Is a Switch or Switch Lite Right For You?

Switch gamesThere’s a lot of thought that goes into purchasing a video game console. Whether it’s your first console purchase or you’re a seasoned professional, the decision-making process never seems to get any easier. Not only do you have so many options available, but some systems are incredibly comparable to the other that deciding between the two is nearly impossible.

For Nintendo fans, you now have two options to decide between when it comes to buying a new Nintendo console: the Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite. While one sports a more versatile look, the other is much more compact and dedicated to compact gaming. So, which one is right for you?

We’ve decided to put the two consoles head-to-head with one another to help you weigh the pros and cons of each to figure out which Nintendo console was made for you. Take a look at our comparison below as we attempt to make the buying process a little bit easier for you. 


Slight Differences in Design

The Nintendo Switch has always been a somewhat portable video game console, but just big enough to the point it couldn’t fit in most pockets or small pouches. With the introduction of the Nintendo Switch Lite, fans of the console now have the option to play something that’s even more portable. Despite sporting a design 30% lighter than the Switch, the Switch Lite has plenty to be excited about in terms of its design.

With the Switch Lite coming in at 8.2 x 3.6 x 0.6 inches, it is noticeably smaller than the Switch’s 9.4 x 4 x 0.6-inch design. Not only that, but the Switch Lite only weighs 9.8 ounces, a stark difference to the 14.1-ounce Switch. While this may not be a huge difference for most gamers, there are a few other slight differences in design that may change their minds.

With the Nintendo Switch Lite, the detachable Joy-Cons that are typically found on the standard Nintendo Switch are now permanently attached to the Switch Lite in what Nintendo calls the Control Pad+. This gives the console a much sleeker design complemented by its matte finish. While these design changes seem minimal -  to the frequent gamer, it is often a significant selling point for handheld consoles.


No Major Contrast in Display

Not only has the Nintendo Switch Lite gotten smaller in design, but its size reduction was also applied to its screen. With the Nintendo Switch rocking a 6.2-inch touch panel, the Switch Lite trimmed it down to a 5.5-inch touch screen. The good news, however, is that both designs have 1280 x 720 resolution so overall graphics fidelity is not sacrificed.

While some fans may scoff at the Switch Lite’s smaller screen size, with its thinner bezels and seamless design, the size difference really isn’t all that noticeable when compared to the Switch. In fact, the Nintendo Switch Lite technically offers a better image quality than the Nintendo Switch due to the number of pixels it packs in the smaller screen. While this difference is barely noticeable, it’s well worth pointing out.

Restrictions in Gaming Capabilities

Probably the best part about the Nintendo Switch Lite is that all Nintendo Switch games are also compatible with the Switch Lite. However, there’s a slight technicality that we have to add. While all Switch games are compatible with the Switch Lite, it only plays games that support handheld mode.

So what exactly does this mean? First off, the Switch Lite is in permanent handheld mode and doesn’t switch to a console that can be hooked up to a TV. And games that require players to separate the Joy-Cons from the Switch will have a difficult time being played on the Switch Lite- if they’re able to be played at all. Some of the games that stand out to us in this regard are Ring Fit Adventure, Nintendo Labo games, and 1-2-Switch.

Now, while this seems like a significant restriction, we assure you that it’s less noticeable than it sounds. With the Switch Lite, you’ll still be able to play games such as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons, regardless of which console you’re using. Despite these restrictions, the Nintendo Switch Lite is still very comparable to the Nintendo Switch.


Some Variance in Battery Life

This category is where the Nintendo Switch Lite shines. With the Switch Lite, users get approximately 3 to 7 hours of battery life compared to the Switch, which has about 2.5 to 6.5 hours of battery life. While it seems like a slight difference- take note that as a handheld, that extra half hour or hour means a lot when you’re stuck on a long road trip with no video games to play.


Similar in Price

Additionally, the Nintendo Switch Lite also appeals to gamers who are looking to be more conscious of their video game spending habits. At $199, the Switch Lite is an excellent deal for what players get in return. With the Nintendo Switch coming at $299, there are only a few minor differences between the two consoles, and the extra $100 could be spent on plenty more things if gamers are looking to get more bang out of their buck.


Our Overall Thoughts

All in all, as with every gaming purchase, the decision you make will come down to what matters most to you. Comparing these two consoles with each other left us with no definitive winner. Ultimately, your decision to purchase the Nintendo Switch or the Nintendo Switch Lite will be the result of your budget, technical preferences and lifestyle. Hear us out here:


If you’re a gamer who is always on the go, values battery life, and wants a handheld console that can easily be stowed away: then the Switch Lite is the one for you. While you may not have the Joy-Cons that are such a joy to play with, we don’t think you’ll notice them being gone all that much, depending on which games you prefer to play. With an updated design and lighter weight, you simply can’t go wrong with the Switch Lite. 


However, if you’re a gamer who wants a hybrid gaming console with full capabilities, the Nintendo Switch is right for you. While it does come with a rather hefty price tag, you’ll be able to enjoy the entire Nintendo Switch library of games while also getting the option to use or remove the Joy-Cons to make the gaming experience even more enjoyable. Additionally, with the Switch, you also get the capability to play games on your TV, which is a beautiful thing to have when you have friends or family over to visit.


Actually thinking it over, the real winner here is ultimately Nintendo for understanding their gamers’ sensibilities. Let us know in the comments below which system you’ll be purchasing and why!

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