Switching Up to a Downsized Platform

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Lately I will admit I have been playing my Nintendo Switch a lot more. I guess I can blame the excellent Super Mario Maker 2 for that. Though I haven’t worked on my own levels yet, the fact that I have a near limitless supply of user created levels to take on never gets old, no matter how insane and sadistic some of the levels have become. The game is just so darn fun that if it did come out before my Best of the Year (so far) column was delayed, it would easily make it onto the list, but don’t be surprised if it’s in the top five at the end of the year.

That being said, the Switch has completely won me over as a legit system. Whether I take it on the go or hook it up to my big screen, the experience has been one of the best I’ve had in recent years. Being able to just dock it to my television, remove the Joy-Cons and get a quick round of Smash Ultimate is what helps make the Switch what it is.

Yet still, Nintendo realizes there is an audience that wants a completely portable version of the Switch, and today they announced the Nintendo Switch Lite.

Coming in at a slightly smaller display (5.5” compared to 6.2”) and a bit lighter (.61 pounds compared to .88) the Nintendo Switch Lite’s Joy-Con controllers are integrated into the unit itself. But in a very smart move, the directional buttons for the left Joy-Con have been replaced with a standard cross shaped D-Pad. I will admit that on my Switch, I use a third party D-pad Joy-Con published by Hori, and the difference in many games is there, and is definitely appreciated. For Nintendo to do this will make a lot of Switch Lite gamers very happy.

However, two key elements of the original Joy-Cons were removed. One of them I can completely understand, and that is the removal of the IR sensor. However, removing the HD Rumble feature will hurt a lot of games, and I hope that Nintendo realizes this and makes an add before the September release. I’m guessing however it was removed to help increase the battery life compared to the original Switch, even if it’s just by a half hour.

In addition, while the Switch Lite is compatible with games that support Handheld Mode, any that are Tabletop Mode or TV Mode only (such as 1-2-Switch) will require the purchase of additional Joy-Cons, which will require an additional purchase.

Not only that, but I didn’t notice anything about an included charging cable. Though the Switch Lite will not support the original Switch dock, it looks like it still has a USB Type-C port on the bottom. The question is, will a USB-C power adapter be included, or will it have to be purchased separately similar to what Nintendo did with their β€œNew” 3DS?

If so, then that makes the initial MSRP of $200 a bit too high. If Nintendo released it at $179 then maybe it would be a more interesting price point, but if an AC adapter is included, then maybe, just maybe it might be acceptable.

I know the Nintendo Switch Lite will not be for me as I already own a full size Switch and am very happy with the product. But I also believe that consumers should have options, and this is a good option for multiple Switch families, or those who want a cheaper alternative for their kids, similar to when the Nintendo 2DS was released. We’ll have to see come September 20th when the Switch Lite is released if it will be successful or not.

Currently Playing: South Park-The Fractured But Whole (Steam PC) Mario Maker 2 (Switch)

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