The Nintendo Switch Lite is Not Dumb

Nintendo recently announced the Nintendo Switch Lite. This is a purely handheld Nintendo Switch that lacks some of the functionality of the original. I’ve been seeing a lot of mixed feelings about the new member of the Nintendo Switch family, but I wanted to throw out my two cents. I think that the Switch Lite could be better, it’s still a good idea.

Let’s talk about what the Switch Lite can’t do in relation to the Switch. The number one thing is that it cannot do is connect to a TV. While I’m sure that some hacker will find some way around this, you can’t do it. This gets rid of some of its versatility. Another thing is that the controllers no longer have HD Rumble and are non-removable. Well, since you can’t plug the game into a TV, I don’t see the non-removable part a problem. As for HD Rumble, it’s not a necessary thing and while it’s nice, they’re trying to cut costs, so that’s fine. The final thing that is “missing” is that you can only play games in Handheld mode which effectively means you cannot do any local multiplayer.

Now, let’s talk about some other complaints I’ve seen. I’ve seen people talk about the “small” screen being a problem. It’s not a problem. It’s a 5.5” screen which is bigger than the Nintendo 3DS XL and no one was complaining about how small that screen was for games like Mario Kart or Super Smash Bros. Yes, it’s smaller than the Switch’s, but that’s OK in my book because it gives you a smaller footprint that is more suited for a handheld. Another complaint I’ve seen is that Nintendo should’ve changed out the analog sticks for something flatter. This is valid, although I will say that I prefer analog sticks to the circle pads that Nintendo probably would’ve changed to. Thirdly, I’m seeing complaints that they should’ve improved the screen with more brightness and better protection from glare. While I would love to see this (and it is possible it’s happening and they simply haven’t said anything), a big part of the Switch Lite is cutting costs and things like that would’ve added to the cost. Not to mention, I literally just went outside with my Switch in broad daylight and had no problem seeing the screen even when I tried to get a glare.

So, what is the Switch Lite doing better in my opinion? Quite a bit. The best part is that it’s $100 cheaper than an original Switch. That’s a big deal. A lot of people I know can’t afford a Switch and this difference in price will allow a lot more people to get this amazing system. Not to mention, if people wanted a second, third, fourth, etc. Switch, this is a much cheaper solution than dropping $300 per machine and stocking up on docks you won’t use. Also, the controls feature an actual D-pad. There are a lot of people who wish the Joy-Con had an actual D-pad and this gives them that. In addition, the smaller footprint and longer (albeit only marginally) battery life make this a lot better for travelling. Finally, I’ve been seeing a lot of people on social media say they mostly use the Switch in Handheld mode and I’ve seen my wife use it in Handheld mode most of the time she plays alone.

The Switch Lite is not meant to replace the Switch. However, if you are strapped for cash or are looking for additional Switch’s for one reason or another, that is where the Switch Lite will shine. The Switch Lite will not be for everyone, but it will be useful for many. I don’t think this is an error on Nintendo’s end, and if the rumors are true about a more powerful at-home Switch being worked on, it would fit even better as a companion to that device. What do you think about the Switch Lite?

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