The Nintendo Switch Lite arrives to considerable fanfare even though it does not offer anything that unique. It is best to think of the Switch Lite as the little brother of the regular Switch console. The Switch Lite is limited to handheld use yet that does not mean the $200 price tag is unjustified. Plenty of gamers will shell out two C-notes for this ergonomically comfortable handheld gaming system, have an absolute blast and feel fantastic about the purchase. However, those who already own the regular Switch will find the changes made to the Switch Lite do not justify spending another $200.
How the Switch Lite is Different From the Conventional Switch
Ask anyone American who owns a regular Switch about the handheld gaming experience and he or she will testify it is lacking in many regards. For one, the regular Switch is uncomfortable in handheld mode. The buttons are egregiously small. The unit becomes quite hot after extensive use. Adding salt to the wound is the fact that the vast majority of the “early adopters” as they are called in the industry ended up with joy-cons that drift to the left or right, making it nearly impossible to play a game like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe in handheld mode.
The Switch Lite is Nintendo’s response to the complaints detailed above. The Switch Lite is more ergonomically comfortable than its older brother. Furthermore, there is no risk of joy-con drift as Nintendo has fixed that problem for the Switch’s second incarnation. However, the new version of the Switch does not have the HD Rumble feature that is built into its predecessor. Nor does the Switch Lite have the IR motion camera that is standard with the regular Switch. To offset these subtractions, Nintendo enhanced the comfort as noted above and also boosted battery life by 50%. It also helps that the Switch Lite is cheaper than the regular Switch.
Is the $200 Price Tag Justified?
Yes and no. Those who do not yet own a Switch and do not mind being limited to handheld gaming will find the Switch Lite to be worth every penny. However, current Switch owners who are unsatisfied with the feel of the console in their hands while gaming on-the-go will find it difficult to justify paying $200 for a more comfortable version of the console that does not pose the risk of joy-con drift across posterity. However, the fact that the Switch Lite cannot be connected to a TV is a major chink in its armor. Furthermore, the Switch Lite does not support tabletop mode. The masterminds at Nintendo certainly deserve credit for their innovation yet they must be criticized for failing to include a kickstand that props the Switch Lite upward on a table or other flat surface. In short, those who already own a Switch should pass on the Switch Lite. Those who have not yet hopped on the Switch bandwagon and do not mind gaming in handheld mode will immediately fall in love with the Switch Lite.