On Wednesday, Nintendo announced its long-awaited and rumored Switch Lite, a $200 console like the normal Nintendo Switch, except it can’t “switch,” meaning it’s handheld only and can’t be docked into a TV. It’s basically the upgrade Nintendo 3DS obsessors have been waiting for. The Switch Lite seems to be attacking a different market to make a cheaper console for those desiring just the handheld experience and on-the-go gaming.
The controllers don’t detach as well, meaning it’s a single-player console. The Switch Lite knocks out a few features from the beloved Nintendo Switch, but it’s a perfect design that still brings that handheld power Nintendo always seems to get right as the years go by. If you already own a normal Nintendo Switch, they might not be targeting you. It’s essentially the same beast with fewer components. The Switch Lite will run Legend of Zelda or Mario Kart just as well as the normal Nintendo Switch, but it’s limited in terms of how you play it between the two consoles. Nintendo says the some of the more famous multiplayer games in their discography, such as Smash Bros. Ultimate and Mario Party, won’t be as popular on the Switch Lite for obvious reasons, but will rather attack the more single-player RPG market harder, with games such as Pokémon Sword and Shield and Animal Crossing.
According to The Verge, Nintendo president Doug Bowser said that “the two systems will complement each other and co-exist in the marketplace.” Bowser went on to say that they observed their numbers, and the decision to make a cheaper, reduced Switch was base on the fact that they “observed [Switch owners] playing.” Shigeru Miyamoto, game designer for Nintendo said, “our ultimate ambition is for a Nintendo Switch to be owned not just by every family, but by every single person.” He goes on saying, “the biggest attraction of Nintendo Switch is that the console can be carried around and used easily for competitive gameplay via local wireless connection,” according to The Verge.
With the Switch Lite announced and said to be released this September, there were earlier reports back in March saying that Nintendo was planning on releasing two different variations of the Switch in the coming years. A cheaper, more viable option, and a more enhanced version of the Switch, perhaps a Switch Pro.
— IGN (@IGN) July 12, 2019
The normal Nintendo Switch costs $300, and the new Switch Lite costs $199. There is an open market in the $400 range for a new, more powerful Switch console that could include better storage, better battery life, a better screen, a stronger kickstand and maybe support for Bluetooth audio headphones.