PAX West 2019: Here’s a Quick Look at the Nintendo Switch Lite

After months and months of rumors that Nintendo was going to release some sort of hardware revision of their mega successful hybrid console the Switch, they finally did officially announce the Switch Lite back in July. It’s in a slightly smaller form factor than the OG Switch, and more importantly it does not have detachable Joy-Con controllers and instead is housed in a plastic body that’s all one piece. This means it can ONLY be played in handheld mode; no docking to a TV, no tabletop mode. On the one hand, many people I see predominantly play their Switch in handheld mode anyway, so losing those features is no big loss. On the other hand, the ability to “switch" is literally the entire core design of the Switch, so it’s kind of odd to remove those core features.

Anyway, I’ve been perfectly happy with my launch Switch and while the Lite model does seem tempting with its slightly smaller footprint, I didn’t think it was enough to make me want to go out and buy a whole new console. But they have the Switch Lite on display here at PAX West 2019, and well, these suckers are absolutely beautiful in person. Something I never considered is that since the Switch Lite has a slightly smaller screen than the normal model, its pixel density is actually considerably higher, and it’s really striking how sharp and vibrant everything looks running on the Switch Lite screen. I tried to capture what I’m talking about below but I’m not sure how well the effect of the new screen comes through over video. Regardless, check out a brief look at the new models below and the Switch Lite is available for pre-order all over the place right now including on Amazon and is set to launch later this month on September 20th.