Today, Nintendo announced a long-rumoured console addition to the Switch family, the Nintendo Switch Lite. This new version sees the company focus the design towards handheld gaming, and as such the overall form factor has now changed. This means that the Nintendo Switch Lite won’t be compatible with the Labo Kit series, so there’s no virtual reality (VR) compatibility.
Several sites were given access to the new console and CNET confirmed the device won’t be Labo compatible ‘because it’s a completely different size.’ Unlike the original Nintendo Switch which comes supplied with a dock so owners can choose to play on a TV, removing the Joy-Con controllers in the process, the Nintendo Switch Lite doesn’t feature that functionality.
A complete single body system, the Nintendo Switch Lite features a smaller 5.5-inch touchscreen with the same resolution as the original (which has a 6.2-inch screen). So if you own any Labo kit there’s no using it on both devices. They’ll be sold alongside each other, with the Nintendo Switch Lite retailing from $199 USD when it arrives on 20th September 2019, offering a cheaper entry point for Nintendo fans.
Due to the lack of detachable controllers – which also means the loss of rumble and the IR sensor – only handheld-mode-capable Switch titles will work (shown on the back of each case), so videogames like 1-2 Switch will need additional Joy-Con controllers.
The Nintendo Labo: VR Kit is the latest addition to the cardboard peripheral series, featuring six buildable devices offering a range of VR experiences. The VR Goggles is the core part of the kit, and the component the Nintendo Switch slides into. The Joy-Con controllers would then attach for particular games or be located in other parts of the cardboard construct to facilitate certain gameplay characteristics.
It’s unclear at present whether Nintendo plans on releasing new Labo sets specifically for the Nintendo Switch Lite – which it would need to do – or if it has no intentions due to the handheld focused design on the console. Whatever the case, Nintendo seems to still have an interest in VR thanks to a recent comment by Shigeru Miyamoto. If anything VR related happens, VRFocus will let you know.