It would be quite the understatement to say that the Nintendo Switch is a simple success. It really has exploded into the industry and has been the hottest gaming product over the last couple holiday seasons. Nintendo’s hybrid console-portable devise has made a positive impact not only for Nintendo but for the entire industry. Despite sales of the Nintendo Switch continuing to be positive, rumors swirled around about a possible redesigned Nintendo Switch, either a handheld only Switch or a more powerful pro model.
Just recently, Nintendo has revealed the Nintendo Switch Lite and it will be launching on September 20th, 2019. What is strange is that the timing for the Nintendo Switch Lite doesn’t make too much sense, especially when you consider all of the changes and cuts that had to be made for this system to exist. Here we will list a few things about the Nintendo Switch Lite that doesn’t make much sense.
20 Switch Sales Are Just Fine
While video game industry sales are on the decline overall, the Nintendo Switch has been the one bright spot. According to the NPD report, the Switch is the only platform to have a positive year-to-date monthly sales result (as of July 2019.) There are no signs of decline for the system whatsoever so why would now be the time to release a new model for the Switch?
19 It’s A Switch That Can't, Well, Switch
The point of Nintendo’s current system’s namesake is that it allows the player to play in whatever capacity is most comfortable to them. If you enjoy the higher quality home experience, you can lay it in the dock and play on your TV. On the other hand, if you like convenient gaming, you can take it with you and play on the go. The Switch Lite only offers one of those play styles, so what exactly makes it a Nintendo Switch?
18 The Switch Lite Suddenly Doesn’t Have The Best Battery
One of the main draws of possibly owning a Switch Lite over the original is having a longer battery life. However, that would quickly be overshadowed by the newer model of Nintendo Switch that Nintendo quietly released. This new model features a battery life of 4.5 to 9 hours, trouncing the Switch Lite. That means you could potentially play Zelda for 5.5 hours on max settings. Battery life is very important for a handheld device, yet Nintendo has negated one of the beneficial reasons of owning a Switch Lite.
17 Switch Lite Isn’t As Portable As It Should Be
Yes, the Nintendo Switch Lite is a smaller system than the original, but is it really more portable? The Switch Lite screen size is 5.5” opposed to the original’s 6.1” while the weight is .17 lbs lighter. It's small enough to make it easier to carry around in a bag or purse, but it isn’t really pocket-sized like the Game Boy Advance systems. Considering the Switch Lite makes sense for kids and young adults, it doesn’t make sense if they can’t carry it without a bag of some kind.
16 Games Look Better On The Switch Lite
While the original Switch isn’t exactly a powerhouse system compared to the PS4 or Xbox One, the graphical powers of the Switch is impressive as a handheld system. Ironically, the Switch Lite actually makes games look better compared to the original in handheld mode. This is due to having a smaller screen and not having to stretch out pixels as much. Games like Xenoblade Chronicles 2 can greatly benefit by being played on a smaller screen.
15 Can’t Play Super Mario Party On Just A Switch Lite
As mentioned previously, the Switch Lite is lacking a few features of the original Switch. That includes the IR motion camera that is used for motion controls. Without the use of motion controls, games like Super Mario Party and 1-2-Switch are unplayable on the system as is. The “Joy-Cons” for Switch Lite are built into the main hardware so you can’t detach controllers and use them individually like you could with the Joy-Cons.
14 Joy-Cons Still Exist On Switch Lite
Despite not being able to play games like Super Mario Party on the Switch Lite on its own, it can still technically be played as the Switch Lite can apparently connect to other Joy-Cons. What doesn’t make sense is how would this properly be utilized on the Switch Lite? It wouldn’t feel right to be playing a party game on one handheld screen, even if it were connected to other Switches.
13 Party Games Would Be Complicated On Switch Lite
Continuing with the Super Mario Party example, or any game that requires everyone to be looking at one screen, the Switch Lite isn’t built for local multiplayer experiences in the same way that the regular Switch is. One missing feature is the lack of a kickstand, so you can’t have quality multiplayer experiences if you are out with friends and want to share a screen. This is one reason why you could say the original Switch is still a more effective portable system.
12 The Switch Lite Isn’t Built For Online
Much like the 3DS and portables before it, online gameplay on a portable platform may not be the best of combinations. For one, most of the time you would be on the go, so there is always a chance that you may not have a Wi-Fi connection. Even if you have a portable hotspot, certain Nintendo published games may require a certain Nat-type setting to play, one that a mobile hotspot may not provide. Splatoon 2 is a prime example of this; it would be difficult to play online if you have to rely on a portable hotspot.
