There’s something unique about uncomplicated gaming. Simple consoles that fulfill their purpose without the need for gimmicks or reinventing the wheel. It’s been a while since we were able to hold a console in our hands, select a game, and play – hassle-free and easy. In an overwhelming and complicated world, gamers are craving a plug-and-play experience like the original Game Boy, and Nintendo has come to answer our prayers.
Months ago, there were rumours of a more-affordable Nintendo Switch model that intended to ditch the docking feature and move towards more handheld-friendly options. While we were anticipating a Nintendo Switch 2, what was actually created embodies the Game Boy Advance reboot we desperately needed.
On September 20th, 2019, Nintendo is releasing the Nintendo Switch Lite. After dropping nearly $100 off the original price, the Nintendo Switch Lite totes a smaller screen, at 5.5 inches, and removes TV to USB screen sharing capabilities. With its compact frame, the Switch Lite’s controllers do not detach, giving the body of the unit a more encompassing style. It appears to be less flimsy, more durable, and a much better option for on-the-go gaming. Unfortunately, although the length of the device has been reduced by a couple inches, the Switch Lite will never be pocket-friendly.
The Switch Lite retains a few of the original model’s internal technology: 32gb storage, a microSD slot, headphone-jack with identical volume controls, and a USB-C charger. The compact screen still produces a 720 pixel wide range, but forces the text to shrink in size. This might be something to keep in mind if you have poor eyesight. Common connectivity options are still available, like Wi-Fi and NFC, and the Switch Lite can even connect to additional controllers. However, the Switch Lite does lack the ability to connect via Bluetooth, losing any external audio support. Additionally, the console boasts an increase in processing and battery power by an estimated 20-30%.
The Nintendo Switch Lite comes in three new color options: turquoise, grey, and yellow. An off-white version of the device is expected to release with Pokemon Sword and Shield, but doesn’t come with the game pre-installed. The connection this edition has with the game is purely cosmetic, as the monster silhouettes are etched into the back of the device. As for controls, the only mainstay physical difference appears to be the replacement of the four arrow buttons with a new, more versatile D-pad.
Of the few things the Nintendo Switch Lite lacks from the original model, the rumble support is the most surprising. This exclusion changes the way competitive classics feel while playing, and may be a deal-breaker for some. Most gamers prefer to feel combat hits in Smash Ultimate or boost vibrations in Mario Kart 8. This model is also missing an auto brightness sensor and the kickstand, enforcing the Switch Lite’s need to be your mobile companion. Additionally, if you’ve purchased any of Nintendo’s Labo cardboard creations, they won’t work with this update, as per the size changes. Hopefully there are some compatible options in the future.
Despite this drastic change in formfactor, Nintendo plans on having both the Nintendo Switch and the Switch Lite available for purchase, as they believe these devices compliment each other. In our opinion, we think the Nintendo Switch Lite will be a great companion device for families or users that already own a Switch, as it allows them to take an additional device on-the-go. This model also seems much more child-friendly, with less detachable, losable, or fragile components.
If you want to learn more about the Nintendo Switch Lite, let us know in the comments!