Nintendo has officially announced Switch Lite, a handheld-only version of the console released in 2017.
Switch Lite will launch on September 20, the same day The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, priced at $200 — $100 cheaper than the flagship Switch model.
The system will be available in three colours: yellow, grey and turquoise. Nintendo will also release a limited edition Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield Switch Lite console on November 8, one week before the games are released.
In the reveal video above, Yoshiaki Koizumi, general producer of Nintendo Switch, says: “This version of Nintendo Switch is dedicated to handheld play. And as such, it’s compact, lightweight, and easy to take with you on-the-go.”
Switch Lite can’t be docked with a TV and it doesn’t feature detachable Joy-Con controllers, although these can be purchased separately and used with the system.
The main unit and control inputs have been integrated into one piece of hardware, and the directional buttons previously on the left Joy-Con have been replaced with a traditional d-pad.
The new device can play all Switch games that support handheld mode, although Nintendo says some titles will have restrictions.
It explains: “If a game supports Joy-Con functions such as HD rumble, IR motion camera and Joy-Con motion sensors, some features will not be available using Nintendo Switch Lite alone. Joy-Con controllers (sold separately) are required to use these features.
“For games that do not support handheld mode, players can wireless connect Joy-Con controllers to Nintendo Switch Lite. In these cases, users will need to have a device to recharge Joy-Con controllers, such as the Joy-Con charging grip.”
A Nintendo Switch system update released in April introduced the ability to transfer save data for individual games from one console to another, perhaps in anticipation of the Switch Lite launch.
“Yes, you will have the ability to transfer between devices, your gameplay experiences,” he said. “More to come on there, but that is the intention.”