For a home game console, the Nintendo Switch is tiny. Mine sits atop my Xbox One like an oxpecker on a rhino. But compared to previous portable game systems, it’s a behemoth. I could fit the Nintendo 3DS or Game Boy Advance in my pocket. I need a bag to safely carry around my Switch, and with the detachable controllers on the sides, it feels like the whole unit could shatter if I dropped it.
This week, Nintendo announced that they’ll be releasing a new device, called the Switch Lite. This system is significantly smaller, with a price tag to match - $100 cheaper than the original system. The controllers don’t detach, so this one should be more durable. Additionally, instead of the four directional buttons on the original Switch, the system has a traditional D-Pad.
However, there are a few catches. First, like I said, the controllers don’t detach. There are a few games that rely on that feature, like Super Mario Party, so those won’t be compatible. Second, and I think this is the most significant, the Switch Lite won’t be able to connect to a TV. You’ll only be able to use it as a handheld unit.
For some people who just want to use it as a portable system, that won’t be a problem. But, even though most games are compatible with this unit, it doesn’t mean they’ll work well. With a 5-inch screen and no option to plug into a TV, multiplayer games just won’t be very fun.
It’s good to get a Switch out there at a lower price point - I think my sister might pick one up so she can play the upcoming Animal Crossing game. I just hope people understand the limitations before they buy one.