Nintendo introduced the Nintendo Switch Lite in 2019 as a more portable and affordable sibling to the original Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch OLED. This handheld gaming console is a design revision that integrates the Joy-Con into the hardware unit and uses a smaller screen that has a diagonal measurement of 5.5 inches. Nevertheless, considering its reduced form factor and its particular market positioning, it comes with tradeoffs. This article lists and discusses the pros and cons or advantages and disadvantages of Nintendo Switch Lite.
Pros: Advantages of Nintendo Switch Lite and Notable Features
This device is more portable than its bigger sibling. The graphics processing capabilities are also almost similar to an undocked original Nintendo Switch. The user interface and user experience are the same. Hence, when it comes to high-quality gaming, this device delivers. The following are the advantages of Nintendo Switch Lite:
1. Smaller and Lighter Handheld Console
The device measures about 3.6 inches high, 8.2 inches long, and 0.55 inches deep. It also weighs at 0.61 lbs. Take note that the bigger Switch OLED model is about 27 to 30 percent bigger in size and heavier in weight. The smaller form factor provides a more comfortable gaming experience for an extended period. It also fits in average-sized trouser pockets.
2. Decent High-Quality Gaming Experience
Another notable feature of Nintendo Switch Lite is that it is powered by a custom Nvidia Tegra processor. This is the same processor that powers its bigger siblings. The device provides users with a high-quality experience on a smaller form factor. This is an improvement from previous handheld consoles such as the PlayStation Portable and Nintendo DS.
3. Expansive Selection of Video Game Titles
This device also boats of supporting more than 5000 video game titles. This includes exclusives from franchises like The Legend of Zelda, Mario Kart, and Pokémon. Most games can be bought as a digital copy or as a physical copy. There is also a decent selection of free games that can be downloaded from the official online storefront or other websites.
4. More Long-Lasting IPS LCD Screen Display
Another advantage of Nintendo Switch Lite, particularly when compared to the Nintendo Switch OLED model, is its in-plane switching or IPS LCD screen. This might be considered a drawback because OLED displays have a superior contrast ratio. However, considering lifespan and overall durability, IPS LCD is still the better display technology.
5. An Affordable Handheld Gaming Console
The affordable price is also a main selling point. This device retails for around USD 198.00. The original Switch is priced at USD 299.00 while the OLED model is more expensive with a price tag of around USD 348.99. It is also worth noting that consumers can snatch better deals during promos or from several retailers such as Amazon and Walmart.
Cons: Disadvantages of Nintendo Switch Lite and Main Issues
The intended goal behind this handheld gaming console was a departure from the positioning of the original Nintendo Switch. This device is marketed toward casual gamers. It competes against mobile gaming platforms and even several cloud gaming services. Hence, based on this specific market position and its redesign configurations, it has several notable drawbacks. Below are the disadvantages of Nintendo Switch Lite:
1. Absence of Various Hardware Features
It is worth mentioning that the Joy-Con is part of the overall hardware unit. It cannot be removed for two-player gaming. This device also does not support docking. It can still be connected to an external display but this requires using various third-party cables and some hardware mods. This device does not have dedicated video output components.
2. Several Unsupported Video Game Titles
Another disadvantage of Nintendo Switch Lite is that there are game titles that are playable in the original Switch but are unplayable on this device. These include game titles that require the HD Rumble or IR camera features. Examples are Super Mario Party and Fitness Boxing. Note that users are notified when purchasing unsupported game titles.
3. Restricted Multiplayer Capabilities
It is also important to underscore the fact that this device is designed for personal use. Think of it as a smartphone. It is not intended for multiplayer because it cannot be docked and the Joy-Con controllers are attached to the main hardware unit. It is still possible to play two-player games but this means that the other payer must also own or use another Switch.
4. Limitations of the Smaller Screen Display
The 5.5-inch IPS LCD screen might not be a deal breaker for some gamers. A small-sized screen translates to a less immersive gaming experience. The screen is still sharp and has a resolution of 1280×720. However, compared to high-performance gaming, this resolution is still standard HD or 720p. Even smartphones have at least 1080p resolution gaming.
5. Other Handheld Gaming Device Options
Some users might be better off purchasing the bigger Switch. It is also worth mentioning that a slew of handheld gaming devices have emerged in the market. These include the Steam Deck and Lenovo Legion Go for PC gaming on a handheld form factor and the Logitech G Cloud and the PlayStation Portal for on-demand or cloud-based video gaming.
Verdict: Advantages and Disadvantages of Nintendo Switch Lite
The disadvantages of Nintendo Switch Lite are negligible for what it can offer to its gamers. It is still a capable gaming console in a true handheld form factor. The graphics and performance are a step above previous portable handhelds and even smartphones. The wide selection of games is also one of its key selling points. Nevertheless, for both casual and dedicated games, the pros or advantages of the Nintendo Switch Lite make it an unparalleled device for on-the-go and mobile console-level video gaming experience.