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The Nintendo Switch Lite: Is It Worth it?

After months of speculation of an impending new model of the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo has finally put all the rumors to rest with the announcement of the Nintendo Switch Lite. Set to release this September for a price point of $199.99, the Nintendo Switch Lite will offer consumers a more affordable way to experience the Nintendo Switch’s game library…

But at what cost?

Though the Switch Lite is certainly cheaper and smaller than the original model, it isn’t without its drawbacks. The name of the console would have you think that it should be compared to the successor of the Nintendo DS, the DS Lite, but in fact it has more similarities to the 2DS, the stripped-down, budget version of the 3DS.

While the DS Lite was indeed smaller than its predecessor, it sported an improved backlight, with no drawbacks aside from GBA games sticking out a little more. On the other hand, the 2DS lost the 3DS’s 3D display and offered no real benefits over the original model other than the cheaper price point. The latter is basically what is happening here.

The Switch Lite is a stripped-down version of the original Switch. Some of the features that make the Switch, the Switch, are completely absent here. According to Nintendo, playing the game on your TV is impossible, even if you were to purchase a dock separately, and it doesn’t even support tabletop mode, as there is no kickstand to hold the system up.

The Switch Lite can only be played in handheld mode, and the controls are unable to be removed from the system, meaning that some Switch games cannot be played at all using the Switch Lite, or have certain gameplay features unavailable. There’s also a few other missing features, including a lack of the Switch’s HD rumble and IR motion camera.

Certainly, some people will feel that they only need handheld mode, and that the Switch Lite is the perfect fit for them, but I think you should really sit down and ask yourself: Is the cheaper price point really worth it for a gimped piece of hardware?

A piece of hardware that is just outright worse than an already existing model. A piece of hardware that offers absolutely no benefits (other than apparently slightly improved battery life, I guess) over its predecessor. Sure, it’s $100 cheaper than the existing model, but if you wanted to play any games that require separate Joy-Cons, you’d have to shell out $80 for the Joy-Cons and optionally another $20 for the Joy-Con Grip, instantly nullifying the price advantage over the original Switch. And you will still have to lay it flat on your table in order to play tabletop games, unless you spend more money on a third-party stand, and you still won’t be able to dock the system to play on your TV, even if you wanted to shell out even more money on a dock.

But perhaps none of that matters to you. Perhaps you don’t want to play any of those games that would require purchasing additional Joy-Cons and accessories.

But there’s still one key problem that makes the purchase of the Switch Lite questionable: the built-in Joy-Con controls. See, the Switch Joy-Cons have a bit of a problem–they’re extremely prone to failure. A quick visit to your favorite search engine will reveal countless stories of people’s left Joy-Con analog sticks “drifting”—which means that they move on their own without user input. This is such a widespread problem across just about every single first-party Nintendo controller for the Switch that it isn’t even a question of if your Joy-Cons will need to be replaced or repaired, but a question of when.

Repairing them means physically opening them, and since the Lite’s controls are hardwired into the system, that would mean having to open up the entire console to fix it, which is probably a significantly tougher repair job. And if you want to replace them… well… tough luck. Hope you enjoy playing your games with your system flat on your table. It is certainly possible that these Joy-Con drifting issues will be fixed by the time the Switch Lite rolls around, but considering that this has been a problem as far back as the Switch’s launch, I seriously doubt it.

With all of these issues in mind, I honestly don’t think the Switch Lite is worth anybody’s money.

Sure, it’s lighter, more portable and has slightly better battery life, but pretty much every other aspect of the system is a downside compared to the original model, and I honestly think you’re better off just saving up an extra hundred dollars and getting the fully-featured original Switch model instead.

 

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  1. Richard Garabedian on August 6, 2019 at 3:26 pm said

    Type text here…I wanted a console only switch that has no ability to be played on the go…”THAT” is something i want…Not a mobile handheld version.!

