Gaming

Everything You Need To Know About The Just-Announced Nintendo Switch Lite

Smaller, cuter and more colourful - but is it worth it?

Everything you need to know about the Australian release of the Nintendo Switch Lite

Earlier today, Nintendo announced The Switch Lite, a smaller, handheld-only version of their Switch console. Here’s everything you need to know — including its Australian release and retail price.

While the Switch, pivotally, is named after its ability to be played both handheld and as a traditional console thanks to its detachable Joy-Con controllers, the Switch lite has its buttons all built-in and loses its dock and the USB-C port to connect it to the TV.

It’s also a little bit smaller, shrinking the Switch down to a light 276g. The screen’s now 5.5-inches, shaving off .7 inches — by early hands-on, it makes everything look a little sharper, though some text could be hard to read. According to CNet, it’s essentially the same size as a regular Switch if one Joy-Con was removed, and could fit in a large jacket pocket, kind of like a Kindle.

The left side also has a real D-Pad, replacing the four buttons of the Joy-Con — something gamers have wished for since the Switch first arrived in their hands. Speaking of: reports say the in-built controllers remove that cracking noise and flimsiness the Joy-Cons can have at times, which might be nice for the more cautious console owner.

What else is different? There’s no IR or HD rumble nor little kickstand at the back in the system. It also lacks an auto-brightness sensor — but in related news, the battery life has improved to last, depending on what you’re doing, to anywhere from 3-7 hours. According to Nintendo, playing Breath Of The Wild on a regular Switch would give you 3 hours; on the Lite, you’ve got 4.

And what’s the same? Well, everything else: it still has 32GB of storage, a microSD card slot, a headphone jack, WiFi, and can connect to extra controllers. That last part’s integral, since some games such as 1-2 Switch can’t be played on handheld mode — you still technically will be able to on the Switch Lite, if you attach additional controllers, but you’ll be using the small screen.

While it’s a minor issue, the Switch Lite will port over the Switch’s inability to connect to Bluetooth speakers/headphones.

It launches 20 September, coinciding with the remake of The Legend Of Zelda: Link’s Awakening. It’ll come in three colours: turquoise, grey and yellow, though when Pokémon Sword & Shield comes this November, there will be a limited tie-in edition with Pokémon etchings on an off-white console.

How much will it cost? In Australia, it’s retailing for $329.95, a $70 saving off the regular Switch.

If you’re worried this might be a way to phase out the 3DS/2DS, Nintendo has confirmed it has no plans to do so… just yet. “We believe the two systems will complement each other and coexist in the market,” says Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser.

Is it worth it? That’s up to you, but one possible game-changer if you’re looking to …switch… things up: you will be able to transfer another Switch’s data over to the Lite.