After months of rumors, the Nintendo Switch Lite was revealed earlier today. The system is indeed handheld-only, which goes in the opposite direction of the hybrid functionality of the original Switch. With that being the case, the question comes up: “Why was this made?”
In an article from The Verge, Nintendo fo America president Doug Bowser explained why the company made the decision to introduce a handheld-only model. He didn’t dive into too many details, but basically said that the decision was made based on observing how Switch owners have been playing.
“It’s more about how we’ve observed them playing. We have the ability to track how people play games and play our titles, so I would say that it’s really an option that offers more choices to people.”
Details in the data
Back in late October 2017 during an investor’s briefing, Nintendo released hard data which showed the playing trends of Switch owners from Japan, US, and Europe. At that time, the data showed the majority of Switch owners played almost equally between docked and handheld mode. However, handheld mode came out on top as the single-most used mode of the Switch. That being said, it seems like Nintendo saw this as an indicator that a handheld-only Switch model would be the best option for boosting sales.
The Nintendo Switch Lite will go on sale on September 20, 2019, for $199.99.