11 Switch Lite’s Color Choices Are Lacking
The Nintendo Switch Lite will launch with 3 color varieties: gray, light blue and golden yellow. It would be nice if there were more options like a red or white option. At some point they may create more, but why not now? Additionally, these color choices won’t be as customizable as the original Switch since you can customize the look with your choice of Joy-Cons with the latter. On that note, that makes the Switch Lite less appealing compared to the original.
10 Pokemon Sword and Shield Gets Its Own Switch Lite
This is where the alienating is a bit strong. Let’s say there is a Pokémon fan who is actually excited for Pokémon Sword and Shield but have no interest in the Switch Lite. That fan would gladly pay for a new special edition original Switch if the design was there, but no that is only the Switch Lite. If that fan wants a Pokémon themed system, it would have to be the Lite and not the original. It would have been great if there were special edition Joy-Cons, which could help save money.
9 Certain Games won't Transfer Data
You might be interested in purchasing a Switch Lite and then use your original Switch as a home console only option. Ok sure, that can work; especially with cloud saves since it saves you the issue of having to transfer data between systems. There is just one problem— Nintendo’s cloud save service won’t work for certain games to avoid “cheating” within the games, meaning you won’t be able to transfer Splatoon 2 data whenever you like.
8 Voice Chat Will Still Be An Issue
Nintendo’s voice chat approach is still a head-scratching decision. Fortunately, games like Fortnite can use the headphone jack on the Switch instead of using a mobile app on a phone. However, that would only make things convenient if played portably. Now that the Switch Lite is a portable only system, you would think just having voice chat done primarily through the Switch headset make sense, but of course it is Nintendo so you can’t do that (unless you are playing Fortnite,) the mobile app is still needed.
7 The Dock Is A Great Charging Station
One of the underrated perks of the Switch was the dock you place it in to play on a TV. Not only was it a convenient place to just lay the Switch in to charge, but it also had a few more USB ports you could use to charge other electronics or connect other applications. With the purchase of a Switch Lite, you won’t have a dock, likely will just have an AC adapter.
6 Nintendo Finally Uses A D-Pad, But Only On Switch Lite
One of the improvements many wished for on the Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons was to have a D-Pad instead of directional buttons, providing a more traditional feel. There are 3rd party Joy-Cons that use D-Pads, but not ones developed by Nintendo themselves. The Switch Lite, however, does have D-Pads. Does this mean the Joy-Cons will receive that update? Chances are probably not as they can be played individually sideways.
5 No Rumble On Switch Lite
Rumble features have been a nice addition to gaming controllers throughout time. They aren’t major innovations for the most part, but they have helped enhance the experience of gaming. While that feature is not ever used in dedicated handheld systems, the regular Switch does provide HD rumble with the Joy-Cons. However, that feature is absent from the Switch Lite. Yet another removed feature that reduces the overall experience of Switch Lite compared to the original.
4 Yeah, You Won’t Be Playing Switch Lite Like The Trailer
Nintendo used a lot of lifestyle trailers to promote the Nintendo Switch. These trailers featured young adults playing the Switch with friends and family in outdoor places. These trailers don’t make much sense. In the Switch Lite trailer, you had people playing in open sunlight, which in reality would prove difficult as the sun’s glare can affect how you see the screen. Additionally, you had a jokingly creative setting of an astronaut playing in space. That probably won’t happen, but it would have been better to see someone sit on a toilet— at least that's realistic.
3 Why Go Lite Instead Of Pro?
If the Nintendo Switch were to have a redesigned, many would’ve thought that a stronger “pro” model would have been a more sensible decision. After all, the portable aspect of the system is impressive as is. Having a more powerful system would have made some games run better and smoother. Additionally, it could help convince some other 3rd party developers to bring their game to the system. Imagine being able to play Resident Evil 2's Remake on a console-specific Switch? Despite the Switch Lite, there are still rumors swirling about for a potential pro version coming.
2 The Switch Lite Has A Longer Battery Life
The battery life for the original Switch may be underwhelming depending on the system settings and the game you are playing. Playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild on max settings means you’ll probably only have about 3 hours until you need to charge it. However, the smaller Switch Lite has an extended battery life that can go between 3-7 hours, which is interesting considering the Switch Lite is a smaller unit, but that leads us into our next point.
1 Switch Lite Is Completely Different
Everything that you know about the Nintendo Switch changes drastically with the Switch Lite. The Switch Lite is a cheaper model that is meant only for handheld gaming. As such there are many modifications, mostly removals that are done to the Switch Lite. These include extended battery life, no joy-cons, no HD rumble or IR motion sensing, and an actual D-Pad on the left side. The type of product you can expect with the Switch Lite is different than that of the original Switch.
Sources: Nintendo.com, Gonintendo.com