Nintendo Switch Lite: Is Less Really More?

AvatarRhys Bailey in Entertainment, Gaming
Published 16.07.19
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The gamersphere is all abuzz following the revelation of the Nintendo Switch Lite, which Nintendo announced last week.

This reimagining of the console will be more portable and pocket-sized for people to carry around on the go. But is it worth investing your time and money into?

Let’s take a deep dive into things.

The idea of the Nintendo Switch, when it was originally released back in 2017, was that it provided a portable unit with console capabilities. As a Switch owner myself (humble brag), I can confirm it can just about fit into jacket pockets and doesn’t take up much room in your bag. So this begs the question: why has Nintendo released a more portable version of an already portable device? Is it just to cash in? Or are their actual distinctions in the new version?

Well, one of the key changes with the Switch Lite is its flexibility, or lack-thereof, to, umm, switch.

The original Nintendo Switch was brilliant for its versatility. It could be propped up on almost any flat surface and connect to HDTV’s via an HDMI cable so players could play on a big screen with the Joy-Con controllers that would detach from the sides.

Sadly, the Switch Lite isn’t able to do this and is exclusively a handheld device, which seems to defeat the idea of the Switch in the first place…

Having said that, the Switch Lite is still able to connect to an online network to let players game in an online mode, but also connect to other Switch consoles.

The Switch Lite is, however, both lighter and smaller than its originator. The Original measured as 102mm x 239mm x 13.9mm and weighed approximately 297g, compared to the Switch Lite which will measure as 91.1mm x 208mm x 13.9mm and will weigh approximately 275g. This could be handy if, like me, you like to prepare for everything when you go somewhere, boredom included, and need as much space as possible.

More importantly though, the Switch Lite will have a longer battery life. The Switch Lite promises to have a battery that lasts up to 4-7 hours, depending on what software or games are being used, compared to the OG Switch’s 3-6 hours. Okay so that doesn’t seem like much but every hour of play you can squeeze out counts, right?

In terms of games, the Switch Lite will support all the previous games produced for the Switch. Understandably there is still a heavy focus on the Nintendo icons like Mario, Zelda and Pokémon, but it also supports games such as Mortal Kombat 11, Elder Scrolls V and Fortnite. There are even Nintendo eShop exclusives such as Cuphead, as well as older games such as Okami and Bayonetta which have been revived for re-release. I cried when I found Undertale on there. Happy days.

Perhaps even more important is the cost of the Switch Lite; the original Switch costs between £250-300, whereas the Switch Lite is said to cost £199.99 – up to a third off. It still costs a pretty penny but it allows for more wiggle room, financially speaking.

So is less really more? And would it be worthwhile to invest in Nintendo’s latest gadget?

Well, it all boils down to how you see yourself using it.

I personally enjoy taking my Switch over to my friend’s houses to group play Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros, while also playing games on my own when reality gets too much (so, often).

Given that the main Switch is based around its multiplayer versatility and ability to be set up anywhere for everyone to enjoy, this version should really be bought if you’re planning to frequently meet with friends and family for mass entertainment.

Where the Switch Lite comes into its own, though, is for the solo gamer or someone who travels a lot. Size really does matter after all, and the ability to cart this new version around at consummate ease makes it a console well worth investing in.

Either way, if the new console makes gaming more accessible in a way that won’t dent the bank too much, I’m all for it.

The Switch Lite is due for a worldwide release on 20th September 2019 and available for pre-order from most major gaming retailers already. 

Images via Nintendo

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