Switch Lite Critique – A Non-Switch Owner Critiques The Lite


The Nintendo Switch Lite console in yellow and the homescreen.

The new Nintendo Switch Lite has been out for a couple of weeks now, it becoming the newest handheld console to hit the market place. Though it may well have the Switch name the Lite is arguably a lot more of a successor to the massively well-liked DS line-up of handhelds. Personally I do not personal a Nintendo Switch but I have been waiting for a new, contemporary handheld console that I can play on the train, in a plane or just when I’m curled up in a bean bag and can not be bothered moving.

But just for the reason that I do not personal a standard Switch does not imply we do not want to chat about the variations involving the two models. Retailing at about £200 the Switch Lite is £100 less costly than its significant brother so there have been some main cutbacks. The most significant and most significant is that the Switch Lite can not be docked, which means it can not be hooked up to a Television or monitor in order to play games on a significant screen like its significant brother can. In truth, it does not have any type of external output capability, so you can not even jerry-rig something. In other words, the Switch Lite can not essentially switch. It is the Static Lite.

The screen is also smaller sized. On the standard Switch the handheld mode provides a six.two-inch touch-screen show with a 720p resolution. The Switch Lite drops the show size down to five.five-inches for a smaller sized type issue, but you do nonetheless get the identical 720p resolution which implies the Switch Lite essentially has a slightly sharper screen. It is not a massive distinction but it aids combat the truth that on the smaller sized show text can from time to time be difficult to study in-games. Fortunately just like the standard Switch the Switch Lite has a zoom function constructed in. Touch-screen functionality is also present.

The Nintendo Switch Lite console in yellow sitting atop a paperback of Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban.

As for the controls they can not be detached from the console itself. On the Lite they are firmly constructed into the device, which need to offer you a tiny a lot more durability and far much less possibility of a Joy Con finding accidentally lost. You can, even so, nonetheless acquire Joy Cons and connect them wirelessly to the Switch Lite in order to love nearby multiplayer in particular games, despite the fact that I’m not certain the five.five-inch screen is really attractive in that regard. I’ve not but felt the urge to huddle a couple of good friends about the tiny screen in order to love some Mario Kart eight.

All of this equates to a eight.two x three.six-inch package that is very a bit smaller sized than the standard Switch’s 9.four x four-inch. When you choose it up it fits nicely into the hands and it feels sturdy. The plastic shell does not specifically scream premium item but it feels and appears good, so that is not substantially of an concern. It does not match into pockets really effortlessly, thoughts you, which is constantly a bit of a bummer with transportable consoles. But at just 275g it does really feel rather lite (sorry) in the hands which is terrific for these longer sessions and also tends to make it less difficult to hold in one particular hand when making use of the touch screen.

As for colour selection you at present only get the Switch Lite in 3 standard hues: a grey model, turquoise and pale yellow. I’m honestly not a fan of any of them but sooner or later opted for the yellow which appears decent sufficient in actual life. I’d nonetheless like to see some a lot more colours offered, even though.

One more minor distinction is that you do not get an inbuilt kickstand. It is not specifically a massive issue but if you do really feel like watching some Youtube videos or a thing then awkwardly propping the Lite up is a bit of discomfort in the buttocks. The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller can also be connected to the Lite, so once more no kickstand is a actual shame. I’m certain some of the third-celebration accessories will resolve this, even though.

Ultimately, the Lite has completely no rumble constructed in. I assume this was ditched to enable reduce down price and save on battery, and I can not say it is a function I missed, even though it could definitely have helped with immersion.

With the main variations out of the way let’s jump into the Lite in a lot more detail. The apparent benefit of the Switch Lite is that almost the whole Switch library of games is offered to play on it. The only limitation is the game has to assistance handheld mode (indicated on the box) but because the vast majority of Switch games do that is hardly a issue. This implies you have got access to a wealth of wonderful games appropriate from the get go, from the likes of Breath of the Wild and the new Link’s Awakening remake to Super Mario Odyssey and Splatoon two and so substantially a lot more. It is an impressive library of titles to opt for from that Nintendo has constructed more than the previous couple of years and the Lite gets immediate access to them.

A yellow Nintendo Switch Lite displaying the splash screen for The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening.

The downside to all these amazing exclusive games is that they are pricey. Games on Nintendo platforms, specifically 1st-celebration titles like Mario and Zelda, have a tendency to hold their price tag and so stuff like Mario Kart eight and Breath of the Wild nonetheless retail for about £40-50 and even pre-owned versions nonetheless sit at about £30-40. For instance, a speedy scour on Ebay revealed that Mario Kart eight, which is essentially a port of the Wii U game, can be picked up for £32 offered you do not thoughts finding the cartridge only.

