After much rumours and speculations, the Nintendo Switch Lite is finally official. As most have expected, this is basically a more budget-friendly version of the original Switch, and it may appeal to those who have always wanted a smaller, more portable Switch console.
However, given its more affordable price tag, one of the signature hardware of the Switch had to be omitted from the Lite version. That’s right, the Joy-Con controllers are no longer removable, being fixed instead to the console itself.
But does that make the Switch Lite an inferior product? Not at all, and here’s why.
For starters, there is no performance disparity between the Switch Lite and the Switch: you’re getting the same kind of performance level. On top of that, the Switch Lite actually has slightly better battery life, thanks to a more power-efficient chip layout, a smaller display, and not needing to charge the Joy-Con controllers anymore.
As expected, every accessory announced for the original Switch will also work with the Switch Lite. Either it’s the Switch Pro Controller, the Poke Ball Plus (for Pokemon Let’s Go), or heck, even an extra pair of Joy-Con controllers bought separately – all of them will be compatible.
Speaking of which, you will need a separate pair of Joy-Con controllers if you want to play certain titles on the Switch Lite. Games like 1-2 Switch requires the Joy-Con controllers to be separated from the console, so it wouldn’t be possible to play it with the controllers affixed to the Switch Lite. It’s a bit of a give and take to lower the price of the new console.
Other features omitted from the Switch Lite include the ability to adjust brightness automatically (you’ll have to do so manually now), there’s no more kickstand at the back of the console, and you cannot connect it to a TV at all. It’s a handheld-only console, basically.
But, again, that doesn’t make the Switch Lite inferior to the original Switch – it’s made for a different audience. It’s meant to appeal to gamers who want a more portable version of the Switch, which is why the screen has been downsized to 5.5 inches. Despite the smaller display, the resolution still remains the same at 720p.
The more compact form factor of the Switch Lite is certainly nice, but the best selling point of this console has to be its much lower asking price. In the US, it is set to retail at only $199, which comes up to about RM820. For the sake of comparison, the Switch costs $100 (approximately RM415) more in the US.
However, whether or not the Switch Lite will be priced below the RM1,000 mark once retailers start bringing it into Malaysia still remains to be seen. We’ll have to wait until the new console is officially released on 20 September to find out.
Oh, there’s also a special Pokemon Sword and Shield edition of the Switch Lite, which looks really, really good (in our opinion). Unlike the standard version, this Pokemon edition of the Switch Lite will only arrive on 8 November, which is slightly earlier than the release of the game itself on 15 November.