When Nintendo announced the Nintendo Switch Lite, I was incredibly dubious. Since I already own a Switch, this announcement wasn’t really for me, after all. However, I couldn’t stop thinking about it and after doing some research, I’ve come up with the pros and cons of Nintendo’s newest handheld console.
Firstly, let’s have a look at the two consoles side-by-side:
|Nintendo Switch||Nintendo Switch Lite|
|Modes||TV, Tabletop, Handheld||Handheld|
|Games||All Nintendo Switch Games||Handheld Mode games only|
|Size||4” high, 9.4” long, .55” deep|
102mm x 239mm x 13.9mm
|3.6” high, 8.2” long, .55” deep|
91.1mm x 208mm x 13.9mm
|Screen||6.2″ touch screen||5.5″ touch screen|
|Battery||2.5-6.5 hours or 4.5-9 hours|
(depending on model)
As I see it, the Nintendo Switch Lite is the follow-up to the 3DS even though it’ll play Switch games (as long as they work in handheld mode). With the Switch already being highly praised for indies, I could see the Lite taking an even bigger chunk of the market, especially given its low price attracting consumers on a budget.
The Lite also has what we’d all love on the Switch, a d-pad! About 90% of my time with my Switch is spent in handheld mode and I’d love the joy-cons to be feel nicer.
The Lite also looks amazing in yellow and turquoise and there’s a grey option for anyone still trying to look professional while playing Mario Kart on the bus!
At its core, this is a Switch without the bells and whistles. It’s cheap, will play most games, and can easily go everywhere with you. It’ll probably stay in your backpack, bag, or briefcase and accompany you whenever you can’t play on your PC, PS4, or Xbox One.
This certainly isn’t the first time we’ve had a budget/slim version of a console, but this does seem seems to take away the Switch’s unique selling proposition. The very reason the Switch was so appealing (for me at least) was because it was both a home console and portable. A non-portable version of the Switch, for me, would feel just as pointless as the Lite, even if do use the portable mode almost exclusively.
The lack of joy-cons also makes it trickier for local multiplayer. I’ve killed train journeys and long flights thanks to the fact that I quickly hand one of the joy-cons to a travelling buddy or family member. Though you can sync additional joy-cons if you have them, I don’t feel like bringing a pair of them everywhere with me. Also once you’ve bought them, you’ll have spent almost as much as a new standard Switch anyway!
The lack of a kickstand (as flimsy as it may be) will mean that you’ll probably be looking and third-party stands and cases for it if you want some quick multiplayer on the go.
If you have the money for the standard Nintendo Switch, I’d definitely recommend getting one over the Lite. However, if you’re on a budget, play exclusively on your commute or on-the-go, or will only use one sparingly, you’ll probably be happy with the Lite.