N-Eaction: Switch Lite

So the Switch Lite has gone from being a plausible rumour to a real physical product with a release date within the space of the past week and while Nintendo hasn't really surprised anyone with this announcement, they've certainly left us with plenty to ponder in what had been a very quiet news-week during the post-E3 lull.

Let's see if the Switch Lite has tempted any of us here at N-E to upgrade from our launch day models, I suspect that it won't have but while it's clear that even if this latest model isn't necessarily meant to appeal to us, it's hard to deny that Nintendo has pulled out all the stops with its choice of colours for their newest portable.

That turquoise though...

Dennis Tummers - Staff Writer

"Well, that came out of the blue (or should I say, out of the turquoise?)! Rumours for a Switch Mini have been doing rounds for a while now, and got stronger due to some leaked renders from accessory makers. I was not really buying it, especially as the renders looked a bit too mocked-up and some images showed different button placements even in the same picture. And of course Nintendo themselves had “nothing to announce at the moment”.

But then BAM! On a random Wednesday afternoon in July Nintendo decides to drop a video on Youtube, and soon press kits were going around the world and even some hands on videos started appearing. And like that the Switch Mini was introduced to the world, and it is called the Switch Lite.

I wonder how it will do here. In my country (the Netherlands) it is now listed online at €229, while the regular Switch can be picked up for €329 with 35 euros of eShop credits. That gives you a price advantage of €65 for the Lite, but you give up a lot and only gain some portability and battery time. But I have no doubt that in Asia, where due to space limitations at home and long commutes, a more compact device will sell like mad, especially in these nifty colours!

NEactionSwitchLiteTurquoiseImage1Mama Mia! This Switch is-a turquoise!

I won’t be getting one myself. I play mostly handheld, but my Switch almost never leaves the house. For that one time I want to take it out I’ve got a case, but it’s not that much of a burden that I want to give up TV play or detachable Joy-Cons. I do like the design though. It looks solid and the colours on it are great.

Is it my ideal idea of a Lite? Not quite, as I would expected it to be even smaller, maybe with a bezel-less screen. They could even have gone clamshell, like the good old Game Boy Advance SP. You can fit in a big screen, use nice and big control buttons and close the thing for protection.

What I find the most interesting thing about the whole Switch Lite though is that it really sends the 3DS to the grave (RIP and you will be missed!). So for the first time in Nintendo’s career we will have a single line-up, which works on their handheld and their home console. My wallet is grateful. And I wonder if that means we will see an increase in first-party and second-party development, as resources don’t need to be split over two different line-ups."

Glen O'Brien - Staff Writer

"I don't like Turquoise...

What? You want more!?

Fine, a lighter version of a Nintendo console is nothing new, but I was quite taken aback by just how much was trimmed off of the Switch. The big deal breaker for me is the fact that you can't dock the thing. It's a Switch that doesn't actually Switch. I'm not surprised that it was cut, but the hybrid nature of the console is the best thing about it. This also has the side effect of not allowing for a wired ethernet connection to play online games, so if you were annoyed by the online aspect of Mario Maker 2, it'll probably get a bit worse.

The other big difference would be the lack of Joy-Cons. You can connect other controllers to it, but good luck getting a bunch of people crowded around the smaller screen when it doesn't have a kickstand to prop it up for Tabletop Mode. If you have no friends, it's fine though. My big concern with the lack of Joy-Cons is whether the Switch Lite's control sticks will suffer from the notorious drifting issue. If it does, then you might have to buy a Pro Controller anyway...
No Joy-Cons also means no IR camera and no HD Rumble, which will have an impact on some games, such as Mario Odyssey and Super Mario Party.

NEactionSwitchLiteTurquoiseImage2What other colours? There is only turquoise... marvel at its splendidness!

Of course, there are some benefits, the D-Pad being the obvious one. Hopefully, a better D-Pad then the Pro Controller. Geez, why is there always a catch with Switch's contollers? The smaller screen will allow for slightly nicer pixel density, if you like that sort of thing. I prefer bigger screens, but that's me. It's lighter and also has slightly better battery life.

I currently have a New 2DS, which I like a lot, so I definitely see a benefit to a cheaper model, but there's too many features missing from the Switch Lite to justify the price tag."

Sam C Gittins - Staff Writer

"The future's bright, the future's... turquoise?

Well, that happened! Rumours of a smaller, portable only model of the Nintendo Switch have been floating around for ages now and just as these rumours were possibly circling the drain, Nintendo just announced the Switch Lite to the world, on a Wednesday, stated that it would be coming out on September 20th and that you'd be able to buy it in three colours; Grey, Yellow and... turquoise because of course! And there's an obligatory Pokémon version on the way as well, which personally I think looks a lot better than the standard choice of colours but it doesn't matter what I think because this version of the Switch is clearly not for me.

So who is the Switch Lite for? People who don't own a Switch for whatever reason as this is soon to become another option but that's only based on the assumption that these potential players prefer to play in portable mode, then there's the subset of exisiting Switch owners (like myself) who love playing their console but don't really want to take it out of the house for fear of what might become of the machine in the outside world; in a way, having a smaller Switch is a good solution providing it's easy to transfer your data between the two systems but it is also an expensive solution, although not out of the question if it affords you more time to play games.

I can certainly see the sales potential, especially in Japan where gaming is more centered around hand-held gaming, plus if Nintendo really wants to aim for that quote of "multiple Switches in every household" then this is a good way to fill a gap in the market which undeniably exists. Of course the design is a compromise, so it's up to potential purchasers to decide if it's what they really want, if you enjoy playing games online then you can do that but the original Switch is undeniably more stable on a wired connection but I can see a lot of people willing to trade that away for convenience, as that seems to be the way these days.

NEactionSwitchLiteTurquoiseImage3New anti-gravity feature only available in the turquoise model, levitating soon in all existing videogame retailers.

Am I going to purchase one? No, but I'm glad that more people will potentially get to experience the Switch in a slightly different form so if this lowers the barrier of entry for people then that's a good thing and if it also offers an alternative way to play for existing Switch owners while possibly freeing up the main Switch in the household for other members of a household to use then again, this can only mean that more people will get to play on a Switch which is a good thing for the entire userbase as it should mean that we'll be seeing even more games and at this point with new Pokémon titles coming out (possibly rushed out?) around the same time, you can see that Nintendo is keen to capitalise now and the surge in shares seems to back up this latest business decision.

This is a clever move from Nintendo, an obvious one admittedly (I couldn't even feign surprise at the announcement) but I do hope that this doesn't become a slippery slope of confusuing revisions similar to what we've seen in the past, currently the Switch Mini looks set to compliment the lineup and if the "Switch Pro" does end up coming out sometime in the next year then that could help to bolster sales further if done in the right way.

In summary, I can see the Switch Lite doing well, I hope that anyone who purchases it gets to enjoy part of what the Switch offers, I'm happy with my launch day model Switch and I'm totally not jealous of anything that this stripped-down version has to offer... except for the D-Pad." *sigh*

What do you think of the Nintendo Switch Lite? There's still a little while to go until its September 20th release date so why not leave us a comment or join in with the discussion on our forum. Be warned though, there is no debate when it comes to which is the best colour unit.

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