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Non-switchable Nintendo Switch Lite handheld confirmed

Nintendo brings us the first official look at the long-rumoured Nintendo Switch Lite.

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Nintendo Switch Lite turqoise

Nintendo brings us the first official look at the long-rumoured Nintendo Switch Lite.

The internet is today abuzz with people making fun of, or complaining at, Nintendo.

“How can it be a Nintendo Switch when you can’t switch between modes?” They scoff.

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“Why would anybody want one of these rather than a full-fat Switch?” The whining continues.

Allow us to handle all those queries and more for you, Nintendo: Not everything is for everyone! And if it’s not for you? Stop complaining, you bloody ingrates. (The invoice for our PR services will be in the post, Doug.)

The Nintendo Switch Lite – priced at $199 US, and set to be released on September 20, 2019 – and it’s a Nintendo Switch, just different.

For starters, it’s smaller than the original Nintendo Switch. Try taking one of the JoyCon off your Switch, and that should give you a good handle on the size. That means the screen is smaller, too – a 5.5″ capacitive touch screen, in place of the original’s 6.2″ screen – but it’s still the same 720p resolution, and games will look very crisp on an even smaller panel.

The Nintendo Switch Lite also doesn’t have detachable JoyCon controllers. They’re built right there into the body of the handheld which should make them feel more solid, and they feature a proper D-pad, which is a nice bonus. The fixed controllers do sacrifice HD rumble, though – one of the OG Switch’s best features – but the removal of these motors (and the requirement for additional, individual controller batteries) will reduce the weight of the Switch Lite down to around 285g. The original Switch tips the scales at 400g, for reference.

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Also, it’s flipping adorable. There’s a hint of the GameBoy Color about it, combined with the DS Lite, and a heavy splash of PS Vita. It just looks great, especially in those new colours; presumably more will be available over the life of the Switch Lite.

Nintendo Switch Lite yellow

So the Nintendo Switch Lite might not be for everyone. But do you know who it is for? Kids. People with small hands. Anyone who finds the original Switch heavy playing in handheld mode for extended periods. People who never play the Switch docked/only want a handheld. People who travel a lot. People who can’t afford a higher-priced console. Emerging markets.

There’s probably even a case for having the Nintendo Switch Lite as a second household console, maybe for the kids. Or for use exclusively on the commute, given just how excellent its portability credentials look. But Nintendo will need to sort out the issues around cross-saves and one account on multiple Switches before that’s truly viable.

They’ve got two months to sort it out, when the Nintendo Switch Lite launches on September 20.

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Tom is an itinerant freelance technology writer who found a home as an Editor with Thumbsticks. Powered by coffee, RPGs, and local co-op.