Tech Up! Nintendo Switch Lite

By Drew Hurley 17.10.2019 1

Nintendo has long thrived on repackaging its current hardware in a new form. Whether like way back with the Game Boy and its alternate versions of the Game Boy Pocket and Game Boy Light or even more recently where the 3DS received the 3DS XL, the 2DS, and the "new" versions of each. Not to mention the multiple variations of different colours and styles, including some killer special edition versions to tie in with major game releases.

Because of this, it was no surprise to hear that Nintendo would be creating some new versions of the Switch. It was long rumoured to be coming, with a smaller, handheld-only version, along with an enhanced version with more powerful hardware. The latter has yet to appear, but the former has just been released. Introducing the Switch Lite!

Image for Tech Up! Nintendo Switch Lite
So, Switch Lite. What exactly is "Lite" about it? Apart from the considerably smaller price tag? The biggest change compared to its big brother is that it's lacking the namesake of the console itself; the ability to switch between handheld and home console. The Lite is all about the handheld gaming and for many, it's exactly what they wanted. There are plenty of Switch owners out there who never really use their dock, and there are plenty of other new adopters who will have no issue with this. Handhelds have been key to Nintendo forever, and so there are plenty of 3DS owners out there who are overjoyed at the prospect of this new next generation of handhelds.
 
Similarly, the unit is one solid piece - no removal of the Joy-Cons possible, which removes some motion controls from a few games - at least, when it comes to out-of box-functionality. The Switch Lite may not have its own detachable Joy-Cons, but that doesn't mean it can't use some purchased separately. Joy-Cons can be synced to the system allowing players to take part in games like the upcoming Ring Fit Adventure. Though, there are some games that simply are not playable at all on the Switch Lite, for example, Super Mario Party.
 
Just like how the 3DS shrunk down with the New 3DS, the Lite is - fitting with its name - a more compact version of the original. It has shed some weight and some inches across the board. The screen is about 10% smaller, having decreased from 6.2" to 5.5". Though, thankfully, the screen has lost nothing in resolution, quality or brightness.
Image for Tech Up! Nintendo Switch Lite
Appropriately, the whole things is much... Lite-er; 30% so in fact, going from 14.1 ounces to 9.8. Finally, the whole unit has lost an inch in length and half an inch in height. This redesign makes it much more feasible as a true portable device, as the original was a tad too large to pop into a pocket or a handbag. Another positive benefit of the redesign is the battery life, easily getting an extra few hours over the original Switch, putting it more in line with the recent v2 of the console. Essential for gaming on the go.
 
That's a lot of positives, but it isn't all good, as there are some core issues with the little beauty. First off, a classic D-pad has been put in place of the original's directional buttons, and while many fans actually asked for this, it fails somewhat in its execution. It feels more natural than the original, however, it's inferior in regards to its sensitivity, especially during difficult moments. There's also a complete lack of HD Rumble, and the lack of feedback is immediately noticeable. Finally, while the new smaller design is much improved for most, those with larger hands will find the whole experience a little difficult as their mammoth digits tend to dwarf the buttons.
 
Then there is something that hopefully Nintendo can address. For original Switch owners picking this up as their second device, the method of playing digital games is a nightmare, requiring regular connection to the online service to confirm. Not to mention the lack of being able to cloud save. It's an area that has long been criticized, one that Nintendo just feels behind the times on, and one they will hopefully address.
 
While the original Nintendo Switch rocked its customizability by offering a wide range of fabulous colours for its Joy-Cons, these Lite versions can't really do that, what with the Joy-Con parts not being detachable and all. Nintendo is instead giving a few different variants of the Switch Lite. There's a standard grey that is the same shade as the original, a Yuzu bright Yellow, and finally, a rich Turquoise. Each is a matte, powerful colour that stands out. Nintendo will, of course, have plenty of gorgeous variations planned, especially to tie in with major releases, for example, the upcoming Zacian and Zamazenta exclusive version coming in soon alongside Pokemon Sword and Shield.
Image for Tech Up! Nintendo Switch Lite

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10
This little beauty is damn-near perfect. The low cost opens up the door to a whole new world of gamers. Even those with a Switch can easily justify grabbing one to use for multiplayer and to save their original for a dedicated home console. Best of all, it's even better than its predecessor for on the go gaming thanks to its slimmer design and lighter frame. Anyone who has managed to go the last two years without picking one up now has the perfect opportunity. A huge back catalogue of amazing games, a low price tag, comfortable ergonomic design. Minus a few flaws, it seems that the next generation of true handheld gaming is here.

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Comments

This really does look very cool, so I'm kind of surprised by how in Japan the regular model is doing 
far better!

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

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