The Nintendo Switch Lite is an eighth-generation handheld gaming system developed by Nintendo in 2019, and is a smaller and lighter version of the mainstream Nintendo Switch.

The Switch Lite lacks detachable Joy-Cons and can't be docked into a TV, thus making it more suitable for play on the go and also serves as a more affordable option to gaming consumers. As it is a fully-fledged handheld console, it can be considered as a successor of sorts to the 3DS platform although the latter is still on the market.

The console was announced in a trailer by Yoshiaki Koizumi on July 10th, 2019 before being released a couple of months later. It is available in an exotic range of yellow, turquoise and grey paint jobs, and is marketed at $200 dollars or the regional equivalent.

Hardware differences

Unlike the original Nintendo Switch, the Nintendo Switch Lite cannot connect to a TV. The console has a smaller screen, allowing it to be taken on the go easier. There are no detachable Joy-Cons, as they are integrated into the system. Additionally, instead of arrow buttons, there is a D-pad instead. The IR Motion Camera and HD rumble features from the Nintendo Switch have also been removed.

Due to this, games which require motion controls (such as 1-2-Switch and Super Mario Party) require an extra set of Joy-Cons to work. The device reportedly has a better battery life, having 4-7 hours versus the 3-6 hours of the original Nintendo Switch, but the revised models of the original platform have since been tweaked with an even battery life.


Other than the omissions of TV docking feature, the Switch Lite uses a largely similar arrangement and layout of buttons as its mainstream Switch counterpart. Switch Lite specifications

The game card slot, audio jack, volume and power buttons are located along the top with the Z buttons tucked just behind the R and L. The bottom edge includes a USB connector for the AC adapter and a microSD slot.

Incompatible games/add-ons

Out of the box, this smaller and cheaper version of the Switch cannot play games that require motion controls or do not support handheld mode. The Switch is still capable of playing these games, but it will require buying an extra set of Joy-Cons.  None of the Nintendo Labo kits are compatible either. Some games also lose some optional features that the IR Sensor and HD Rumble gave, most notably the motion controls and HD Rumble in Super Mario Odyssey

Game Attachment Needed
A Joy-Con controller

(will need two or four if playing with friends)

2x Joy-Con controllers

Special editions

Switch Lite Pokemon

Zacian & Zamazenta

A special edition paint job dedicated to Zacian and Zamazenta, creatures of the upcoming Pokémon Sword and Shield game, is arranged for a release on November 8th of 2019 a week in advance before the launch of the official game. However, these units will not be bundled with the game.

It comes in a light grey colour scheme with a splash of pink and blue for the buttons, and also includes a faint sketch of the creatures' artworks on the back cover.


  • The original Nintendo DS system released back in 2004 also had its equivalent 'Lite' version.
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