Of course, the excellent news about this higher costs is that you get a excellent re-sale worth for your games. Offered you are prepared to sell games you have completed you can recoup a excellent chunk of what you paid for it to place toward the subsequent obtain.

If you favor going digital then be warned: the Switch Lite comes with a disappointingly low 32GB of in-constructed storage space. Certainly I’d advocate choosing up an SD card to expand that if you have a tendency to download games rather than acquire the physical cartridges. A handheld like this actually need to have come with substantially a lot more storage by default, specifically with so quite a few people today now swapping to digital gaming more than purchasing physical copies.

The in-constructed wi-fi on the Switch Lite is not terrific, either. Download speeds have a tendency to be slow, a thing which customers of the standard Switch have suffered from as nicely. Possessing slow wi-fi in 2019 is genuinely baffling and that Nintendo didn’t seek to remedy this for the Lite and the new iteration of the Switch is frustrating.

As for the Nintendo E-shop as a entire and the Switch Lite’s software program it is all completely okay. There’s actually not substantially a lot more to say about it: it is easy, functional stuff that runs swiftly and lets you navigate effortlessly. There’s a good Nintendo News button, as well, so that you can swiftly get updated on sales or new demos and what ever else. You can also browse the internet, watch Youtube and do a couple of other issues.

If you want to play some on the internet games then that implies paying for Nintendo On line which charges about £3.50 per month or £18.00 for an whole year. There’s also an solution for a family members membership which consists of eight seperate accounts for £32. Your money also nets you access to a developing library of NES and SNES games which is terrific if you are a fan of retro gaming. In contrast to Sony and Microsoft even so, you do not get gifted any games each and every month, despite the fact that because the Nintendo service is substantially less costly that is not surprising.

The key promoting point of Nintendo On line is naturally becoming in a position to play against people today or in co-op, so how does that side of issues hold up? Nicely, not terrific. 1 of the hopes was that Nintendo On line would offer you committed servers for the main 1st-celebration games like Mario Kart eight, but that is not the case so alternatively you have to rely on peer-to-peer connections which are notoriously iffy. Placing peer-to-peer aside for now the connection across the Nintendo service feels usually much less reputable than on other platforms. I encountered very a lot of troubles with lag, players dropping out or even myself losing connection totally.

Voice chat across multiplayer is handled awkwardly, as well. Though some third-celebration titles have native voice-chat functionality the 1st-celebration Nintendo games do not. Rather paying for Nintendo On line offers you access to a smartphone app that you can use to chat to other people today. It is a clumsy workaround.

Ultimately, Nintendo On line provides Cloud Save which is constantly handy if you are operating several Switch’s or in case one particular gets broken. Thinking of the likes of Microsoft offer you Cloud saving for absolutely free on the Xbox even though, Nintendo asking for dollars for the function feels low-priced.

And that is the common impression I get with the entire of Nintendo On line: it is low-priced, each in terms of price tag and in terms of what you essentially get with it. Sony and Microsoft each ask for a lot more dollars, but in turn you get a substantially much better all round service.

Now let’s chat about comfort and usability. I’ve got fairly little hands and identified the Switch Lite to be uncomplicated to hold and very comfy. With that stated bigger hands may well discover it a bit cramped at occasions. The face buttons really feel excellent with a good softness to them while nonetheless possessing a satisfying really feel when they bottom out, and the new d-pad on the left does a excellent job at handling intense platforming, despite the fact that it did struggle to preserve up throughout fighting games. With that stated if you are a significant fighting game fan I doubt the Switch Lite would be your console of selection anyway.

I believed the five.five-inch screen may well just be a tiny little for gaming on but to my surprise it wasn’t an concern. I had no issue finding absorbed into what ever I was playing. The tiny screen is reasonably vibrant which is handy when you are out in the sun.Issues looked sharp and detailed. I’ve actually got no complaints in this location. Every little thing else even though – colour, contrast, black levels – all fall squarely into the, “yeah, it is okay” category. There’s nothing at all really incorrect with the screen, it just does not impress, either. In 2019 mid-variety phones boast lovely OLED displays, so I can not enable but want the Lite could have gotten a thing a tiny a lot more eye-catching. Nonetheless, it is excellent and does the job.

