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First Look at Nintendo Switch Lite

Jackhammer

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Edit: Nice write up from Verge.

There’s a new Switch on the way, and it’s a whole lot smaller. Today Nintendo revealed the Switch Lite, designed as a less expensive alternative to the original tablet / console hybrid. It comes in at $199 — $100 less than the base unit — and for that price you get a streamlined version of the Switch, but also a few caveats. The Switch Lite is designed explicitly as a handheld: you can’t connect it to your TV, and the Joy-Con controllers are built right in. “The two systems will complement each other and co-exist in the marketplace,” Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser tells The Verge.

There are a number of improvements with the Switch Lite. It’s significantly lighter, for one thing; I played with one for around 20 minutes, and the difference was noticeable, particularly when you pick up an original Switch afterwards. The Switch Lite also feels more sturdy since the Joy-Con controllers are now part of the device. The controller layout is largely identical on the Lite, though the new Switch has a proper d-pad, replacing the not-so-precise directional buttons on the original.

But that new design does come with some tradeoffs.

The most notable is the inability to connect to a television; that flexibility has been a large part of the Switch’s appeal. Similarly, the built-in controls and their lack of detachable controllers, HD rumble, and IR sensors creates some small compatibility issues. If you want to use motion controls to catch monsters in Pokémon Let’s Go, or play a game like 1-2 Switch that requires them, you’ll need to purchase an additional pair of Joy-Con separately. Currently, all Switch game packages specify when titles are playable in portable mode, and Nintendo says similar labels will be applied to the digital eShop. If you attempt to purchase a game that’s incompatible with the Switch Lite from the eShop, the company says you’ll receive a warning.

Aside from the new design and those few changes, the Switch Lite and the original Switch are largely identical. Nintendo says there’s no performance difference between the two models, and you can still use the same accessories with the Lite, including Joy-Con controllers, the Switch Pro Controller, and the Poké Ball Plus. The Switch Lite still supports Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC, and has built-in gyro controls.

Credit: The Verge
 
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ItsMeMario

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I bet it will fail...hard.
 

Damien

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I bet it will fail...hard.
I fear this too, the system has USB Type C meaning adding HDMI function wouldn't be hard, all it does is make less people want to buy. Joy Con's attached is fine by me but the lack of HDMI/TV output is a no no and to think I held out hope the new Switch would have a better design and features than the original.

I reckon modders will find a way to readd HDMI in time mind you.
 

Awbacon

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Give me a Switch 2.0 with a new Tegra chip inside and I'm a buyer. Otherwise my normal Switch is fine
 

StevO9389

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I was holding out for a more consolized version than a more portable version.
 

cta

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^ Very much this. Give me a real console, properly heatsinked and without a screen I won't be using anyways, and I'll bite. Not this.
Guess I'll just have to keep my eyes open for a broken-screen device and build my own... (Anyone happen to know if a normal switch will boot in dock mode, but without the LCD panel attached?)

Also, why the eff did they get rid of rumble altogether? Didn't have to be HD or even particularly strong, but surely some kind would've been possible without affecting weight/battery life too much?
 

ChlorideCull

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I fear this too, the system has USB Type C meaning adding HDMI function wouldn't be hard, all it does is make less people want to buy. [..]

I reckon modders will find a way to readd HDMI in time mind you.
The matrix switch IC used for DisplayPort over USB 3 (PI3USB30532) which the Switch uses to transfer video to the dock is actually not that cheap, 1.36€ per chip even at high volumes, so I highly doubt that will still be on there. Skipping the dockability also means they don't have to worry about making the graphics presentable on a large screen, hence the cooling can also be trimmed down.

This is basically just the 2DS version of the Switch, trimming out a lot of "nice to haves" for a significantly cheaper unit. It's not intended to be an upgrade to the Switch, it's meant to be a downgrade, really.
 
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It looks a lot better for handheld usage. I think the regular Switch is very awkward for portable gaming. The system is too big, the left side lacks a D-pad which makes for awkwardness in platforming games, and the right joystick is too close to the face buttons. I would actually argue making it smaller than what it is would be a good choice.
 

Domspun

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What? You guys are crazy. As soon as the Switch came out, I wanted a cheap, only portable Switch. Now it's coming out, I'll finally be able to play Xenoblade Chronicles 2.
 

FamilyGuy

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What? You guys are crazy. As soon as the Switch came out, I wanted a cheap, only portable Switch. Now it's coming out, I'll finally be able to play Xenoblade Chronicles 2.
Personally, I just think it would have to be cheaper to really be worth it.

For roughly 30% off you're giving up docking, detachable joy-con (aka durability), and rumble. That's a tough call, at that point I'd take a used switch instead.

Now, for 50% off I think it'd make a great console for kids to buy for themselves with their savings or as a secondary switch for the household.
 

Trimesh

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Personally, I just think it would have to be cheaper to really be worth it.

For roughly 30% off you're giving up docking, detachable joy-con (aka durability), and rumble. That's a tough call, at that point I'd take a used switch instead.

Now, for 50% off I think it'd make a great console for kids to buy for themselves with their savings or as a secondary switch for the household.
I almost never use my Switch docked, so I suppose I would be part of the target market for this - at least if I didn't have a Switch already.
 

HI_RICKY

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there good chance NS Lite not made in china
after that, they step down NS , and made pro some where too
 

Mystical

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We were looking to get a second switch (we always play docked) as the Mrs is tired of me hogging it with Zelda when she wants to play something else so we were holding out for a Switch Pro but now they have announced the Switch Lite we have decided to just buy a second Switch as the lack of Dock really killed it for us, I can understand the appeal for someone who prefers portable gaming however for us it just didnt offer enough for the price point.

Picked up a Switch with Mario Maker 2 + £30 e-shop credit for £299.99 which seemed a good price
 
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