The Switch Lite is set to launch on Sept. 20th, 2019, and unfortunately, we’re not sold on what it has to offer, despite the corners cut to make it a solid replacement device for the Nintendo 3DS.
When the Nintendo Switch was first announced, I was adamant that the handheld turned home-console hybrid wouldn’t work. I was one that said it couldn’t do what we would have hoped, 1080p gaming, 30-60fps, and online capable regardless of how much power Nintendo would attempt to crank out of the device.
I was proven wrong over the course of the past two years. I’ve fallen in love with the Switch, playing it every chance I have between driving Uber clients around, waiting on files to upload for our coverage here on Blast Away the Game Review, or just simply waiting for a review game to download on Scarlet (our gaming PC) or one of our consoles.
But now, after David Murphy having pointed it out, we’ve begun to discuss the Nintendo Switch Lite. After all, I love the Switch already with hundreds of hours invested into it between bouts of Fortnite with my nephews, some Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and even some good ol’ The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. I’m even prepping for some of this year’s biggest hitters ranging from Astral Chain to Daemon x Machina and closing out 2019 with Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield.
But now, here we are and a brand new model of the Nintendo Switch is on its way alongside a possible second generation of the original Nintendo Switch two years after its initial launch. Except, there are a few good reasons I’m not sold on this one and you shouldn’t be either. So let’s break these reasons down into sections of their own.
It won’t work via dock for TV connectivity via its charging port unlike the normal Switch
One of the things that makes the Nintendo Switch such an appealing device is the fact you can take it on the go as a handheld device, play it as a tablet, or you can even hook it up to your TV, allowing for you and four others to enjoy some good ol’ fashion Mario Kart 8 Deluxe fun.
Unfortunately, the lack of the TV functionality is problematic as some games do benefit more from being docked versus hand-held mode, allowing for them to get the most out of the Nintendo Switch rather than how they would with the hand-held mode itself. The other issue is that they have also lowered the screen down a tad from a 6.2-inch screen to a 5.5-inch screen, a mere .7 inch loss.
However, there’s also some other trade-offs you may wish to know about, including removable Joy-Con’s and the HD rumble feature.
There won’t be a rumble feature what-so-ever
One feature to me that comes off as rather important is the ability to have a weight and responsive feel to my handhelds or my controllers. While that wasn’t the case with the Nintendo 3DS, I’ve become a bit spoiled by the amazingly detailed rumble features of the Joy-Con’s and their HD rumble affect.
In many ways, Nintendo is making this Nintendo Switch Lite a glorified handheld device, one that’s going to start ushering the New Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 2DS on their way out, but if it’s true, Doug Bowser isn’t going to be pushing them into non-existence yet, but it does seem we may not be seeing as many games making their way to the devices in the foreseeable future.
The lower-cost Switch Lite is missing some features, but also seems like Nintendo’s handheld future beyond the Nintendo 3DS. But even though the Switch Lite looks like the beginning of the end of the 3DS/2DS, according to Bowser, those handhelds aren’t disappearing yet either.
There are some games that won’t actually work properly with the Nintendo Switch Lite
My biggest concern though? How responsive will the Nintendo Switch Lite be when it launches if someone were to go out and link up another set of Joy-Cons to the device? That’ll certainly defeat the purpose of the device, sure, but it’s a valid question. What about using it as a tablet for games like Cytus and even Professor Lupo and His Horrible Pets.
The games almost require a touch screen and it’s beyond evident of that one you play them. It just doesn’t make sense to make one such device, even at a hundred dollars cheaper. Except, there is another matter you have to consider: If your buttons began to wear out, you can’t replace them due to how the handheld device is built.
The issue here is the fact a few games such as Super Mario Odyssey, Snipperclips and Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu and Pokémon Let’s Go Eevee, and won’t work properly on the Nintendo Switch Lite due to the reliance on motion controls.
There aren’t really any noteworthy enhancements to the handheld device outside of the battery life
Just like its sister-device, the Nintendo Switch Lite won’t be coming with any major changes to the hardware that its coming packed with inside. Rather, it’s just a new iteration of the one that released back in 2017, with maybe a few tweaks to cooling and heating due to the processors.
Even then, however, it’s just a glorified version of a Nintendo 3DS that plays Nintendo Switch titles and takes away the niftiness that makes the Nintendo Switch what it is. Because of that, you’re getting a Nintendo Switch, for what it’s worth, which means a basic 32GB of onboard member and an expandable storage option with an SD card.
That also means it comes shipped with NFC capabilities for your amiibo’s, Wi-Fi capabilities for both 2.4GHz and 5GHz connections, and, well, the ability to connect to other Nintendo Switch peripherals and headsets that use 3.5mm. Unfortunately, don’t expect to find Bluetooth or wireless headset support, that’s still not happening.
Also, the Nintendo Switch’s kickstand is gone, which means you’ll need to find a way to prop your Switch if you decided to play it in a tablet-style mode. Keep that in mind as well if you decide to get one.
Unfortunately, Labo will be out of the question for the Nintendo Lite
One of the best things to come from the Nintendo Switch and its usability with kids, is Nintendo Labo, the odd, but somehow enjoyable construction kits from Nintendo. Due to this, it will mean that while some of the Labo’s features will work with it, it just seems like it won’t be a great purchase if you plan on getting it for a child who wants to use their Labo kits.
If that’s not a deal breaker for you, then it might be worth giving a shot and seeing what kits you can make work, and what kind of enjoyment those who will use it will get out of it. In order to really enjoy Labo, you’ll just want to go with a standard Nintendo Switch in this case and enjoy it that way.
One of the big things to think about when looking at this version of the Nintendo Switch, as you’ll see in the trailer below, is that the device is great for those looking to only play on the go or for those who already have a normal Nintendo Switch in their homes. It’s a great way to allow for you to ensure that more people in your house can play online together, giving them their own individual screens, but at the costs I’ve listed up above.
For those of you looking for a device exclusively for your kids, one that’ll let them keep from taking over your device and save you a hundred bucks, you got a $199.99 USD Nintendo Switch on the way starting Sept. 20th, 2019, and a beautiful set of Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield variants on their way as well.
Is the Nintendo Lite something you are considering a purchase of? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
About the Writer(s):
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the borders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter or Facebook.