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Thursday, July 11, 2019

First Look (and Thoughts on) Nintendo Switch Lite

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Letting past Lite versions down. (It also can't switch.)

Once upon a time in mid-2006, Nintendo released and announced the Nintendo DS Lite, a hardware revision to the 2004-released Nintendo DS, around the international release of Brain Age. According to Nintendo,
The Nintendo DS Lite offers a smaller, sleeker package with a brighter screen, larger stylus, and a longer-lasting rechargeable battery than the original Nintendo DS. The unique game play features and wireless connectivity remain intact.”

Put another way, the DS Lite was a great improvement over the original, offering basically everything in the DS but better.

Skip 13 years later. Nintendo has just announced the Nintendo Switch Lite, releasing this September around the release of Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield. Here's the first look trailer, with my thoughts to follow:

The Nintendo DS Lite was an upgrade from the DS. The Switch Lite is pretty much a downgrade in terms of features, serving as a handheld-only Nintendo Switch that cannot, in fact, switch to docked mode on an external monitor, or have access to the USB ports on the dock (no GameCube controller for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate; no recharging the Pro Controller for...everything else; no ability to use the LAN Adapter). No IR camera or (HD) Rumble. There's a marginal ~half-hour bump in battery life, and a slightly smaller screen. The whole thing is still too big to actually carry in a portable manner unless you're using a backpack, however, which probably defeats the purpose.

Nintendo Switch Lite commerial passing Joy-Cons red blue hands
Joy-Cons sold separately.
(Where are the Joy-Con straps and Nintendo's commitment to safety?)

I'm one of those people who play their Nintendo Switch in docked mode approximately 99% of the time. (I have over 1,200 hours on it... I'd say I've played around or under 12 hours in handheld mode.) Obviously, a handheld-only Switch does nothing for me.

Fortunately it's not only about me. The Nintendo Switch Lite is $200 compared to the $300 for the Nintendo Switch. It's a lot more comparable to the 2DS vs. the 3DS than the DS Lite vs. the DS. And I was a big fan of the 2DS conceptually (and an extra-larger fan of the 2DS XL). I know there are people who mostly play the Switch in handheld mode. That's weird to me, but, hey, options. If you know you're that kind of person before ever buying a Switch, then it makes sense to buy the Switch Lite. You might know if you enjoy playing the Game Boy Advance or PlayStation Vita a lot more than the GameCube or PlayStation 4.

Just make sure you check the back of the box (or on the eShop page if you're a digital purchaser) to make sure that the game you like is compatible with handheld mode. 

Ludwig has updated KoopaTV's disclaimers page to reflect that he no longer holds 100 shares of NTDOY stock. He figured that the stock price bump earned from the Switch Lite announcement would be a good time to sell all of the stock. Now he doesn't know what securities to reinvest the money to, so he might just keep waiting for a recession. If you have any hot stock tips, or you want to share your thoughts on the Nintendo Switch Lite, please utilise the comments section.

Important note: The Switch Lite and Labo don't play well together.
The Switch Lite's advantage over the regular Switch in battery life only lasts about a month.
The Nintendo Switch Lite releases, but without Ludwig caring much.


  1. I also exclusively play my Switch in docked mode as I see it as a home console first and handheld device second. That is why I will continue to stick to the 3DS as my main go-to portable system. While the library of newer games is basically dead at this point, I still enjoy visiting my town in Animal Crossing and replaying some older titles. While the Switch Lite is great for those who care more about portability and want a cheaper option to play Switch titles, it just is not for me.

    1. At this point, I have more games in my Wii U and Wii backlog than my 3DS.

      ...I think I'm done with everything on my 3DS besides a couple levels in the last campaign of Culdcept Revolt but that's quite RNG-dependent and I haven't succeeded after like 10 tries. :( All it's used for is trying to achieve one trillion in wealth in the StreetPass Mii Plaza Market Crashers game.

  2. I only really liked playing Wargroove in handheld mode as it made it feel like a genuine GBA game. Nearly every other time I prefer playing on a bigger screen.

    1. One assumes that the quality of the handheld mode, in terms of the controls being bolted on instead of removable, should be better.
      Especially since unlike the control stick-drifting Joy-Con, you can't swap them out with a non-broken component.

      But yeah it's pretty much a GBA.


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