The Switch Lite: It’s not the Original
Earlier last week, Nintendo revealed their newest upcoming console, the Nintendo Switch Lite. That’s right the Nintendo Switch Lite is a smaller, more portable Nintendo console compared to the original Switch, except with a few caveats. It’s coming to us on September 20 for $199. Well does the price match what Nintendo is giving its customers? We at Gaming Instincts will tell you about what we think about the new Nintendo Switch Lite!
What is it about?
To start off, it’s a Lite version of the switch. This would follow the footsteps of any handheld console that Nintendo released in the past such as the Game Boy Advance SP, DS Lite and the 2DS. Very similarly with some interesting improvements which can make the Switch Lite run more power efficiently. As opposed to the regular Switch’s 2.5 to 6.5-hour battery life, the Switch lite will give us 3 to 7 hours of playtime for the console. So as Nintendo says, it definitely focuses on the portable aspect of the Switch Lite. It’s smaller, might fit in your shirt pocket, and it comes in Yellow, Gray, and Blue. So it’s as colorful and is about as small as other Nintendo portable devices, so what’s the catch?
The Removal of Features
As you can see, the Switch Lite is pretty dang small, maybe compared to the full-sized Switch including the Joycons, it does compare pretty well in size. Well let’s think of it as a Smart Phone size-wise. If the console is smaller, wouldn’t some features have to be taken out? If we look at the DS Lite, it couldn’t play Game Boy Advance Games, if we look at the 2DS it has taken away the 3d feature to increase portability, so what about the Switch Lite?
Well compared to the regular Switch, it seems to be lacking in many of the original’s features. First off the screen is smaller, but it can still play games at 720p, so that’s nice. Also, the console won’t be dockable even if it uses the same USB slot to charge itself. That’s right you straight up can’t dock a Switch Lite to an old Switch dock to play on your TV screen which makes sense as it probably assumes you know that this is a portable console as opposed to how the Switch itself is meant for television screens at the very least. Also Nintendo mentions that some games aren’t compatible for handheld mode. This is an interesting statement as most Nintendo games would of course have a handheld mode. They must be thinking of some third-party games that just don’t work in handheld mode. This won’t be a problem on the eShop either as the store will tell you if the game is compatible with the Lite version.
As the Switch Lite has the controllers already connected permanently to the sides, that means that you have to get separate Joy-Cons for games that need them, such as 1-2 Switch and possibly even a future WarioWare game. Of course the buttons and controls for the Switch Lite are exactly the same, except the left controller has a D-pad for the Lite as opposed to the four separate directional buttons. This makes it a bit easier to play games in your hands.
Who is it for?
Well who the console is marketed for is something that most Switch owners overlook. If you look at it in a Switch owner’s point of view you may be wondering, “why should I get this console if I already have a Nintendo Switch, the console that already has two Joy-Cons, can be docked, can be undocked and played, and has a decent battery life. Well the answer is simple as Switch owner shouldn’t really buy the Lite. The Lite was already designed for it’s portability and that’s probably what Nintendo Intended from the very start of this product. Think of it like this, why would you buy a 2DS when you already have a 3DS? Simply enough it’s cheaper and plays 3DS games but has no 3D.
So in this case Nintendo is aiming the console towards those who don’t have a Nintendo Switch. Whether it’s because the Switch itself is expensive or they aren’t able to buy one for the longest time, it’s definitely towards that audience. While it’s not an upgrade it’s more made to be just a portable Switch. I mean they had to take out the docking tech to make it so you can carry around, meaning that bringing the more expensive original Switch will be less of an option.
Overall, it can be seen that Nintendo would encourage you to take this new Lite Switch outside rather than take the Switch that can connect to the TV outside.
Why would they release it?
So why would Nintendo want to announce such a product at this time? Well let’s think about what we’ve said before, they want to have a Switch for taking out, and a Switch to keep at home. That means that these products go hand in hand wouldn’t you say?
If they released a portable version of the Switch alongside the Switch when it first released, many people would simply choose one over the other. It’s been around two years since the Switch’s first release in 2017, so having the Switch Lite come out two years later would make sense. Everybody is pretty much comfortable with their Switch at this point and Nintendo probably wants to get some extra sales from promoting this product.
I suppose the Switch Lite is something that most people will buy in the holidays. As mentioned before plenty of people already have the Switch as at least 34.74 million copies have been sold to date. The Lite will have to be something that people who are on the cheaper side of things will get. If anything Nintendo has everything set for the Lite to make it fairly compatible with most games on the Switch. I support the Lite it will probably make a great gift to a friend and will be a better handheld travel option than the original.
Check out our report on the Lite’s announcement here.