Skip to main content

The Nintendo Switch Lite cannot output to a TV – even with hacks and mods

(Image credit: TechRadar)

If you've been thinking, "I know, I'm going to buy a Nintendo Switch Lite, even if it doesn't let me play on a big TV screen – it's cheaper, and someone will mod it to make it possible later down the line," well, think again.

It's actually impossible for the Nintendo Switch Lite to output any type of video, and not just because it lacks the original's dock accessory.

Following a complete teardown of the console, YouTuber Jonathan Downey of Spawn Wave explained that "there's nothing there to interpret and put out any type of video".

Check out the full video below:

Smaller battery, same sticks

"It appears that the hardware that is needed does not exist on the board, which is a semiconductor that's required to interpret video," Downey reveals.

"There's nothing there to interpret and put out any type of video.

"So, unfortunately, for anyone who's wondering if that would ever be possible if it gets hacked or something down the road, it does not appear to be the case from what I'm seeing."

The teardown also reveals that the Switch Lite retains the same Joy-Con sticks as those found in the classic model, even though the Joy-Cons themselves are no longer removable. 

This may worry those who have experienced the Joy-Con-drift issue of the older hardware. The battery is also slightly smaller than that of the original Switch, though with a smaller screen and a more efficient chipset, that's unlikely to matter much.

The lack of, er... switchability aside, we really enjoyed the new console in our Nintendo Switch Lite review. If you're after a compact handheld, and really never intend to play on a TV screen, it's a winner at its price.