Nintedo Switch Lite Hands-on: Game on the go

Video Credit: Engadget Hands-On - Duration: 04:56s - Published
Nintedo Switch Lite Hands-on: Game on the go

Nintedo Switch Lite Hands-on: Game on the go

Nintendo's new Switch Lite is a portable-focused version of the switch.

The new Switch Lite can't connect to a TV, and ditches the removable joy-cons for a single-body design, but it's just as powerful as the original switch, and comes with improved battery life, as well.



It's Nintendo's smaller, cheaper version of its current console, and it's a surprisingly impressive device.

[MUSIC PLAYING] First impressions-- just holding this thing, it feels incredibly light.

It's about a third lighter than the original Switch at, like, 0.6 pounds.

The Switch is, like, 0.9 pounds.

It feels more almost like a 3DS or a typical portable console from Nintendo.

And the other thing too is it feels very sturdy.

One thing that always kind of annoyed me about the Switch is that those Joy-Cons, they're removable-- which is really nice and convenient, but sometimes they go flying out.

Sometimes I can't always feel like it's always firm and sturdy on the console.

This machine feels like everything is all in place.

But to get smaller, of course, Nintendo had to sacrifice a couple things.

The Switch Lite has a 5.5-inch screen, compared to the 6.2-inch from the original Switch.

Playing it a little, it's not super noticeable.

I think for something that you're going to be playing handheld most of the time, that's actually fine.

It's actually a better screen to have.

An issue with the Switch that I've always had is that it always felt kind of lopsided.

It was a little too wide, especially with the controllers sticking out.

It never felt comfortable with one hand, which is-- this is something I can hold up really easily.

And with two hands, even the original Switch felt a little awkward at times.

This feels perfect for portable, on-the-go play.

And of course, since there aren't any removable Joy-Cons, I think the controls just feel a little more sturdy as well.

The big difference here-- it has the same joysticks and buttons as before, but instead of a four button D-pad facsimile type thing, this machine actually has a traditional D-pad.

And playing through Mario Maker 2-- but as Zelda, like, it just feels very tight.

It feels like what I'd expect from a Nintendo console, whereas the original Switch's D-pad always felt kind of funky.

And of course, because it's so much lighter and more portable, this is a Switch that you can actually fit in your pocket.

I'm wearing some slim jeans and it slides in pretty easily.

Coming out, it's kind of a problem, because those joysticks just kind of get stuck onto everything.

But still, a great deal easier than it is with the original Switch.

That can fit in my pockets, but it looks ridiculous.

It's way too tall.

And getting it out of my pockets is kind of a huge mess too.

This, for people who just want to play Switch on the go, seems like the ideal machine.

The Switch Lite is $200, so it's $100 less than the original Switch.

And you know, you also lose a couple other things because of that.

There's no more video out, so you can't play on your big screen TV.

There's no HD Rumble, so any games that relied on that or use that feature in any way, you just won't be able to take advantage of that.

So that's kind of a shame.

Honestly, HD Rumble is not something I've ever relied on too much, so not a huge loss for me.

I will say, the biggest downside of this console is that it looks like something I really would want to take on the go.

Maybe take on a work trip or something, plug it into a hotel TV, and play on a bigger screen.

The fact that we can't do that is a little disappointing.

I think for the lower price, a lot of people will probably be fine making that sacrifice.

Playing through Mario Maker 2 and Zelda-- Breath of the Wild, this console feels just very comfortable.

It definitely feels like something I'd just want to snuggle up in a couch and play for hours on end, whereas the original Switch, maybe not something I'd always want to do that with.

That was always the console I preferred docking and playing on my big screen TV.

This one definitely feels more suited to gamers who are expecting more of a 3DS experience.

Overall, as a portable machine, I think people are going to be really impressed with the Switch Lite.

It feels honestly like an upgrade over the 3DS and Nintendo's past portable consoles.

And in some ways, it's a downgrade from the big Switch, but I also think the gamers who never really jumped onto that console because of the price or because of the mechanics of it being a little too large to be portable, they're probably going to be more interested in the Switch Lite.

So it seems like a smart move for Nintendo.

And if you're not into the Switch Lite, you'll still get a bit of benefit from this.

Nintendo brought over some of the hardware into the original Switch for a new revision that's going to have longer battery life.

It's still the same $300 price, but it's going to last a lot longer than our launch Switch did, which I think makes it more viable as a portable console for a lot of people as well.

So when the Switch launched, it definitely seemed like Nintendo was playing with the idea of juggling portable gaming and console gaming.

The Switch Lite is definitely a bet on pure portability, but it makes sense.

Just as a console, it feels better.

I think for a lot of people, that cheaper price is going to be really compelling.

The real question is, what's going to happen with the 3DS?

What's going to happen with those other consoles?

That remains to be seen.

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