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Nintendo announces Switch Lite

Nintendo has announced a handheld-optimised Lite version of its Switch console launching in September, writes BRYAN TURNER.

In a move to include more gamers, Nintendo has announced it will launch a new version of the Nintendo Switch called the Switch Lite. The console is designed to play Switch games in handheld mode only, which reduces the price of the system by $100, to $200.

Yoshiaki Koizumi, general producer of Nintendo Switch, revealed the Switch in a video published by Nintendo. He showcased the design differences, as well as the colours in which it will be available: yellow, grey, and turquoise.

“Players around the world are already enjoying the Nintendo Switch and its growing catalogue of games,” said Koizumi. “I’d like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to each of you who are enjoying the system.

“Later this year, the Switch you know and love will be joined by a new addition to the family. Introducing the Nintendo Switch Lite. This version of the Nintendo Switch is dedicated to handheld play, and as such, it’s compact, lightweight and easier to take with you on the go.”

What’s different?

The Lite version gets its lightweight form factor by removing some features found in its older sibling. The Joycon controls have been integrated into the console to reduce the size, and to keep the structure of the handheld in one piece.

The Joycon controls have also been aesthetically altered, with the directional buttons being changed from four individual buttons to a plus shape. The IR blaster at the bottom of the right Joycon controller has been removed. HD Rumble vibration has also been removed.

The kickstand at the back of the device has been removed because there is no longer a need to prop up the handheld device. The console does not come with a dock or HDMI cable because it does not support video output to a TV.

Who would want a device with nothing added and so much removed?

The features that have been removed are features that enable TV mode. That is key to understanding why Nintendo has launched this console.

There are many players who don’t often dock their Nintendo Switches and would probably have opted for this version. It also allows for players who did not want the TV mode feature to play Switch games, at a reduced console purchasing price.

This version also caters to those who don’t have the budget for a fully-fledged system. It’s a move by Nintendo to include more gamers on the Switch platform.

Will all the existing Switch games work on the Lite?

Most of the existing games will work. Most notably, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Super Mario Odyssey, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will work on the Switch Lite system. Games like 1, 2, Switch and Fitness Boxing will not work without purchasing extra Joycon controllers.

For those worried about protecting the device on the go, Nintendo has said that an official Nintendo carrying case and screen protector set for Lite will also be available for purchase.

The Nintendo Switch Lite is expected to launch in major regions on 20 September 2019.

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