Out of left-field, Nintendo announced a whole new version of the Nintendo Switch, a cheaper, handheld-focused model known as the Nintendo Switch Lite. Following the likes of the Gameboy Pocket, Gameboy Micro, and the Nintendo 2DS, the Switch Lite removes a lot of core components from the original to keep the price low. So if you’re still on the fence on which Switch to get, here are our reasons to get and not get the Nintendo Switch Lite:
5 Reasons To Buy The Nintendo Switch Lite
The main draw of this new version is definitely the price, being exactly USD 100 cheaper than the base model. This Lite version is meant to be an introductory model, hence the price that is easier on the wallet. In fact, it is the same price as the New Nintendo 3DS XL, which means that the price in Malaysia should be around MYR 890 if we’re basing it on the New Nintendo 3DS XL’s price in local game stores. This definitely beats the base Nintendo Switch’s price being around MYR 1200.
2. Handheld Focused
A lot of Switch owners will tell you that the handheld mode is the mode they mostly use to play their console. Having console quality gameplay on-the-go is the core of the Switch’s design, and the Lite version definitely puts that concept on the forefront. This is also a major draw for those who don’t actually own a TV to play consoles on, thus keeping all the action on the Switch Lite’s screen and nowhere else.
3. Cool colours
When the original Nintendo Switch was launched, there wasn’t a lot of colour variants, since the console itself is just a touch screen tablet, with the assorted joy-cons adding a splash of colour and variety to the look of the Nintendo Switch. The Nintendo Switch Lite is launching with three colours right out of the bag: turquoise, yellow, and grey. Not only that, a special edition model based on Pokemon Sword and Shield was announced as well, which really opens the door for more limited edition for the console.
4. Better battery life
While the base model Nintendo Switch does handheld mode pretty well, a main complaint has always been its battery life when undocked. The Switch can last for less than 3 hours on average, which isn’t ideal if you have a long commute or flight. Nintendo says that the battery life on the Lite variant has improved significantly thanks to the omission to a number of features, adding up to a 20 to 30 per cent increase.
5. The D-Pad returns
Believe or not, the Nintendo Switch is the first Nintendo console and handheld to be shipped out without their iconic directional pad. This is due to a single Joy-Con having the ability to be used as a proper controller when used on its side, hence the breaking of traditions to allow for face buttons to be available on either left or right Joy-Con. With the handheld-focused Nintendo Switch Lite, Nintendo had all reason to bring back the D-Pad. So if you want the proper controls used to play 2D games and NES classics, then the Switch Lite is the way to go.
5 Reasons To NOT Buy It
1. No TV functionality
While the Nintendo Switch does have its handheld mode being one its main focus, the whole point of it being a culmination of Nintendo’s history of consoles and handhelds is being omitted for the Switch Lite. This means that most games will only be relegated to the Switch Lite’s 720p screen, without being able to be upscaled on TVs. There are third-party accessories that allow for the original Switch to connect to TVs without the dock, so it’s a shame that with the Switch Lite, this feature is not available right out of the box.
2. A single player device
Being able to pop off the left and right Joy-Cons to play a round of Mario Kart with a friend is just something no other device is capable of. The Switch Lite is meant for single player use and online multiplayer, but any local multiplayer or couch co-op is nullified completely. While you could still connect a pair of Joy-Cons to the Switch Lite, the full tabletop experience cannot be fully enjoyed due to the removal of another Switch feature...
3. No kickstand
Without the kickstand, tabletop mode can still theoretically be recreated if you just prop the Switch Lite to a wall, though it’s just not the same. While the kickstand on the base Nintendo Switch model isn’t the strongest piece of plastic to hold the console up, it does the job of providing a way to have a quick two-player game set up.
4. No HD Rumble
One huge overlooked feature of the Joy-Cons, besides the motion controls, is the HD Rumble. While 1, 2, Switch may be the only game that utilises the feature the most, first-party titles like The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild and Super Mario Odyssey also uses the HD Rumble to great effect. Just like how Nintendo popularised the D-Pad and are bringing it back for the Switch Lite, they’re also taking out the rumble they invented for the Nintendo 64 and perfected on the Nintendo Switch.
5. Pro version might be around the corner
Since the rumours of the Nintendo Switch Lite came true, it seems that the Nintendo Switch Pro will also come to fruition. The thing is, Nintendo has made it clear that this Pro version won’t be coming out this year, there is a slight clue on when it could come out. With the original Nintendo Switch releasing on March 3rd 2017, the same day as The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, and the Nintendo Switch Lite coming out on September 20th, the same day as The Legend Of Zelda: Link’s Awakening remake, it stands to reason that the new Nintendo Switch Pro might be released the same day as Breath Of The Wild’s sequel. And if you were to play the sequel to Breath Of The Wild, wouldn’t you want to play it on Nintendo’s best hardware?
All-in-all, we hope this list helps you narrow down on which model of the Nintendo Switch you should get. The Nintendo Switch Lite will be coming to store shelves in two months, on the 20th of September to be exact, so make your decision before then.