Nintendo's smaller, handheld version of the Switch, officially called the Nintendo Switch Lite, releases on September 20, 2019 and is currently available for pre-order. That's next week! We know there are several of you who can't wait to get your hands on thew new handheld device.

There have also been rumors for awhile that another, more powerful Switch is also in the making, but we haven't heard anything official about that unit yet.

Until then, here's everything you might want to know about the Nintendo Switch Lite.

Budget Switch

Nintendo Switch Lite

Light and portable

The Nintendo Switch Lite is a great, lightweight, budget-friendly Switch console with built-in controllers and a longer battery life. Pre-order it now.

What's new?

Update: August 27, 2019: We've learned some more specifics about differences between the Switch and Switch Lite.

The Switch Lite's speakers are on the bottom of the device instead of on the back. The microSD card slot is also in a new position since there is no kickstand.

What is the Nintendo Switch Lite?

The Switch Lite is a smaller, handheld version of the Nintendo Switch that offers longer battery life than the original console. There are several differences between the Switch Lite and the original console that you should know about.

This smaller Switch is currently available in three new colors including yellow, gray, and turquoise. There's even a special Pokémon Sword and Shield edition that comes out November 8th. Judging by the colors it looks like the posting of a turquoise case we caught on April 17 that was hurriedly taken down might have actually been a real leak, afterall. Here's a picture as a reminder.

Nintendo Switch Nintendo Switch Lite
Resolution 720p (up to 1080p when docked) 720p
Screen size 6.2 inches 5.5 inches
Dimensions (H x L x D) 4 x 9.4 x 0.55 inches 3.6 x 8.2 x 0.55 inches
Weight 0.88 pounds 0.61 pounds
Rumble and IR camera Yes No
Compatible with Nintendo Switch Dock Yes No
Removable Joy-Cons Yes No
Battery life 2.5–6.5 hours 3–7 hours

As you can tell by looking at these specs, the mini Switch weighs less and has a smaller screen. Just so you have something to compare it to, 5.5 inches is an average size for a smartphone screen. Perhaps the most interesting thing about the Switch Lite is the extra battery life. It might not seem like a ton but it could make a difference when using it on-the-go or on a road trip.

The biggest difference, however, is that the the Lite is a dedicated handheld, so you can't play it on a TV by placing it on the Dock and you can't play with it in tabletop mode. In fact, there's no kickstand and the Joy-Cons are integrated into the overall design and do not detach. Similarly, there is no HD rumble and no IR Motion Camera in this system.

Differences between the Switch Lite and the original Switch

Aside from the obvious screen and system size differences, there are a few other visual changes with the smaller Switch. One of the biggest being that the buttons on the left-hand side have been switched out for a D-pad. This is something many gamers have wanted as it can give you a little more control. Additionally, on the original Switch, the microSD card slot is hidden behind the kickstand. However, the Switch Lite has no kickstand. Nintendo has therefore created a dedicated slot on the bottom right side of the system for the microSD card.

You can also tell from pictures that the speakers have moved. On the original Switch they were located on the backside, but the new Switch has them on the bottom of the system. There are undoubtedly some interior differences as well, but we'll have to wait a little longer before we can open one of these devices up. We'll update this information in the future.

Pricing for the Nintendo Switch Lite

Since the smaller Switch ditches some of the tech seen in the original console, it's also less expensive. You'll only need to pay $200 for a brand new Switch Lite in comparison to the $300 you'll spend on a new standard Switch. Incidentally, $200 is how much you used to pay for a brand new 3DS XL, but it looks like the Switch Lite has quietly replaced that handheld gaming system.

Can it play the same Switch games and use the same accessories?

Many of the same games played on the original Nintendo Switch work just fine on the new Switch Lite. However, if a game doesn't support handheld mode, like 1-2-Switch, then you'll need to connect a compatible wireless controller in order to play those games. The reason why the Switch Lite can only play games that support handheld mode is because the gaming system doesn't have detachable Joy-Cons nor does it have motion controls. The lack of motion controls especially makes several games impossible or less convenient to play on the Switch Lite without connecting an external controller.

