The jig is up. Once a rumor, Nintendo has finally popped the lid open on the Nintendo Switch Lite. It’s been met with mixed reviews, some unwarranted but most with valid points. Everyone is expecting a beefier Switch to be announced soon after, but for now we take a deeper look into the Switch Lite. In this article, let us answer the burning question for you – Should you (or shouldn’t) get a Switch Lite? Our resident gamers and Switch owners Gian and Chris talk about the pro’s and con’s of the newly announced addition to the Nintendo line!
Chris (C): Ok I’m very underwhelmed, not because I was expecting the Switch “Pro” but because I cannot objectively see why I should get a Lite. I already have the OG Switch so getting anything other than a better version of the Switch will be a downgrade for me. Even if I didn’t already have one, the Lite isn’t looking too appealing for a LOT of reasons. I know that I am not the target market and this will still sell like pancakes but nothing about this is doing it for me.
Gian (G): I can see that Chris is underwhelmed with Switch Lite. That’s totally understandable, but I’m coming from a different perspective. Having been an owner of the OG Switch for quite some time now, I view and use it as this generation’s best all-rounder console. I share this with my 2 kids, and we usually play couch co-op games with it. However, there are times that I’d like to use it to grind for new ways to profit in Moonlighter and to challenge myself by beating my previous Mario World Odyssey speed runs. I’d like to have a Switch that I can take with me… my very own Nintendo Switch Lite.
C: Cool, I can understand the uses but then again, I could realistically just save up a tiny bit more to get the Lite’s big brother. Since we’re on the topic, let’s start and take a look at each point one by one starting with price.
C: The Lite is priced at $199, plus tax, that’ll take you to roughly around $210-ish. That’s anywhere from PHP10,000-12,000 depending on the prevailing exchange rate. Are you telling me that a severely underfeatured unit is just about PHP4,000 less than a brand new Switch? I’m losing all the features that made the Switch a Switch for 4 grand? Sounds pretty absurd to me. I get that 4K is still a large amount of money, but for that value, getting a standard Switch will yield so much more flexibility. I may not want it docked now but in the event that I do, I give that up and more for a measly 4 grand? I would, however, consider the lite at a lesser price point, maybe at around $170, or you know what? $150 would have been PERFECT.
G: There are various facets we need to look at when pricing this new version of Switch. This new Switch features a brand new chipset (SoC), which is a step up for Nintendo to combat the homebrew and (also) piracy scene. There’s a premium in putting up a custom chipset, thus a relatively higher price (than expected) Switch Lite. For what it’s worth, you’ll be getting a lighter version of Switch with better battery life (which we will talk about in a bit), and a new ecosystem that targets gamers who wish to own a “personal” Switch.
C: The Switch can give you around 3 hours of undocked game time depending on various factors. With the Lite, you’re getting 4 hours on similar settings. For everything you’ve taken away, only 1 hour of battery life has been added for something that’s meant to be purely handheld? Surely you could do better. Give me AT LEAST 50% more battery life, then we’ll talk.
G: 50% battery life may be too much to ask, to be honest. Though I see Chris’ point. They, however, can only do so much with the new chipset on the Switch Lite. There are still other factors to look at, e.g., display panel they are using, maximum nits, CPU throttling for games that require more resources, etc. For now, I’m reserving my thoughts about this as we need to have this new Switch Lite on hand to review accordingly.
C: Let’s look at a rundown of what you’re getting / not getting with the Lite:
- No detachable Joycons. If they haven’t fixed the drifting issue, you may be stuck with faulty analog sticks.
- No HD rumble and IR motion camera.
- No TV output nor dock capability meaning you automatically lose access to games that support increased performance while docked.
- No kick stand.
- Slightly smaller screen.
- Slightly better battery life.
- Slightly lighter.
- Left D-Pad.
- Potentially no amiibo sensor.
- Potentially incompatible with current Labo kits due to size.
- 720p resolution.
- Limited features for some games UNLESS you purchase a Joycon.
For $100 less, you are losing out on WAY TOO MANY things, things that embodied what a Switch really is. To quote Thanos, you gained a left D-Pad but what did it cost?
G: ‘Slightly’ is my keyword here. It is still worth noting that regardless of things it does not have, it’s still fairly a better Switch in terms of performance and battery life. Let us also not discount the fact that we’re talking about a Switch that you can technically call “more pocketable”.
The new colors aren’t appealing for me, to be honest, but if Nintendo plays their card like Apple (like they usually do), more colorways may be introduced soon. “Value” may be a contestable issue, which our audience may also discuss with us. Besides, “value” is a relevant subject to discuss, so I’m pretty sure that it’s going to be a hell of a debate.
C: The Lite is definitely not for me. Who is it for, then? It’s touted to be purely handheld, so if you’re ALWAYS on the go, then the Lite may interest you. If you live in a household that shares a TV, the Lite is for you. If you are a parent who has kids that wants to play with the Switch, buy the Lite for the little ones. If you are a parent who feels that the kids cannot handle an undocked Switch due to carelessness, the Lite is a cheaper and less heartbreaking alternative. Lastly, if you have the single objective of just playing switch games and not worrying about any of the other bells and whistles, the lite is perfect for you.
I won’t argue the real world applications, but I find that it’s still a tough sell for me.
G: It is for me. Let me tell you a story. When I bought my first Switch almost 2 years ago, I thought that owning one would be enough as it has the ability to “switch” from handheld to desktop mode. This allows me to use it to play couch coop games with the family. The desire and (need) to own a second Switch when my 2 kids wanted to play 2 different games at one time. I bought my 2nd Switch last September, and things have never been fun for them. For them. This urged me to think about selling my newer Switch, and buy 2 Switch Lite. OG Switch for Dad, 2 Switch Lite for the kids. I don’t know if I’m niche market, but I’m pretty sure some people can relate.
The Switch Lite will definitely appeal to some people. Nintendo has proven this strategy with the 2DS so this is a calculated sales move that comes with a lot of caveats. If you’re still reading this, hopefully we’ve helped you make an informed decision!
Are you with #TeamGian or #TeamChris in this discussion? Will you be getting a Switch Lite when it launches on September 20? Keep an eye out for announcements from our local retailers and keep it locked in because who knows, we may even do a day one unboxing. *wink wink*