Nintendo Switch has been one of the best selling consoles since its 2017 debut. It offered the perfect blend of docked play on your TV and portability. The Nintendo Switch Lite doesn’t replace the regular Nintendo Switch, but rather compliments it by improving upon the portability of the popular console and offering up another very attractive alternative model.
When first announced, there were mixed reactions about the Nintendo Switch Lite. I mean why would anyone want to buy a new Nintendo Switch that only offered portable play, when the original offered that AND connected to your TV?
The first reason is probably price. The Nintendo Switch Lite is cheaper than the regular Nintendo Switch, coming in at just $259.99. With the Nintendo Switch Lite, you get the console, charger, and that’s it. By not including the dock or removable Joy-Cons, it’s not surprising that you’re seeing instant savings of ~$140 over the regular version.
Being 35% cheaper, the Switch Lite offers significant savings. You could buy 2 AAA title games along with the Switch Lite for the same price as just the regular Nintendo Switch.
The designers at Nintendo looked to improve upon the design of the Nintendo Switch Lite to make it an even better console for handheld play. Being both smaller, and lighter, it just feels better in your hands.
Since you’ll only be able to game in handheld mode on the Nintendo Switch Lite, these two improvements are key selling features. You’ll be able to game longer with the improved ergonomics over the regular Nintendo Switch.
There are other small differences with its design, like the absence of the kickstand, but you’re not missing out on anything that you’d need for handheld play.
The Nintendo Switch Lite also comes in 3 different base colours (yellow, teal, and gray) as well as a Zacian and Zamazenta special edition design. Since its unibody design doesn’t offer removable Joy-Cons to customize its look, the availability of different coloured consoles is great.
The screen is a bit smaller at 5.5” (versus 6.2” on the regular Nintendo Switch) but for a console meant to be played in your hands, it’s still plenty big enough. It's the same 720p resolution so if anything, it’ll look slightly crisper offering up a higher pixels-per-inch ratio.
You’ll get between 3-7 hours of battery life on the Nintendo Switch Lite which puts it right in between the original Nintendo Switch (2.5-6 hour battery) and the 2019 refreshed model (4.5-9 hour battery).
Who’s It For?
So you know all about the differences between the two Nintendo Switch consoles and now need to decide if you should get the Switch Lite or the regular version.
If you’re completely new to the Nintendo Switch world, I don’t think there’s a wrong console to buy. Either way you’re getting a world class gaming system. Both have advantages and disadvantages and you’ll need to weigh them against each other to see which one would better suit your individual needs.
Those coming from Xbox or PS4 who love gaming on the big screen would probably opt for a regular Nintendo Switch that can dock to your TV. If you prefer a handheld model and have no desire to play on a TV, then the Nintendo Switch Lite is perfect and it’ll save you money in the process.
Those of you who already own a regular Nintendo Switch may also appreciate buying a Nintendo Switch Lite. Whether it be to replace your original, or supplement it, it works great either way.
Having both models allows me to keep one docked to play on the TV, and the handheld model packed and ready to go with me whenever I’m on the move (or late night gaming in bed). I know numerous people who own both models and they all appreciate the flexibility that only comes from owning both.
Nintendo has designed a beautiful console that speaks to the needs of the gamer on the go. You get a great design for handheld play that can play the latest and greatest games.
It’s also affordably priced which means even more people can get their hands on a Nintendo Switch console and jump into Super Mario Odyssey, Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Smash Brothers and so many other amazing titles that are exclusive to Nintendo Switch.
If you do decide to pick up a Nintendo Switch Lite this holiday season, rest assured you’re getting one of the best handheld gaming systems that Nintendo (or any console maker for that matter) has ever created.