Nintendo Switch Lite – The Newest Member of the Switch Family

Nintendo has announced that a new member of the Switch family is coming and it’s a lighter, more streamlined, all handheld version of the Nintendo Switch, the Nintendo Switch Lite.

Rumors have been swirling regarding new Switch systems for several months now so it’s no surprise that this was announced for a September release. The Nintendo Switch Lite is coming in three new colors, Turquoise, Yellow, and Gray. There is also a new Pokemon Sword and Shield special edition console launching in November. The Nintendo Switch Lite will launch for $199, will have a 5.5-inch screen and slightly better overall battery life. The console itself looks great but you will be sacrificing some features if you choose to go with the Lite. 

The Nintendo Switch Lite is a purely handheld console and does not “Switch” in any way other than it plays the same games. It will not dock and connect to the TV, and it won’t have detachable Joy Cons (although it can still use them) and it is a quite a bit smaller and lighter overall. I find that there are only a couple of Switch games that I actually play on the TV so this isn’t a complete deal breaker for me personally, but there are Switch owners that I know play the system docked almost exclusively. With the possibility and rumor of a Pro version of the console on its way, it’s hard to decide whether or not to jump in on this new design in September. 

Speaking of the design, I want to talk about that here. I personally love the design of the Lite. The colors make it pop, the overall look of it not only makes it look like a traditional handheld but side by side next to the original Switch, it just looks more modern. Hopefully, the new hardware has resolved a lot of the issues the original had with warping, joystick drifting, and screen durability. My Switch has a bit of warping/bending due to the unbelievably long play sessions of Breath of the Wild at launch, a game that I played primarily on my TV. 

I love the approach Nintendo is taking with the Nintendo Switch, having a cheaper system that will appeal to those that play primarily in handheld mode is great, featuring an actual D-Pad is an amazing addition and I’m sure there will be so many more colors and special editions coming for the Lite. I’m really crossing my fingers for a Link’s Awakening special edition since the game launches the same week as the Switch Lite. For the first time ever, Nintendo has one console that fits all. I don’t have to buy a home console and a handheld to play all the best Nintendo games, but I might want to, so hear me out.

I have always owned a Nintendo home console and a Nintendo handheld. The 3DS and the Wii U, the GBA and the Gamecube, and the Super NES and the GameBoy. I always dreamed of having a console I can play on the go and turn around and play those same games on a home console, progress carrying over, etc. The problem with the Nintendo Switch currently is that, while it is somewhat portable, it’s not quite as portable as I would like it to be. It’s large and heavy, and the battery life is quite bad.

The Switch Lite solves some of those issues for me. It’s lighter, has better battery life (estimated 3 – 7 hours) and it’s a bit smaller. Nintendo is rumored to be releasing the Pro model of the Switch sometime in the near future, and I can see myself having both, Pro at home and Lite on the go. The only issue I foresee with this is that Nintendo is not quite up to par with transferring online cloud saves and seamlessly transferring saves and games between two consoles. If I go all digital I want to go home, put my Switch Lite down, pick up my Pro controller, and pick up where I left off. I know that’s a lot to ask, but if they could get close to that, then the Lite is a definite purchase for me. 

Overall, it’s good to see Nintendo leaning hard on the Switch and moving things forward. I always loved that Nintendo iterates on its hardware frequently as it keeps things feeling fresh and new. I can’t wait to see if they do offer a Pro version of the console and if so what it will upgrade in terms of specs, but for now, I am happy the Switch Lite exists.

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