Rumors had been swirling for quite some time now that a potential “Nintendo Switch Mini” was in the works. Today those rumors were confirmed when Nintendo officially unveiled the Switch Lite handheld gaming system, slated to launch Sept. 20 at a suggested retail price of $199.99 -- $100 less than the original. The Switch Lite will come in three standard colors: yellow, gray, turquoise, and for a limited time, a Pokémon-themed design will also be available
"We believe the two systems will complement each other and coexist in the market," Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser said in a conversation with CNET, distinguishing the Lite as a "compact, lightweight, dedicated gaming device."
As its name alludes, the Switch Lite will be smaller than its predecessor, and will forgo the capability to “switch” between play modes. While the name sounds like a bit of an oxymoron, Bowser says, “now consumers can choose the system that best suits how they like to play their favorite Nintendo Switch games.”
Since the Switch Lite won’t support video output to a TV, the device will not include a dock or HDMI cable. All handheld-mode games can be accessed within the Nintendo Switch library. Switch Lite owners can still use tabletop games but will need to wirelessly connect separate Joy-Con controllers. Nintendo admitted that some games will have restrictions, but said a warning will pop up in the eShop prior to purchase.
Bowser also addressed concerns about how the Switch Lite would affect the 3DS line. He said that Nintendo has no intentions of ending support for the 3DS, despite the onset of the Switch Lite. “We’ll continue to support our 3DS family of systems as long as there is demand,” Bowser said. But many E3 attendees couldn’t help but notice the absence of the 3DS at Nintendo's booth this year. Bowser claims that this was the case because there were “no games to announced on the 3DS” and that the focus was on the Nintendo Switch. So until the Switch drops down to about $100, there’s no reason for Nintendo to say goodbye to the 3DS just yet.