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The Nintendo Switch Lite offers handheld gaming at lower cost

Impressions indicate the budget-minded handheld is still worth checking out.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is shown running on a yellow handheld-only Nintendo Switch Lite. Screenshot

SALT LAKE CITY — Nintendo’s Switch Lite handheld is a few weeks away from its Sept. 20 release date, but early impressions indicate the video game system is a solid piece of tech — even if it abandons the original system’s killer feature.

According to Kotaku, the new, colorful handheld provides access to Nintendo Switch games on the go — and that’s about it. The Switch Lite also has a slightly longer battery life than the original Switch, which generally lasts about two to three hours on a single charge.

Gizmodo also reports the system drops the original model’s ability to output to a TV or remove the Joy-Con controllers, but it does feature a smaller, more ergonomic form factor. I previously wrote for Deseret News that the system also abandons Nintendo’s HD Rumble technology, which provides varying levels of vibration depending on in-game events.

The Switch Lite features crisper graphics at the same 720p resolution, thanks to a smaller screen size, which The Verge indicates is 5.5 inches versus the original system’s 6.2-inch display. The outer shell also features several different colors — turquoise, yellow and gray — instead of the original Switch’s black plastic.

While the system’s controllers can’t be disconnected, the Hollywood Reporter notes the Switch lite features a traditional directional pad, which will likely make some games — like platformers or role-playing games — easier to play.

However, a Nintendo representative also confirmed to the Verge that the Switch Lite uses the same buttons and sticks as the regular Joy-Cons, so it remains to be seen whether or not controller drift will become a problem.

Overall, it seems like the Nintendo Switch Lite isn’t meant to be a replacement for the original system. Instead, it’s targeted at children and budget-minded gamers — the newer hardware costs $199, which is $100 cheaper than the base Switch hardware, GameSpot notes.