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All we know about Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Switch Lite

July 25, 2019

The rumors are true - Nintendo is releasing the Switch Lite (previously rumored as the Switch ‘Mini’). To make things more confusing, Nintendo has announced a new version of the original Switch console. I’m reminded of when the Wii U was announced; there are still people to this day who don’t know the difference between the Wii and the Wii U. To limit confusion, I am going to break down the differences between the Switch Lite, the original Switch, and the “new” Switch.

Switch Lite

The Switch Lite will retail for $199, making it $100 cheaper than the original/new Switch. Other than price, here are the main differences:

• Handheld only. This is key - The Nintendo Switch Lite will be a handheld-only system, meaning you cannot connect it to your TV. It seems that they are aiming to replace the 3DS with this.

• Joy-Cons are not removable, do not vibrate. As this is a handheld-only system, the Joy-Con controllers are “built-in” to the console itself, so you will not be able to remove them and swap them out with different-colored Joy-Cons. As they are built into the console, the Joy-Cons will not vibrate.

• Smaller screen. The screen on the Switch Lite is 5.5 inches, making it a little smaller than the screens on the original/new Switch (6.2 inches).

• Slightly better battery life than original Switch. The battery on the original Switch lasts 2.5-6.5 hours; the Switch Lite’s battery will last 3-7 hours.

New Switch

The “new” Switch will be the standard going forward. As far as we know, it will be the same price as the original model of the Switch: $299. Here are the things that set the new Switch apart from the original model and the Lite model:

• Significantly improved battery life. If you are someone who travels a lot or finds yourself constantly having to plug in your Switch, the battery on the new model might be just what you’re looking for. The original Switch promised 2.5-6.5 hours of play, while the new model promises 4.5-9. This is a significant difference and will be the main reason hardcore gamers upgrade to this model.

• It looks exactly like the old one, so buyer beware. Nintendo seems to have an issue with marketing their new consoles; making the new version identical to the original model is going to confuse a lot of uninformed buyers. The good news is that the new model will come in an all-red box, differentiating it from the original.

• It will release after the Switch Lite. There is no confirmed release date for the “new” model of the Switch, but analysts predict it will release around in early 2020. Nintendo President Doug Bowser ruled out a 2019 release date at a press event, so early 2020 seems like a good bet.

My take

If you already own a Nintendo Switch, I don’t think it’s worth it to upgrade to the new model. I plan on buying a Lite model so my husband and I don’t have to share our Switch. If you do not currently own a Switch and battery life isn’t super important to you, I would wait until the new model comes out to purchase the original model at a discounted price.

Do you plan on purchasing the Switch Lite, or do you plan to wait for the new model of the Switch? Let’s talk on Twitter: @cgottowhite.
  • Cassie Gotto-White is a gamer, communications professional and coffee lover. She discovered her passion for video games at age six when she was given an NES Top Loader. Her current main console is a PlayStation 4, but she also owns a Nintendo Switch and Xbox One. She considers herself to be a single-player games advocate, and some of her favorite games are The Last of Us, the Uncharted series, the Yakuza series and Night in the Woods. Follow her at cgottowhite on Instagram and Twitter, and add her on PSN: unleash-the-bats.

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