  2. Kyle Davison on August 6, 2019 at 11:57 pm said

    Thought about getting this for my kids, but sounds a little too limiting in function.

  3. I think this could be good for kids. you shouldn’t buy this one for yourself.

  4. Not interested in the Lite but I am going to get a Switch because the political BS that is happening on the other consoles isnt for me anymore.

  5. Any news on when the updated Switch version 2 with the better specs, RAM, and battery life? I heard something around Sept / Oct 2019. It would be nice if we could get the news here as well.

  6. If you own a regular Switch this seems like a pretty bad deal. For more hardcore gamers who would like to play the bigger titles the regular model is the obvious choice. The Lite may be targeting the Pokemon audience who care just about a selection of other games. Nintendo may also be signalling to the 3DS audience that the Switch Lite is its replacement.

  7. I would most likely just play mine in hand held since i like watching YouTube or other media in the back ground i have been excited since they were announced. I already pre-ordered the yellow model.

  8. SgtShooterPerson on August 7, 2019 at 10:45 pm said

    Between the fact that the JoyCons are not detachable and it cant dock, Ill be waiting for the switch pro. While the d pad would be nice, I cant give up being able to SWITCH my switch. I also don’t trust the analog sticks to not drift and if they cant be removed its a huge problem.

  9. android3d3 on August 8, 2019 at 3:11 am said

    I am really on the fence about this one.

  10. I am certainly not interested in this version. The drift is real and I would hate to be stuck with it more than I already am with the normal switch. I think this version has its place in making the switch games more accessible to people hesitant about buying a console, but anyone who would normally invest in consoles should really just pony up. It is a bit of a shame that a switch pro announcement was not released earlier. I would have preferred that version. Hopefully it would have a data transfer feature like the DS line to allow for upgrades.

  11. looks good for like a children gifth but certanly not for more adult players, still probably gona give it a try, looks fun to have for the rest of the family.

  12. terminalinsanity on August 9, 2019 at 8:33 pm said

    I really love Nintendo, but i don’t understand their hardware decisions. It must be the difference in Japanese and Western culture. Or maybe its just a way to sell more things.

    • That’s because you don’t have kids…
      This system is jot for us. We already have the original switch and it’s just fine.
      This nez version is designed to handle schoolyard abuse and priced just right to equip aeveral members of a family. Mark my words when pokemon comes you’ll see kids with yellow awitches EVERYWHERE.

  13. Not my thing i love the 3ds but always wished i was playing those games in my tv never had the urge to do the reverse

  14. I think completely missed the point here: this system is for kids and families. You talked about the 2DS and that’s exactly what we have here.

    No parents in their right mind would let their kids anywhere near the original Switch because the joycons rails and dock are rather easy to damage or break, let alone take a $330 system to school.

    Also, in many cases parents end up having to buy several systems for their kids, sometimes in addition to the one they aready own for themselves. At $200 it means if you have two kids you only have to shell out $400 instead of $660. That’s a HUGE difference.

    Kids and families are a huge part of the gaming market. They can make or break a system. Think about the Wii, the PS2, the original GAMEBOY.

    And with Pokemon coming this fall it is rather obvious that we will see litterally hundreds of yellow switches invading schoolyards and christmas trees.

  15. The real question here is how ‘kid prone’ this cheaper switch is. Can you chuck it across the room with little worry for a cracked screen, as you can with most other Nintendo handhelds? If not, it’s hardly worth the cost. If yes, it’s perfect for younger children, but may still be a bit too big for their little hands tbh.

  16. Arthur Pendragon on August 11, 2019 at 8:04 pm said

    This will be very child friendly, the idea is nice. But me personally, I’ll be staying with my OG switch all the way.

  17. Was planning on getting this for my kid. But there’s far too many drawbacks. May just go with the original. When the revised model comes out.

  18. Here’s where the price point makes sense.

    There are many more parents who are willing to buy 2 switch lites at $400 for their kids than 2 switches at $600.

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