Raw efficiency was constantly a query mark for me offered the smaller sized size but the Lite seemed a lot more than capable of maintaining up with the games I threw at it with the only efficiency troubles becoming ones that currently exist on the standard Switch. For instance, Link’s Awakening is a excellent remake of a classic game but it suffers from framerate troubles on the regular Switch and these are really substantially present on the Lite. But it appears that the pure efficiency of the Lite is on par with its larger brother which is impressive, specifically because the Lite manages to keep really cool and quiet.

My only complaint about the comfort is that appropriate analog stick is positioned in such a way that it kept finding in the way of my thumb. I’d discover my thumb resting on the stick or sliding across the major of it unless I consciously adjusted the position of my hand. If the stick could have been shifted to the left a tiny it would have been less difficult to use and wouldn’t have gotten in the way as substantially. But it wasn’t a massive concern and naturally maintaining the Lite slim and transportable is a larger priority. And of course, finding a third-celebration cover for the Lite that adds controller style grips to the side is constantly an solution.

So, what was the actual gaming like? The answer is that it was excellent. I’ve now spent quite a few satisfied hours on Link’s Awakening, Breath of the Wild, Diablo three, Stardew Valley and Splatoon two and have identified the Switch Lite to be a brilliant handheld console, a correct successor to the DS. It was light sufficient and comfy sufficient that longer sessions weren’t an concern, and when becoming in a position to hook the machine up to a significant screen would have been good it was by no means a thing that bothered me. Even though it is a tiny significant to slide into pockets the Lite is nonetheless wonderfully transportable. I specifically loved how swiftly you can go from taking it out to playing a game making use of the sleep function. It tends to make it so uncomplicated to whip the Switch Lite out when you have just got 5 minutes to fill.

There are a couple of smaller sized issues that irked me about the Switch Lite, even though. Though you do get a three.5mm audio jack so that you can hook up some headphones in order to ignore the screams of dying people today about you, there’s no Bluetooth assistance for wireless headphones. On a transportable console in 2019 like this it feels like an extremely stupid missed chance.

As for the batter life it’s…okay. Nintendo advertised three.five-7 hours based on specifically what you are performing. 7-hours is unrealistic unless you actually just have it sitting on the key menu. In actual circumstances I was finding about three.five-six hours based on the game, with the likes of Breath of the Wild naturally pushing the technique substantially tougher and as a result draining the battery faster. The new iteration of the standard Nintendo Switch boasts slightly much better battery life, despite the fact that in fairness to the Lite the smaller sized style naturally implies much less space for a massive battery. All in all, I identified the battery life to be acceptable and the integrated USB-C wall adapter can charge the Lite very swiftly.

The final concern we want to talk about is one particular I’ve not personally skilled but: the dreaded drift. If you weren’t away Nintendo are at present facing substantial backlash and even a lawsuit more than what has develop into known as “Joy-Con Drift” which is when the analogue sticks register movement even when they are not becoming employed. The lawsuit claims that Nintendo are knowlingly continuing to sell the Switch in spite of becoming conscious of the issue which appears to be impacted a lot of people today. When the Lite launched there was concern that it may well fall prey to drift as nicely and sadly that does appear to be the case. Though I haven’t noticed something but quite a few other people today have currently reported possessing troubles, in spite of the console only possessing just launched. Of course, your warranty need to cover this, but it is an ongoing and worrying issue that Nintendo desires to aknowledge effectively and remedy swiftly.

If you currently personal a common Switch I actually do not see any explanation to run out and acquire a Lite unless you have a lot of spare money and really feel like that tiny added portability is worth it. If you occur to have a family members even though, the Lite may well be a excellent selection for the youngsters because you can share accounts and games and wouldn’t have to give them the a lot more breakable standard Switch.

If you are like me and have been hunting for a new handheld technique, even so, then the Switch Lite is brilliant. Arguably it is substantially a lot more of a successor to the immensely well-liked DS line. The truth that it can run complete-fledged console titles in your hands is damn impressive, and a terrific instance of just how far technologies has come. It is just the looming shadow of drift that puts a dampener on the Lite. With no any correct aknowledgement from Nintendo and with customers currently possessing troubles with the device purchasing one particular feels like a danger, substantially like acquiring an Xbox 360 throughout the dreaded Red Ring of Death escapade.

I’ve not skilled any drift personally even though, and so all I can inform you is my personal story with the Switch Lite. So far I’ve loved every single minute of owning it, and catching up on the wonderful library of games that Nintendo provides. It fits nicely into the hands, has a strong screen, excellent controls and excellent battery life. We lastly have a contemporary handheld gaming device outdoors of mobile and it feels terrific. Now if you will excuse me, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is bloody huge and I’ve got a lot a lot more exploring in it to do.


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