There’s a brand new Swap on the way in which, and it’s an entire lot smaller. Immediately Nintendo revealed the Swap Lite, designed as a cheaper different to the unique pill / console hybrid. It is available in at $199 — $100 lower than the bottom unit — and for that value you get a streamlined model of the Swap, but additionally a couple of caveats. The Swap Lite is designed explicitly as a handheld: you possibly can’t join it to your TV, and the Pleasure-Con controllers are constructed proper in. “The 2 programs will complement one another and co-exist within the market,” Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser tells The Verge.

There are a variety of enhancements with the Swap Lite. It’s considerably lighter, for one factor; I performed with one for round 20 minutes, and the distinction was noticeable, notably while you choose up an unique Swap afterwards. The Swap Lite additionally feels extra sturdy because the Pleasure-Con controllers are actually a part of the gadget. The controller format is essentially equivalent on the Lite, although the brand new Swap has a correct d-pad, changing the not-so-precise directional buttons on the unique.

Nintendo says the Lite options “barely” improved battery life — the corporate wouldn’t get any extra particular than that — on account of a extra power-efficient chip format, in addition to the dearth of further batteries within the built-in controllers. The Swap Lite additionally does away with the gadget’s controversial kickstand.

It’s additionally only a very nice piece of {hardware}. The Lite is available in a number of colours at launch — yellow, gray, and turquoise — in addition to a particular gentle gray Pokémon Sword and Protect version, and so they all have a pleasing matte texture that feels nice to carry. And whereas the display screen is barely smaller, it didn’t hassle me a lot throughout intense battles in Breath of the Wild. (Regardless of the change in measurement, the decision for the Swap Lite’s show stays the identical 720p as the unique Swap, although curiously you possibly can now not regulate the brightness.)

The brand new gadget has a 5.5-inch contact show, in comparison with 6.2-inch for its predecessor. If you happen to take a single Pleasure-Con off of an unique Swap, you’ll have a good suggestion of the dimensions of the brand new model. There are another good touches as effectively, like bezels and an air vent that match the colour of the {hardware}, in order that they mix in higher. Total it’s a strong gadget, and precisely what you’d count on from this sort of refresh.

The smaller iteration of the Swap has been rumored for a while, together with reviews {that a} extra highly effective model of the console was on the way in which. In accordance with Nintendo’s Bowser, the choice to deal with a portable-only choice was based mostly on watching how folks used the Swap. “It’s extra about how we’ve noticed them taking part in,” he says of the console’s viewers. “We now have the power to trace how folks play video games and play our titles, so I’d say that it’s actually an choice that provides extra selections to folks.”

However that new design does include some tradeoffs. Probably the most notable is the shortcoming to connect with a tv; that flexibility has been a big a part of the Swap’s enchantment. Equally, the built-in controls and their lack of removable controllers, HD rumble, and IR sensors creates some small compatibility points. If you wish to use movement controls to catch monsters in Pokémon Let’s Go, or play a sport like 1-2 Swap that requires them, you’ll must buy an extra pair of Pleasure-Con individually. Presently, all Swap sport packages specify when titles are playable in moveable mode, and Nintendo says related labels shall be utilized to the digital eShop. If you happen to try to buy a sport that’s incompatible with the Swap Lite from the eShop, the corporate says you’ll obtain a warning.

Nintendo Switch Lite

Other than the brand new design and people few adjustments, the Swap Lite and the unique Swap are largely equivalent. Nintendo says there’s no efficiency distinction between the 2 fashions, and you may nonetheless use the identical equipment with the Lite, together with Pleasure-Con controllers, the Swap Professional Controller, and the Poké Ball Plus. The Swap Lite nonetheless helps Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC, and has built-in gyro controls.

Since its debut in March 2017, Nintendo has offered simply shy of 35 million Swap models worldwide. Bowser says the timing of the redesigned Swap Lite is supposed to capitalize on that preliminary success, and it must be bolstered by upcoming vacation video games like Pokémon Sword and Protect and The Legend of Zelda: Hyperlink’s Awakening.

“We consider the timing is true when we’ve got momentum,” Bowser explains. “That is the proper alternative for us to supply extra selections, and to deliver extra customers into Nintendo Swap within the third 12 months. While you tie that with the software program that we simply introduced at E3, we’ve acquired an ideal alternative as we head into the vacation.”

The Nintendo Swap Lite is launching on September 20th — the identical day as Hyperlink’s Awakening — for $199.99. The Pokémon model shall be out on November eighth on the similar value.

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