The year 2017 was the year legendary videogame manufacturer Nintendo introduced a new evolution of the gaming experience. That was when the Nintendo Switch was released. Combining the graphical prowess of a console and the convenience of portability in a hybrid system, the Switch became a heavy best-seller to rival contemporary-generation consoles that have been released longer than it. Earlier this year, Nintendo teased at least two variants of the Switch gaming device, one of them being a purely portable version that would also be affordable compared to the base model. That portable Switch variation was finally revealed this week.
IGN has it that Nintendo announced the Switch Lite this Wednesday, July 10. This came in the form of a promotional video presented by Yoshiaki Koizumi, Nintendo’s general producer for the Switch hybrid console. The Switch Lite is at first glance a Nintendo take on Sony’s Playstation Portable or Vita, but of the roughly similar thickness as the Switch main game unit, and with fixed controllers at the sides instead of detachable Joy-Cons. In actuality, the Switch Lite display is at 5.5 inches, smaller than the regular Switch, but due to being stripped of extra functions boasts a longer battery life of about 3-7 hours.
Koizumi explains that due to the full optimization of the Nintendo Switch Lite for handheld play, there are features from the original game system that were removed. For instance, it cannot connect to a TV for a larger display whether on its own or with a regular Switch Dock. Its own screen is not HD quality and it has no infrared capabilities. What the Switch Lite does have is a true directional pad, which arguably has a superior control feel compared to the separate directional buttons that are found in the original. For all this however, the Switch Lite can be priced at $199.99, $100 less than the default Switch.
Initial reactions to the Switch Lite were somewhat even, with one side favorable of the D-Pad and better battery life, but the other camp seeing the device itself as superfluous compared to the still in-development Switch Pro, a reportedly more power variant of the baseline Switch console. Nintendo however posits the Switch Lite as a superb choice for people who want a dedicated portable gaming experience, especially as there are more than enough game titles for the platform that are optimized for portable mode, which can be indicated at the package documentation in the back.
The worldwide release of the Nintendo Switch Lite has been scheduled for September 20, and it will come in three colors of yellow, grey and turquoise. More color variants are coming in November that are patterned after Pokémon from “Pokémon Sword and Shield,” titles are optimized for Lite portable gaming.
Image courtesy of The Guardian