With the PSVita and Nintendo 3DS being on their way out, the only truly portable game console currently available is the Nintendo Switch and it’s still a tad large with its 6.2″ screen. Now, Nintendo has shown some more love to portable console fans with the release of the Nintendo Switch Lite which is a Switch with a 5.5″ screen, lower price tag and some missing features.
What got announced? How is it different from the regular Switch?
Earlier today, Nintendo announced the long-awaited smaller version of the Nintendo Switch with the name Nintendo Switch Lite.
This version sports a 5.5″ 720p screen (same resolution as the original Switch), a lower price tag of $199, same 32GB NAND storage & microSD card slot, compatibility with all Switch games that support handheld mode and the inability to connect it to a television which is a tad ironic since it removes the significance of the Switch name.
At its heart, the Switch Lite is very similar to the Nintendo Switch but it has some noticeable differences which may be for better or for worse…
Other than the main differences, there are also some others that might not be immediately noticeable which include:
The Switch Lite comes with built-in controls and a much nicer looking D-pad rather than detachable joycons
It includes no motion controls which means that some games like Pokemon Let’s Go that make use of motion controls for crucial parts of the game will require updating to support this version of the Switch
A lighter console weighing in at 277 grams which is 17 grams heavier than the PSVita Phat (1000-models)
Improved battery life with estimated play time in Zelda BotW being estimated at 4 hours rather than 3 hours on the original Switch
No flip stand even though it’ll probably be addable through a case or some other 3rd party add-on
Availability in Yellow, Turquoise, Grey and some other special themes like a Pokemon one
Another important point to mention is that the Switch Lite will be available on September 20, 2019.
Should I get one when it’s released?
The original Switch lets you play games on your television with its included Dock but the Switch Lite takes that option away so it may not be worth the $100 price differences
While the $199.99 price tag is more attractive than the $299.99 one of the original Switch, it is important to note that you’ll be missing out on a pretty important feature namely the ability to play games on a bigger screen.
This may not sound like a big deal at first but being able to play games on a big screen as well is actually a pretty nice feature (from someone who’s used it) as it lets you enjoy games in a much nicer way when you’re at home and have some time on your hands.
However, it is possible that future hacks allow the Switch Lite to output its screen to a PC monitor similar to how the PSVita does it with the udcd_uvc plugin so that you’ll still be able to play games on a bigger screen.
$199 is pretty steep but after sales, it may drop down to a more palatable $149 which is significant enough to make one consider losing TV mode
In my opinion, $199 is a tad steep since the $100 difference is mostly covered by the fact that the Switch Lite doesn’t come with the Switch Dock (needed to connect your Switch to a television) and you’re getting a slightly inferior console.
That being said, its price might eventually go down similar to what Nintendo did with the 3DS a few months after launch and sales could bring its price down to $149 or even less making it much more appealing. However, the prices for used original Switch consoles are already going down and you might be able to find one with joycons but without a dock for around $200 locally/online which might be a better investment than a Switch Lite in the long run as you can just buy a dock at a later date.
As for now, the only Switch available is still the original model but if you want to learn more about the Switch Lite, make sure to check out Nintendo’s official page on it. Before spending your hard earned cash on it, make sure you can fully forego TV mode and if you have a hacked PSVita, check out whether you enjoy playing on a bigger screen with udcd_uvc or not so that you don’t regret any future decisions 😉
I'm a girl that's liked technology from day 1. Mostly interested in the PSVita/PSP scene but I've always modded my stuff when it's possible, that is :)Contact me via DM at @KawaiiAuroraA on Twitter if you have any questions/concerns about my articles or if you have any article requests.