The Switch Lite works with some of the existing Switch accessories. We're currently unsure which third-party accessories work with the Switch Lite, but it's been confirmed that Joy-Cons are compatible, along with the Pro Controller. We'll update this section when we learn more about the compatibility of third-party accessories.

Nintendo Switch Online and local co-op with a Switch Lite

You can still access Nintendo Switch Online content and participate in online multiplayer gaming with the Switch Lite. As a matter of fact, if you have a friend who owns the standard Switch and you purchase the Switch Lite, you'll be able to connect your devices and play local co-op games. Pretty nifty, eh?

Can I transfer my Switch game saves to the Switch Lite?

Anyone planning on shifting from the original console to the new gaming system can breath a sigh of relief. Doug Bowser, Nintendo of America's president has stated that transferring your game data from the hybrid Switch to the Switch Lite will be possible.

"Yes, you will have the ability to transfer between devices, your gameplay experiences."

We don't have all the particulars on how this works just yet, but we'll update this information soon.

Will it support amiibo?

Don't worry, your amazing amiibo collection will still be usable. The new Nintendo Switch Lite does indeed offer NFC functionality. Of course, some Switch games don't work with amiibo, so whether or not you want to use them will depend on which game you're playing (but you already knew that).

What about the more powerful Switch?

Nintendo Switch

An older article in The Wall Street Journal mentioned that there were two new Switches in the works. We've seen one, now we'll be keeping an eye out for the other.

We're hoping it'll be a more powerful and energy-efficient device compared to the original Switch. It's also possible that this device could feature higher resolution than the original Switch. This hypothetical console will probably be marketed towards serious gamers who want a more intense experience. There is no official release for this device and no official confirmation that it's even being worked on. We'll provide updates as we learn more.

Improvements for future versions of the Nintendo Switch

While the Nintendo Switch has definitely been a successful console, there are still quite a few things we think Nintendo could improve upon. With any luck, we'll get to see some of these improvements in future versions of the Nintendo Switch.

Longer battery life. It's likely fans will never be happy with the battery life of an unplugged gaming system. Even though the Switch can last up to three hours on a full charge, it's still frustrating to have the low battery symbol turn on at an inconvenient moment, like when you're on a plane or when the power goes out in your house. For now, the best way to combat a low battery is to use a portable battery charger.

Better resolution. Compared to Sony and Microsoft's newest consoles, which have the ability to support 4K HD resolution, the Switch's resolution capability is behind the curve. Granted, when docked the Switch can support up to 1080p, but, when undocked, it's only 720p (which is lower than most modern smartphones). Nintendo's cartoony style doesn't call for crisp resolution, but some more serious Switch games, including some ports, could benefit from greater details. With any luck, we'll see higher resolution capabilities in Nintendo's new Switch versions.

A better stand. The measly little stand on the back of the Switch doesn't stabilize the console very well unless it's placed on a flat, unmoving, and even surface — not something you always come across when playing on-the-go. Additionally, it can be darn near impossible to dig the stand out of the backside of the Switch. Obviously, you don't want a stand that comes loose and flaps about easily, but there has to be a better design option out there. Perhaps a stand that goes along the entire backside of the console?

No more Joy-Con glitches. Over the past couple of years, many gamers have experienced problems with their Joy-Cons either refusing to connect or disconnecting mid-gameplay. Hopefully, Nintendo has been able to work out these kinks and can provide newer versions with fewer Joy-Con problems.

More Joy-Con colors. While the initial gray, Neon Red, and Neon Blue colors are decent, we're surprised more options haven't made their way onto the market. Sure, there are a few other color options, like the Neon Pink, Neon Green, or Neon Yellow Joy-Cons, but we'd like to see more colors. Including Joy-Con sets where both controllers are the same color. Maybe something with less neon?

What are you most excited about?

Are you going to purchase the new Nintendo Switch Lite? Sound off in the comments below.

Updated August 27, 2019: Added information about speakers and microSD card slot.

Budget Switch

Nintendo Switch Lite

Light and portable

The Nintendo Switch Lite is a great, lightweight, budget-friendly Switch console with built-in controllers and a longer battery life. Pre-order it now.

Get More Switch

Nintendo Switch

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