(Pocket-lint) - Nintendo has introduced a new member of the Switch console family: the Nintendo Switch Lite.

It is designed to be a more affordable, handheld-only alternative to the existing Nintendo Switch, but play all the same games. And, now it is available in stores.

So, here is everything you need to know about the Switch Lite, including price, specifications and more.


What is the Nintendo Switch Lite?

The Nintendo Switch Lite is the latest addition to the Switch range, to complement rather than replace the existing console.

It is cheaper, smaller and handheld-only, which means it will not plug into a dock or connect to a TV.

As well as size, the main difference between the Switch Lite and main model is that its Joy-Con controllers are attached to the sides. They cannot be removed, nor used as motion controllers or separate mini-gamepads.

That means not every Switch game will work on the new console. Most will, but only those that work in handheld mode and do not primarily rely on motion control (such as 1-2-Switch).

You also cannot use the Switch Lite display with a kickstand for multiple players to crowd around when out and about. Indeed, it doesn't even come with a kickstand.

Instead, the new console is seen as a fun and simple handheld gaming machine to effectively replace the 3DS/2DS, yet with 720p graphics and the ability to play the latest games.

Is it the fabled Nintendo Switch 2?

No. Rumours on a Nintendo Switch 2 have always pointed to two new models coming in 2019 or beyond: a cheaper Nintendo Switch Mini - the Lite, basically - and a seperate upgrade to the existing Switch that will come with enhancements.

It is still thought the latter is on the cards, although it is now far less likely to also make an appearance this Will year.


Will the Switch Lite play all Nintendo Switch games?

As we've stated above, the Nintendo Switch Lite will play all games that work in handheld mode but won't necessarily be able to play everything in the current or future catalogue.

That's because its controllers are not detachable, unlike the main Switch. And, any game that requires the use of multiple Joy-Cons or motion controls will not be playable on Switch Lite.

That still leaves a might list of existing and future games though.

Nintendo Switch Lite specifications

Although the Switch Lite is cut down in size and is restricted to handheld play only, it is still as capably specced on the inside as its older sibling.

  • CPU/GPU: Custom Nvidia Tegra processing
  • RAM: Thought to be 4GB like the Switch, but unconfirmed
  • Storage: 32GB - upgradeable by microSD card
  • Connections: Wi-Fi (802.11ac), Bluetooth 4.1, NFC, USB-C (charging-enabled)
  • Touchscreen: 5.5-inches, 1280x720 resolution, LCD
  • Speakers: Stereo
  • Battery: 3,570mAh - can last up to six hours with three hours charging time from flat to full
  • Measures: 91.1 x 208 x 13.9mm
  • Weight: 275g

Colours and models

The Nintendo Switch Lite is available in three colour options: yellow, grey or turquoise.

Special edition models will also be made available, with the first being a Pokemon Nintendo Switch Lite Zacian and Zamazenta Edition that will be on limited sale from 8 November 2019.


The Nintendo Switch Lite price, release date and deals

The Nintendo Switch Lite launched in multiple countries around the world on 20 September 2019. You will have to wait until 8 November for the special edition Zacian and Zamazentra model (featured above). 

It costs £199.99 in the UK, $199.99 in the US - including the Pokemon special edition model. The grey, yellow and turquoise models are available from numerous retailers in your location. While you can pre-order the Pokemon variants now. 

Considering the standard Switch is $299.99 in the States and £279.99 in the UK, the £199/$199 price point is definitely kinder to your pocket.

You can find out more information on the official Nintendo websites for the UK and US here.

Writing by Rik Henderson.