portable device that belonged to me and only me would be the biggest drive out of anything. Not having to share your games is a big thing for a lot of kids.

I think the fact that there are a lot less parts to break is nice too for younger folk.

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#40 Posted by cikame (2953 posts) -

Kind of the opposite of what i want in every way :P.

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#41 Posted by liquiddragon (3554 posts) -

@frytup: eh, I see this doing well everywhere. Any kind of discount brings it down below 200 which makes it attractive for parents and kids anywhere.

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#42 Posted by MrGreenMan (253 posts) -

This honestly makes a lot of sense the more I think about it. Nintendo has a habit of doing things like this. Personally, I have no need for this but I can see for families this being a great sell. Also, Pokemon. I am pretty sure they made this specifically for pokemon, as pokemon is almost always a portable game and that alone, especially at that price point will sell a ton of units. It's honestly simple but brilliant way to boost sales.

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#43 Posted by BisonHero (11640 posts) -

@mrgreenman: Yeah, I think it makes good business sense. It also means they don’t really have to offer a price drop on the regular Switch anytime soon. If they did, it would look crazy that the Switch and Switch Lite cost almost the same (or exactly the same) amount. They’ll both probably stay at these prices for quite a while.

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#44 Posted by Dryker (1132 posts) -

I would not be surprised if this outsells the Switch, now that it has one helluva library of games.

I, for one, don't need it. I never play my Switch in handheld mode. Consider it every time I travel, but always end up deciding it's not worth the hassle of bringing it along just for the flights. Perhaps if the flights were longer than 4 hours. And never found it comfortable playing in cars. Similar to reading in cars. Just doesn't work for me. I can do it if I had to, but it's just off-putting.

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#45 Posted by besighyawn (20 posts) -

My decision to get this pretty much depends on how difficult it is to be able to access all my digital content while still having a regular switch. Will I have to assign the Lite as the "primary" console or whatever. Would be nice to be able to assign multiple devices like maybe 1 regular and 1 lite as primary.

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#46 Posted by heavyweather (10 posts) -

Might pick one of these up for the Nintendo exclusives. I like the idea of the Switch dock, but my personal home AV setup just doesn't seem like it would play nicely with it. I use a HD projector connected to my Mac, which is connected to some Harmon Kardon soundsticks for a sound system. So even if I were to set up the Switch dock with the projector, I'm not going to get audio beyond the shitty built in speakers of the projector. And I'm certainly not going to buy a TV. The best compromise would maybe be running the dock through another input on my 32" monitor, then using headphones via the audio out on the monitor...? It's a mess. I'd much rather just use the Switch as a handheld exclusively. I'll probably grab this.

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