The new Nintendo Switch revision, the Nintendo Switch Lite (Why was it not called the Lite Switch?) is now out on store shelves. The new Switch model features a $200 price point, with some key features removed in order to make that happen. Today, we'll be going over five different things that the Nintendo Switch Lite is missing out on, along with five things that it does better than the original Switch console. Without any further ado, let's get into it.
10 Missing: Docking
Obviously, the main feature that the Nintendo Switch Lite is missing is the ability to dock the console for TV play. Why switch when you could... not switch? This is one of the main reasons that the system was able to be sold at only $200, but still, it is a big miss for the Lite. However, this does mean that many other changes were able to be made to the system. Many of these will be discussed in later entries on this list.
9 Better: Design Choices
The changes to the design of the Switch with this revision did mean that the Switch Lite was able to get a bit more fun with its coloration. There are currently four different colors to choose from for the Switch Lite (one being a special edition Pokémon Sword and Shield console) that are much more appealing than the original Switch. The matte finish also helps to reduce smudge marks, which is always something that's nice to see in a console. We'll likely see many new color choices and limited edition variants be released later into the life cycle of the Switch Lite.
8 Missing: HD Rumble
One feature that the Switch Lite is missing is the HD Rumble found in the Joycons. This isn't something that is super essential to the console, but it was still a nice feature that a few different games took advantage of here and there. This is another removal from the system that allowed for the cheap $200 price point for the console. However, not all of the changes that the Switch Lite received were removals. Some things got an upgrade.
7 Better: D-Pad
Fans have been asking for a D-Pad variant of the Joycons since day one. It's a handy control scheme to have for things like 2D platformers, even if there's only like, ya know, one on the Switch. No one at all makes those anymore. Especially not indie studios.
The D-Pad is a nice little selling point for the Switch Lite, but isn't likely to make anyone switch (ha) to this variant if they were already going for the Switch Big Boi edition. Still, it is a nice feature to have since there aren't Joycons needed for this system.
6 Missing: Infrared
One other feature that the Switch Lite is missing is the infrared sensor to be able to use Joycons as pointers. Once again, due to there not being detachable Joycons on the system, this isn't really necessary, but it could still be there for those who choose to buy another pair of Joycons. While the Infrared wasn't a feature that was used by every title, it does make some games a lot harder to play (or completely inaccessible), which shouldn't happen with a console revision.
5 Better: Weight And Portability
One nice thing about the Switch Lite is the Lite part of that name. While the original Switch isn't too bulky, the Switch Lite slims the console down to an even smaller size, which makes it that much more portable. It also takes a lot of weight off of the console. As this console isn't a hybrid and only works as a portable machine, this only helps to solidify its position as an easy device to carry with you from place to place.
4 Missing: Detachability
The detachability of the original Switch's Joycons was a great function of the system. This meant that the system came built-in with two controllers from the start. Now with the Switch Lite, you only have the system itself, that's it. We'll get into why the lack of Joycons is part of an even bigger problem in just a second. But first, another positive.
3 Better: Battery (Maybe)
Depending on when you bought your Nintendo Switch, the size of your battery will vary. In total, there are over 30 million Switch owners out there who have a battery that lasts two and a half hours to five and a half hours depending on the game. The Switch Lite, on the other hand, will hold a charge anywhere from three to seven hours. While this isn't quite as long as the newer Switch model that was released this year, it still is an upgrade from the original Switch. With a portable system in mind, an increased battery is always a welcomed change.
2 Missing: A Lot Of The Value
The $200 price point of the Switch Lite is appealing, but let's look at what we're losing to cut off that $100. The dock alone costs $90, okay, that should basically be all you're losing right there. But you're also losing HD Rumble, Infrared and the Joycons. Since you can't detach the Joycons, your system doesn't come with a second controller, meaning the cheapest first-party controller you can get will run you $70. You'll also need these if you want to play Joycon only games like Super Mario Party. Is all of the value that you're losing there really worth the $100 you'll save over the original Switch model?
1 Better: Smaller Bezel
One nice thing about the Switch Lite is the smaller bezel size compared to the original model. The original Switch's is huge. While the Switch Lite overall has a smaller screen, the bezel is actually very small, meaning that the screen to system ratio is quite nice. Considering that things might be a bit harder to see on that smaller screen (Looking at you, Fire Emblem textboxes), this use of space with a smaller bezel is nice to see, and is also just more aesthetically pleasing for an already very pretty console.