Nintendo has a pre-form when it comes to hardware audits, especially its handheld consoles. Given the regular Switch, both the line between home and portable, and proved to be a huge success for Japanese gaming, it was inevitable that it would also see a refresh on the 3DS line developing in the 3DS XL. Switch Lite is a puzzle though: more of a evolution, with most of the features that make the switch unique, yet it manages to be one of the best set pieces Nintendo has ever produced.
Technically, the name "Switch" no longer fits in, since Lite cannot be connected to television, thus it cannot "switch" between port and portable forms. It also means that only manual mode games are compatible with the new console – try buying a Nintendo eShop that requires TV output (Labo, Just dance, 1-2-switch, Super Mario Party) and you will be warned that it is incompatible. This is the biggest change, but not the only one.
Lite also lacks Joy-Con removable controllers instead of a single unit and offers a smaller screen – 5.5in versus 6.2in on the original model. Both run at 1280×720, but the smaller form of the Lite gives it a total of 267ppi, compared to 237ppi. The difference is practically negligible, though, although the light pixels appear a little more visible.
The overall smaller Lite form factor – 20.8×9.1 cm by 23.8×10.2 cm and weight by 280g versus 398g – makes it perfect for frequent travelers, while gamers on the move will also benefit from battery improvements. . Lite has a lower battery life, but performance improvements mean you'll get between three and seven hours of play, depending on the game, before you need a recharge.
Aesthetically, it's a very nice piece of kit, and while currently only available in three colors – gray, turquoise or yellow – Nintendo's track record practically promises more colors and special editions, allowing owners to make a small statement with their choice.
Lite's all-in-one housing feels more durable than modular switch in manual mode. Call it technological paranoia, but the fear of jumping on Joy-Con controllers from the original Model Switch is real, especially when they are £ 75 per pair – Lite being a solid block eases that concern.
Integrated controls also mean that controls on the left should not reflect the right, allowing Nintendo to re-introduce an appropriate D-pad for controls. It's a little scam, but the four-way button feels far more precise, and just more satisfying in the hands than the regular up-left-right button.
Anyone who is tempted by the new model should think about what they are losing. None of the Joy-Cons can be separated, no instant multiplier, and although you can still pair the Joy-Cons or Switch Pro to Lite wirelessly, the question arises as to why you wouldn't just get a regular switch at that point ?
While gyroscopic features are retained in new hardware, it loses Joy-Cons' HD cast, softening the physical immersion in games. You will also need to think about the scale – while The Legend of Zelda: Awakening the relationship it looks good in the manual form of any model, the huge open world of its series counterpart Breathing in the wild really sings on the living room TV. No such luxury awaits the owners of Lite.
Lite's biggest problems are down to digital ownership and account management, however. Nintendo surprised him by easily setting up Lite as a new console or moving your Switch to Lite account, allowing you to play all the games you previously bought digitally on the new system. But there is a striking flaw – people who want to use the Switch Lite plugin on their original switch.
In such cases, you can set up a Lite user account and sign in to your Nintendo account by registering it as a secondary console. You may still be able to download any of your digital purchases on eShop, but Lites will need to verify permissions each time you start a game. Since it needs to be online to do this, Lite is becoming – almost ironically – unusable away from home or at least an internet connection. That long flight has suddenly become much less game-friendly.
Oh, and if you switch to Lite as your premier console? Your account and game saving data on the default switch have been irreversibly deleted. Fortunately, cartridge-based games are not affected in the same way, so players with physical fitness can still have Lite as a secondary console.
Probably, Nintendo is causing everyone with a regular switch to be able and likely to use it portably. It is likely, even – Switch Lite exists in part due to usage trends, which show that many owners are already playing manual mode. However, he fails to realize that some of Nintendo's most ardent fans will be exactly the kind of people who will want Lite as well as a standard switch and want to swap between them. Managing Draconia's account makes it stricter than it should be.
For anyone coming in for the first time to switch and knowing most of the playing time will be while traveling or otherwise away from home, Lite is a solid option.
Being able to play nearly the entirety of Switch's catalog means it has a killer day-to-day software library, a far more appealing prospect than Nintendo has launched a successor to the 3DS, while firmness and comfort make it suitable for longer gaming sessions. on the go
So, this is a great addition to the Nintendo hardware family – though anyone who wants a full range of Switch features and the flexibility to play at home will want to stick to the original version.
If you're looking for new titles to play on your Switch, check out our guide to the best Nintendo Switch games
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