Nintendo’s latest release, the scaled down version of the Switch, hit shelves on September 20th. The Nintendo Switch Lite boasts a retail price of 19,980 yen, which is about £145 and a significant drop from the original Switch’s 29,980 yen (£220) price tag. Before you grab that wallet though, let’s compare the stats, crunch some numbers, and see it’s really worth putting in an order.
Available in a bright yellow, turquoise, or a more subdued grey, the look of the Switch Lite isn’t dramatically different. The main selling point is portability, which isn’t an easy element to improve on considering the original Switch is already a pretty mobile console. The Switch Lite clocks in at 275g (that’s 123g lighter than the original), and has dropped to 3.6 inches tall and 8.2 inches wide. The depth remains the same, but it’s already clear that if you’re looking to play some Breath of the Wild on the bus, then the Lite is going to be easier to bring along. It’s worth pointing out that although the screen size has decreased about 0.7 inches, the resolution hasn’t been limited, and is still at 1280 x 720 pixels. The battery life has also been extended by a half hour, not as much as I’d like to see for a handheld console. The estimated maximum charge is seven hours but as with every electronic device it’s likely to seem shorter, so maybe we’ll be packing chargers.
Getting past the change in size though, you can start to see what you’re losing out on if you choose to buy the Switch Lite over the Switch. The option to connect up and play in TV mode is gone, understandably. The joy-con controllers have now been integrated into the console, which certainly goes a long way towards making it easy to pick up and dash out the door with, but the down side is that some of the special features of the joy-cons won’t be available. That includes the motion infra-red camera, the HD vibration feature, and the inbuilt motion sensor. While these aren’t the most important features there are some games that rely pretty heavily on them, like ‘1-2-Switch’ and the much more popular ‘Super Mario party’. With separate joy-cons you can connect up wirelessly, but you won’t be receiving a complimentary set. Instead you’ll have to spend another 7,480 yen (about £55) to grab a pair, and another 2,480 yen (£18) for charging grips.
On the other hand motion games are generally for the comfort of your own home, somewhere you’re not about to hit the person riding the train with you in the face. There’s no doubt that if you’re only looking for a handheld console, the Switch Lite is a very solid choice. That said, for fans that already have a switch it’s not going to be easy for Nintendo to win them over. Part of the original’s appeal was that taking it on trips or to a friend’s house wasn’t much of a hassle anyway. Certainly, this version is easier to carry, easier to hold, and easier to hide behind a book during a university lecture, but in exchange for that you do lose features you might end up missing. Maybe the best option (and most expensive) is just to buy both.
Source: Nintendo Press