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Nintendo Switch Lite Mega FAQ

by Daniel VuckovicSeptember 15, 2019

There’s a new Nintendo system on the way, one that’s more familiar than ever. But we do this every time, so here we go again. Here’s our Mega FAQ with everything you need to know about the Nintendo Switch Lite.

The Nintendo Switch Lite is out in Australia and worldwide on September 20th.

The Nintendo Switch Lite is a new form-factor of the Nintendo Switch you know and love. At its core, it’s essentially the same console as before, but with a focus on handheld gameplay. This means, unlike the original Switch model, you can only play the Lite in handheld mode. It doesn’t connect to a TV, nor can you remove the controls – it’s all-in-one.

Before we continue we’ll be mentioning three Switch models in this guide, the original model released in 2017, the newer ‘Red Box’ Switch model with longer battery life and this model – the Lite.

The Nintendo Switch Lite is just that. It’s smaller and lighter compared to the original Nintendo Switch. This also means the screen is smaller, from 6.2 inches on the original down to 5.5 inches. It remains at 720p, the same resolution as before.

Remarkably, even though it’s smaller, the battery life is even longer than the original Switch model, and it’s only just behind the new red box model.

The longer battery life comes from efficiencies in a newer version of the same chip from the original Switch. There are some changes with performance in some games, but they’re really small and ‘performance’ really should be a non-factor in your purchasing decision.

Nintendo uses Breath of the Wild, one of the more intensive Switch games as a benchmark so battery life will vary between games. Smaller titles with 2D graphics will naturally last longer than Breath of the Wild and even more intense games like Doom and Wolfenstein may last even less.

Here’s what Nintendo says;

The Nintendo Switch Lite is available in three colours, Turquoise, Yellow and Grey. All of the consoles have the same button colours and the colour extends around the back.

There is also a special edition Pokemon Sword and Shield version coming later on November 8th. Expect to see a bunch of different limited editions for this one.

The retail price for the Nintendo Switch Lite in Australia is $329AUD. The original Switch launched for $469AUD, and the new red box Switch is around that same price now.

We’ve seen the Switch for $399 in Australia for some months now, we’re one of the few countries on the globe to see the price move by such an amount. So it might not seem a lot cheaper but like the original Switch, we suspect we’ll see this one well below $329 leading into launch.

We’ll have our full bargain guide for that up shortly.

What’s Removed?

  • Can’t be connected to the TV (handheld only)
  • Some games that require Joy-Con controls won’t be playable out of the box with the Lite. You’ll be able to connect Joy-Con to the Switch Lite wirelessly as you can now with the original models.
  • No kickstand, although the Switch Adjustable Charging Stand will work with it.
  • No HD Rumble or IR Sensor
  • No auto-brightness sensor
  • Obviously, if the analog sticks suffer ‘drift’ or any issues – you’ll need to send the entire thing into Nintendo

What’s the same?

  • The operating system will operate essentially the same
  • Same 32GB of internal space + microSD slot

What’s added?

  • Better battery over the original Switch model, just less than the red box model.

You can transfer between Switch consoles, and since the Switch Lite is basically the same software wise as the original Switch models the process here will be the same.

You’ll need both consoles in your possession, both of them must be above firmware 4.0.0 and a whole bunch other things all have to line. Rather than re-write everything, here are Nintendo’s instructions.

This process transfers only the profile you select, and the save data. To transfer games you’ll need to move your microSD card to the new console.

So you want to leave your original Switch at home to play on the TV, and take your Lite on the road. Maybe you want the kids at home to play on the original while you sit on the couch with the Lite. This is all possible, but there’s a couple of things to consider.

There are some restrictions, you can’t play on the same account at the same time on two different consoles — and if you’re logged in on a secondary console, you have to be connected to the internet to play your own content. That might be a little annoying for people who like to play on the go, but hey! That’s how it works on PlayStation 4 too, so it’s something.

You (and a friend or family member) can even play the same game on both consoles at the same time, as long as your friend or family member plays on the primary console on a different account. You’ll have to play on the secondary on your own account. You can even play together, but only over the internet — local wireless breaks the internet connection.

This is probably something you’ll really need to figure out yourself. But you should ask yourself a few questions at least.

  • Do I already have a Switch?
    • Why would I change to this one, do I never play on the TV?
    • Do I just want more battery life? Maybe I could just get the newer SKU?
  • This is my first Switch…
    • Will I be playing this in the house or out and about?
    • If I’m only playing it in the house, do I even need to play it on the TV?

If you just play at home, docked on the TV – well obviously you can’t use the Lite. If you want the flexibility – get the original Switch. If you just play portable, maybe you’re looking at a 3DS replacement – you’ll probably want the Lite.

If you’re completely new to the Nintendo Switch you might want to read our original Nintendo Switch Mega FAQ. It’s mostly up-to-date and should get you most of the way to knowing everything you need to know.

Guide last updated: August 25th

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About The Author
Daniel Vuckovic
The Owner and Creator of this fair website. I also do news, reviews, programming, art and social media here. It is named after me after all.Please understand.
  • Optimus
    September 15, 2019 at 7:37 pm

    You could at least give credit to Digital Foundry for linking their video for the battery tests.

  • Silly G
    September 16, 2019 at 1:02 pm

    One workaround concerning the kickstand is that one can opt for any of the separate stands that are available for the standard Switch (the Lite would surely sit quite comfortably on one of those). Ironically, emulating the tabletop experience while out and about will require a separate stand and a separate pair of Joy-Con or a Pro Controller, which would ultimately negate the compactness that the Lite is intended to provide. Plus, considering that I occasionally experience eyestrain while playing in tabletop mode (when detail or text on the screen is too small from a distance), I imagine that such occurrences would be a lot worse if trying to emulate tabletop mode with the Lite.

    Either way, it’s nice to have options, and to give consumers choice, particularly if they do not need the additional functionality that add to the overall cost of the Switch. Personally, I would love to see a “docked only” Switch. Such a console would be a lot cheaper to manufacture as it won’t need to be built into the tight form factor of the standard Switch, nor would it require the screen/touch screen/battery/Joy-Con and everything else that adds to the cost of the console. Nintendo could easily spruik a “docked only” Switch (Switch Home?) as an entry-level home console that could easily rival its contemporaries in terms of the cost of production. I imagine that they could easily sell such a console for AU$200, or perhaps AU$250 with a controller and/or pack-in title. The best part of all is that one won’t have to worry about children (or irresponsible adults :P) potentially dropping the dock and worse, damaging the console itself.

    A docked-only Switch should also support external hard drives instead of microSD cards in order to make digital gaming more affordable (though cartridges should still be supported for those who prefer tangible ownership of their games).

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