Nintendo has announced the Nintendo Switch Lite: a dedicated portable version of the regular Nintendo Switch. This new system cuts some pretty big features in exchange for a major price cut.
The Nintendo Switch Lite is essentially a regular Nintendo Switch that has the Joy-Cons connected to the system, and lacks the ability to connect to a dock in order to broadcast to a television set. The Nintendo Switch Lite lacks some of the features of the regular Joy-Cons, such as the IR motion camera and the HD Rumble. In addition, the directional buttons on the left side of the system have been swapped out for a D-Pad. The Nintendo Switch Lite also appears to be missing the kickstand, so say goodbye to tabletop mode.
The loss of some of the extra Joy-Con features means that certain games will be unplayable on the Nintendo Switch Lite without purchasing a separate set of Joy-Cons. Some notable examples include 1-2 Switch, Snipperclips, and Super Mario Party. That said, the majority of the Nintendo Switch library should still work fine with the Lite, so long as you don't care about the local multiplayer aspect of the two Joy-Cons.
The Nintendo Switch Lite will come in three colors at launch: grey, turquoise, and yellow. It's only missing a maroon color in order to complete the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine theme set. The official Nintendo website also has a limited edition Zacian and Zamazenta Nintendo Switch Lite, which is based on the cover Legendary Pokémon of Pokémon Sword & Shield and has blue and red buttons on either side of the system.
The benefit of purchasing a Nintendo Switch Lite is the lower price point, as the official Nintendo store lists the base unit (without any games) as costing $199.99, while a base Nintendo Switch unit (without any games) costs $299.99. This is a pretty significant price cut, especially in the run-up to the 2019 holiday season and the impending release of Pokémon Sword & Shield.
It was easy to predict that Nintendo would release a cheaper model of the Nintendo Switch that lacked some of the features of the original, as they did the same thing with the Nintendo 3DS and the 2DS. It seems that Nintendo is launching the cheaper handheld system in preparation for Pokémon Sword & Shield and Animal Crossing: New Horizons in 2020, as those series are associated with handheld systems. People who are only interested in those titles might find the cheaper unit more appealing.
The Nintendo Switch Lite will be available on September 20, 2019.