Nintendo Switch Lite
Pokémon Sword and Shield edition
|Also known as||MH (code name)|
|Product family||Nintendo Switch family|
|Type||Handheld game console|
|Release date||September 20, 2019|
|Units shipped||13.53 million (as of December 31, 2020[update])|
|Operating system||Nintendo Switch system software|
|System on a chip||Nvidia Tegra X1+–based|
|CPU||ARM Quad-core Cortex-A57 + ARM quad-core Cortex-A53 @ 1.02 GHz|
|Memory||4 GB LPDDR4|
|Storage||32 GB eMMC|
|Removable storage||microSD/HC/XC (up to 2 TB)|
|Display||5.5-inch, 1280 × 720p LCD (267 ppi)|
|Graphics||Nvidia GM20B Maxwell-based GPU @ 307.2–768 MHz|
|Sound||Linear PCM 2.0 ch stereo speakers (with pseudo-surround)|
|Current firmware||11.0.1, as of December 10, 2020|
|Mass||277 g (9.8 oz)|
|Predecessor||New Nintendo 3DS, New Nintendo 2DS XL|
|Related articles||Nintendo Switch|
The Nintendo Switch Lite[a] is a handheld game console by Nintendo. It was released on September 20, 2019, as a handheld-only version of the Nintendo Switch. It plays most of the same games as the original Nintendo Switch and comes in five colors. The Nintendo Switch Lite was unveiled on July 10, 2019 and was known in development by its codename MH.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Nintendo's goal with the Switch Lite was to produce a sub US$200 unit, aimed at casual gamers, to compete with gaming services that do not require a dedicated device. To achieve this, Nintendo aggressively negotiated on reduced prices from its component suppliers. Further, the Journal stated that Nintendo had gained Murata Manufacturing as a battery supplier in addition to TDK, to lower costs by causing competition between the two companies.
The Switch Lite is a single, handheld-only unit, integrating buttons and control sticks into the main unit's hardware in lieu of Joy-Con controllers, and uses a smaller 5.5 in (14 cm) screen. Because of the integrated controls, the Switch Lite is generally limited to games that can be played in handheld mode; while most games in the Nintendo Switch's library are compatible, some games, such as 1-2-Switch, require separate Joy-Con to be used.
The Switch Lite was announced on July 10, 2019, and launched worldwide on September 20, 2019 with an MSRP of US$199.99. It launched with three colors: yellow, grey, and turquoise. The system was promoted alongside The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, a remake of the 1993 Game Boy game. A special Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield branded version of the Switch Lite, themed around the Pokémon Zacian and Zamazenta, launched on November 8, 2019, a week before the game's release. A coral color was released on March 20, 2020 in Japan, and on April 3 in the rest of the world.
The Switch Lite is a single, self-contained unit, integrating the various inputs and some features of the Joy-Con controller as part of the main unit's hardware. A regular directional pad replaces the four directional buttons on the left side of the unit. The screen is smaller than the full-size Switch at 5.5 inches (14 cm). Overall, the unit is 3.6 by 8.2 inches (9.1 cm × 20.8 cm) and has a reduced weight of 0.61 pounds (280 g). The battery also has a slightly lower capacity, at 13.6 Wh/3570 mAh compared to the Switch's 16 Wh/4310 mAh. Despite the smaller battery, the unit has a longer expected playtime per charge compared to the original Switch model, estimated to last for 3–7 hours of gameplay compared to the 2.5–6.5 hours for the original Switch. This is due to the smaller screen size, the new die-shrunk 16 nm Tegra SoC and LPDDR4X being used in place of the 20 nm Tegra and LPDDR4, and the removal of certain power-consuming features such as HD Rumble and the IR camera that are included on regular Joy-Con controllers.
The Switch Lite normally only supports games that can be played in handheld mode, retaining features like the Switch's gyroscopic sensors, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and NFC compatibility. Some tabletop games that require the HD Rumble or IR camera features, such as 1-2-Switch, require players to use separate Joy-Con controllers with the Switch Lite. The system does not support any docking or connectivity to a television and is thus incompatible with games that require television mode. Players who attempt to purchase games that require television or tabletop mode via the eShop on the Switch Lite will be notified of the incompatibility. Though not included with the system, the Switch Lite does support external controllers otherwise compatible with standard Switch models, such as standalone Joy-Con controllers, though they cannot be docked to the system. Some controllers, such as GameCube controllers, work with the system, but require extra adapters, as the normal GameCube to Switch adapter uses the USB ports on the full-size Switch's dock.
The Verge rated the Nintendo Switch Lite 8 out of 10 points, praising its improved battery life over the standard Nintendo Switch as well as the design and the "excellent directional pad", criticizing the lack of a TV mode and the fact that some games are not compatible with the model. PC Magazine criticized the components used in the Switch Lite for their quality because just like the Joy-Cons of the original Nintendo Switch, the analog sticks of the console are also susceptible to drifting.
The Switch Lite had sold about 1.95 million units worldwide by September 30, 2019, only 10 days after its launch. As of 31 December 2020[update], the Nintendo Switch Lite had sold 13.53 million units worldwide.
Nintendo's president, Shuntaro Furukawa, said in the company's Q4 fiscal earnings report, ending December 21, 2019, that about 30% of the sales of the Switch Lite were from existing owners of the full-size Switch console, making the Lite a backup console for them. Furukawa also said that, for those purchasing their first Switch console, there was a higher percentage of women consumers that purchased the Lite compared to the full-size Switch console, and that Nintendo would increase production of the Lite for that market. Nintendo also announced a new color, coral, which came to the market on March 20, 2020.
- "Consolidated Financial Highlights - Q3 FY2021" (PDF). Nintendo. February 1, 2021. Retrieved February 1, 2021.
- Mochizuki, Takashi (September 20, 2019). "Nintendo Seeks to Sustain Switch Sales With Stripped-Down Console". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
- Faulkner, Cameron (August 5, 2019). "Nintendo Switch Lite FCC filings confirm a smaller battery, new processor, and Odin fixation". The Verge. Retrieved August 5, 2019.
- Rivera, Joshua (10 July 2019). "The Nintendo Switch Lite Is Getting A Lovely Pokémon Sword and Shield Edition". Kotaku. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
- Carpenter, Nicole (February 18, 2020). "A coral pink Nintendo Switch Lite is coming". Polygon. Retrieved March 14, 2020.
- Ashcraft, Brian (10 July 2019). "The Nintendo Switch Lite Will Be Released On September 20". Kotaku. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
- Webster, Andrew (10 July 2019). "Nintendo Switch Lite is a smaller, cheaper Switch built exclusively for handheld play". The Verge. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
- "Nintendo Support: How to Use the GameCube Controller With Nintendo Switch". en-americas-support.nintendo.com. Retrieved 2020-04-15.
- Wortiz (2019-09-21). "How To Connect Your GameCube Controller To The Nintendo Switch Lite". NintendoSoup. Retrieved 2020-04-15.
- "Nintendo Switch Lite review: a triumphant return to dedicated handhelds". www.theverge.com. Retrieved 2020-06-28.
- "Nintendo's Switch Lite Also Suffers From Joy-Con Drift". PCMAG. Retrieved 2020-06-28.
- "Consolidated Financial Highlights - Q2 FY2020" (PDF). Nintendo. October 31, 2019. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
- Carter, Chris (February 7, 2020). "Nintendo opens up about the Switch Lite and how it fits in their ecosystem". Destructoid. Retrieved February 7, 2020.
- England, Rachel (18 February 2020). "Nintendo unveils a coral-colored Switch Lite". engadget. Retrieved 18 February 2020.