Like the original Switch itself, the recently announced Nintendo Switch Lite has proven to be one of the worst secrets in play. The smokes around the new model have been swirling around the majority of 2019, and they have now finally culminated in a "surprising" advertising video and press release that fell across Nintendo's social network this morning. The trailer especially has a relatively good job of showing what the new Lite model is about. In summary, it is a cheaper, smaller, more light Switch that has integrated controls, no HD rumble or IR sensors … and also cannot connect to a TV. Having said that, my only real reaction to this whole message is summarized in the picture above: "Why is it?"
When I mumbled on a "Switch Mini" that was first developed, I was not already satisfied. That's because I really don't understand the concept of the concept. True, in the few years that the Switch has been on the market, I have seen many people expressing disappointment at size and battery life. For some, the system is too large and battery life is not good enough to provide a truly decent portable experience in the same vein of previous handhelds such as 3DS and PS Vita. Thus, Switch Lite is effectively Nintendo's answer to these people: "Here's what you wanted! And guess what? It's only $ 200!"
On paper it sounds decent. But when I break down this message, it still doesn't move me.
A step forward, two steps back
Yes, Switch Lite makes offering a more portable experience, but how much does it cost really ? It's still not very tricky because of the analog sticks that project upwards, so you'll probably put it in a case or in your bag – just like the current switch. I have taken my Switch and its TV equipment on various trips at this time, and it fits all my backpack. Most of my games are digital, which has made it even more convenient. I see taking it around no different than the millions of people who own tablets and laptops. No one really complains about how "big" these devices are, so what is the current switch?
The improved battery life is really the only high note about Switch Lite, as everything else is a regression . The core features of Joy-Con have been removed, although at least it is an easier pill to swallow, as they can still be used with the new system wirelessly. But for those who enter the Switch market for the first time with just one Switch Lite, it means they might use an extra MSRP $ 80 (for just a few), which ironically brings the price from $ 200 to $ 280 very close to the price of a regular switch. But it's not even my biggest problem with Lite; It really is the handheld only functionality.
Nintendo made it very clear in the announcement trailer that Switch Lite is not compatible with Switch dock. It is not surprising, as Lite is a smaller entity. Nevertheless, it seems that Lite cannot send an output signal to a TV, as it is only compatible with games that support handheld mode. The list of supported titles is massive, almost the entire Switch library at this time. Although the big warning is that more technologically demanding games are not best played in handheld mode.
Although Nintendo has not yet confirmed this, it seems that Switch Lite acts as a regular Switch in handheld mode. This means that the more demanding games will offer a gameplay experience with reduced resolution and sometimes even performance for Switch Lite owners – and they will be completely locked in this lesser experience. At least with a regular switch, it is only an option. And these are the most important things. Nintendo stated at the end of the announcement trailer that it was fun to have opportunities and that's right. But Switch Lite seems to have too many drawbacks for me to actually recommend it as a viable option for any Switch novice.
Long run disadvantage
] In my view, all Nintendo had to do to target audiences who want a handheld, only Switch was the release of a SKU that contains only a Switch, Joy-Con and AC adapter. Interestingly, the company already started doing so in Japan some time ago to encourage existing Switch owners to have more than one model in a single household. It would actually be a "Switch Lite", but it would allow you to make use of all the Switch features if you choose to do so – especially the ability to "switch" from a handheld to a home console. It is such a large part of the Switch name, and it is undoubtedly one of the reasons why the system has become so popular – because it can do both. Now, however, there is a model that effectively makes the whole message an overall point. This is a step back. All the efforts made by Nintendo to create the first true hybrid system have been diluted by what is now effectively 3DS true sequel (despite Nintendo claiming otherwise).
Now I know that the original Switch does not go anywhere. But again, the existence of Switch Lite just confuses me. And I hope Nintendo is ready to deal with customers who somehow miss all the messages on how this device cannot be docked to a TV and will still be confused that it doesn't can. In the end, if anyone out there should ask me which model to buy, I will tell them that they just get a regular switch. It can literally do whatever Lite can and more and you have the ability to dock it to a TV if you ever see it fit. Yes, it's a $ 100 more, and I can understand being budget conscious, but it will prove to be a far better investment in the long term than a Lite.
Has been introduced to video games at the age of 3 via a Nintendo 64, AK has grown up in the culture. A fan of simulators and racers, with a soft spot for Nintendo! But he has great respect for the entire video game world and enjoys seeing it all expand as a whole.