Last week, Ars Technica was invited to a brief hands-on session with the Switch Lite, the $200, portable-only version of the Switch due next month. After spending an hour playing around with the device, we can confirm that it is definitely a smaller version of the Switch, with all that implies and entails.

That means the system feels a bit better in your hands, both in terms of weight—the Lite is about a quarter-pound (113g) lighter than the 0.88lb (400g) original—and in how the system rests cradles in the crook of your palms, thanks in large part to its shorter height). The controls, which are no longer detachable on the Light, feel a little more solid than the original Switch Joy-Cons, which have a tendency to rattle around slightly in their housing with heavy use.

The buttons and sticks on the Switch Lite maintain the same comfortable size and positioning as the original Switch, for the most part. The main difference is the addition of a d-pad on the left side, replacing the four separate directional face buttons on the standard Joy-Cons. This d-pad should feel completely familiar to anyone who's ever played another Nintendo system, and it makes pulling off quick directional changes or diagonal button holds in games like Super Mario Maker 2 feel a bit more natural.

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