Nintendo Switch Lite Review: Another Great Nintendo Handheld

9.0 - Nintendo Switch Lite

Nintendo changed the video game industry when it introduced the Switch in 2017. A company that has excelled in handheld gaming combined that mentality with a dedicated home console to create a hybrid that is both ingenious and fun.

But, while playing the Switch undocked has been a preference for me, I never felt the ease of playing it on the train like I did with my DS or any other Nintendo handheld. There was always something of a disconnect between the Switch and on-the-go gaming, which muddied much of the point Nintendo was trying to make with the Switch's original design. In that sense, the Switch Lite appeared to be the prevailing solution to my problem.

nintendo switch lite colors
Nintendo

PERFECT PLAY-ON-THE-GO

The Nintendo Switch Lite is a smaller and easier-to-play version of the company's popular home console. With its lighter feel and analog controls, this is the handheld experience I was hoping for from the current generation of Nintendo games.

I can now play Super Mario Odyssey, Fire Emblem: Three Houses and Pokémon Sword and Shield easier and for longer periods of time while the system remains undocked.

The Nintendo Switch Lite's touchscreen is 5.5 inches as opposed to the original's 6.2 inches. The Lite weighs only .61 pounds as well, so it's easier to carry in bags of any size, and it places less strain on your arms during longer gameplay sessions. To compliment this, the Lite's battery life is longer, clocking in around three to seven hours depending on your settings and the game being played.

It also costs less, coming in at just $199 instead of the traditional $300 price tag. To get to that pricepoint, Nintendo had to sacrifice some features including the Switch's detachable Joy-Con and rumble features. While those features make the overall experience on certain Switch titles feel more complete, I personally didn't miss them.

It's also important to note that not all Switch games are compatible with the Nintendo Switch Lite. Those titles that require the Joy-Con to be detached can't be played on this version of the console, but there are not many titles that fit that description to begin with. And those games, like Super Mario Party or the Just Dance games, are better played on your television on a docked Switch anyway. The Switch Lite does force buyers to think about the games they purchase, though. Especially for parents and families, this extra research step is a noticeable downside despite the small number of impacted games in the library.

There's also the game-sharing problems you may encounter while owning both versions of the console. If you have your Nintendo account set up on your original Switch and want to play on the Lite, you have to make sure the handheld console is the primary as it won't need a constant internet connection to play games.

While the original set up has a few more steps than I'd like, once it's done you don't really have to worry about it. My suggestion is making the Lite your primary Switch, as it will likely be played without an internet connection. Make your docked Switch the secondary so you can easily play games from the comfort of your home.

VERDICT

The Nintendo Switch Lite is a great handheld device that takes everything the original console did and makes it better for the handheld-minded gamer.

While the extra console is a bit unnecessary for those who already own the original Switch, if you're looking for an entry point into the next generation of Nintendo games or want a cheaper Switch for a clumsy family member, the Switch Lite is a perfect fit. With its lighter, smaller frame and longer battery life, any dreams you've had of playing some of the best games of the past few years on the go can easily come true..

The Nintendo Switch Lite is available now.

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