Skip to main content

Nintendo Switch Lite: Design, specs, price, editions, and release date

The Nintendo Switch Lite is real. Here's what we know about it so far

Nintendo switch lite new console mobile on the go undocked built in controllers
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The Nintendo Switch is just two years old, and as Sony and Microsoft both prepare to launch their next-generation systems, Nintendo will continue supporting the Switch for the foreseeable future. However, just because Nintendo isn’t planning a new generation of the system yet doesn’t mean revised consoles aren’t in the works.

We’ve heard reports and rumors about a few different systems, including a more powerful offering. That rumored system appears to actually be one with an improved battery life, but Nintendo has officially announced the handheld-focused Nintendo Switch Lite for release later this year.

What is the Nintendo Switch Lite?

First Look at Nintendo Switch Lite: New Addition to the Nintendo Switch Family

The Nintendo Switch Lite is a lighter, smaller, and less expensive alternative to the standard Nintendo Switch System, with play limited to the console’s handheld mode. Since the system cannot be docked, the Joy-Con controllers have been replaced with similar-looking control sticks and buttons on either side, mimicking the layout of the Joy-Con but without being removable.

Doug Bowser president of Nintendo of America told The Verge, “The two systems will complement each other and co-exist in the marketplace.”

The Nintendo Switch Lite is compatible with all Nintendo Switch games that support handheld mode, but certain titles such as 1-2 Switch will require additional Joy-Con controllers that can be separated from the system.

It doesn’t include a built-in stand like the standard Switch, so that means you won’t be able to play it in tabletop mode without purchasing an accessory — as anyone who has used the Switch’s built-in stand will tell you, though, you should get a separate stand anyway.

Its smaller size and reduced weight will likely make it a better choice for younger players and those who play in handheld mode exclusively.


Image used with permission by copyright holder

The Nintendo Switch Lite features a 5.5-inch display, which is down from the 6.2-inch display of the original system. Nintendo told The Verge, the lite version of the Switch will maintain its 720p resolution, and that its weight has been slightly reduced thanks to a more power-efficient chip layout. This has allowed the system to have around 30 minutes of extra battery life compared to the standard system. This is despite the battery being slightly smaller in the Switch Lite than it is the original system, with a smaller total mAh capacity.

The system has ditched HD rumble and the motion camera on the Joy-Con controllers, along with the directional buttons seen on the left Joy-Con, replacing them with a traditional directional pad.

What’s most important with the Switch Lite, however, is the feature it lacks: docked play. There is no way to connect the Switch Lite to a television, even if you purchase a dock separately. It only can play games that support handheld mode. As such, those who prefer to play games at home will likely want to stick to the regular Switch.

Release date and price

The Nintendo Switch Lite will launch on September 20, 2019, for $200, and it will come in gray, turquoise, and yellow configurations. A special version featuring the two legendary monsters in Pokémon Sword and Shield will release on November 8 just ahead of the game for the same price.

Because of support for cloud saves on most Nintendo Switch games, those who own the previous version should be able to retain their data without performing a system transfer.  It’s worth noting that a few games such as Pokémon: Let’s Go cannot have their save data backed up in the cloud, and the cloud save feature requires a Nintendo Switch Online membership.

Editors' Recommendations

Gabe Gurwin
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Gabe Gurwin has been playing games since 1997, beginning with the N64 and the Super Nintendo. He began his journalism career…
How to transfer data from Nintendo Switch to Switch OLED
Pokémon on Nintendo Switch OLED.

If you've picked up a new Nintendo Switch OLED, you already know that it's a substantial upgrade from the previous iterations of the console. What you may not know, however, is how to transfer your data from your old Switch to your new Switch OLED.

Unfortunately, the transfer process isn't as straightforward as you might expect, so it can be confusing to get things going. However, we've got all the details on how to migrate your user data from one Switch to another, even if you don't have access to your previous system and best Switch games. Here's how to transfer your data from your Switch to the Switch OLED.
How to transfer data from Switch to Switch OLED
Step 1

Read more
Nintendo Switch Game Vouchers: how they work and eligible games
Princess Peach.

Nintendo Switch Game Vouchers vanished from the eShop in 2019, but they've since made a triumphant return. Though they won't be perfect for everyone, these vouchers are ideal for folks interested in playing multiple Switch games throughout the year and looking to save a few bucks on their purchase. After buying a voucher, you'll be able to browse an ever-growing selection of digital Switch games -- including Super Mario Bros. Wonder and Tears of the Kingdom -- and snag them at a discount.

Curious about the Nintendo Switch Game Voucher program? Here's everything you need to know about the unique program.
How Nintendo Switch Vouchers work

Read more
Everything you need to know about Nintendo Switch Online
Person holding Nintendo Switch, looking at the home screen.

Much like Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, the Nintendo Switch makes it easy to jump online and play with friends. The service, known simply as Nintendo Switch Online, has seen big changes over the years, and it now offers plenty more than access to online multiplayer. One of the biggest draws is its growing collection of games from N64, NES, and other iconic platforms -- making Nintendo Switch Online a great way to access the best titles from past generations.

Nintendo offers a few different options when it comes to paying for Nintendo Switch Online, with both individual accounts and family accounts up for grabs. From its library of retro games to a smartphone application and special offers, here's a complete look at Nintendo Switch Online.
Individual/family subscription models

Read more