To Switch or not to Switch…
The upcoming Nintendo Switch Lite was announced very recently and we covered the basics. Its announcement trailer didn’t tell us much and as expected, a lot of new juicy information have been coming out here and there. Let us help you by putting everything we know here:
Price And Release Date
The Switch Lite will be sold for US$199 (≈RM830) which is a hundred dollar reduction from the original Switch’s launch price of US$299 (≈RM1,240).
The handheld console will launch worldwide on 20 September 2019 and will coincide with the release of the Link’s Awakening remake.
The special Pokemon Sword and Shield edition will launch on 8 November 2019 for the same price as the regular models.
The regular models will launch in three colours: turquoise, grey, and yellow.
Pros and (Joy)Cons
If you plan on getting the Switch Lite do note that there are some major trade-offs you’ll have to make, as shown in the table above. Let’s start with the good:
The Switch now has a D-pad! This might be an overreaction but as someone who struggled with the Joy-Con’s button placement (I’m still not used to it), I’m glad to see an old friend make a return. The asymmetrical analog stick placement still bugs me though.
The battery capacity of the Switch Lite is a bit smaller but thanks to its smaller display, it’s going to last long enough for a decent game session. Apparently you’ll be able to play Breath of the Wild for roughly four hours which is not bad.
And now for what’s not so good:
The biggest negative is probably the fact that the Switch Lite will not be dockable. Designed for a completely handheld usage, you won’t be able to connect it to any TVs. This also means that if you already own a Switch, your dock won’t be doing anything new.
Since the Switch Lite won’t come with detachable Joy-Cons, you’ll need to buy separate Joy-Cons for games like 1-2 Switch. If you don’t own a Switch already, you’ll also need to buy a charging grip for them as well. This isn’t too big of a deal since most Switch games are made for handheld mode but if you plan to play Joy-Con-required games, do bear this in mind.
That’s not all, the Switch Lite also lacks a kickstand so even if you do get yourself the Joy-Cons needed, you’re going to need to lean the console on something to play those games. This is really weird. I don’t see why they couldn’t just build in a kickstand.
Oh and there still won’t be any connectivity for bluetooth audio headsets. Bummer.
What Else Is Coming?
Let’s say you already own a Switch and you want to get a Switch Lite purely for gaming outside, is transferring progress between the two possible?
“Yes, you will have the ability to transfer between devices, your gameplay experiences. More to come on there, but that is the intention,”
– Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser (from an interview with CNET)
So on top of being able to Switch Switches, there’ll be more updates coming that will further synergise the two consoles. We’ll just have to wait and see.
So Should You Go Full Handheld?
If all you’re looking for is a no-fluff handheld console for playing Nintendo Switch games and you don’t care much about local multiplayer, go for the Switch Lite.
But if you do have the bucks for the full-fledged Switch, I’d fully recommend getting it instead. You get both portability and big-screen usage wherever you go. Regardless whether you’re at home or in a hotel room, all you need is an HDMI-capable TV to start having fun with your friends and family.
So yeah, if it’s fully handheld gaming you want, go for the Switch Lite. Otherwise, just get the original Switch.