Harder, Better, Faster, Liter: Nintendo Switch Lite Launch Guide

The Nintendo Switch has been a humongous success. In fact, it has sold over 36 million units and over 210 million in software. After struggling through the Wii U’s life, the Switch led Nintendo’s stock price to reach its highest levels in the previous seven years.

It’s only natural that Nintendo would invest even more in the console-handheld hybrid with the upcoming release of the Switch Lite. The Lite is a cheaper, more compact version of its current flagship gaming system.

 

Available Versions

Set to release on September 20, the Nintendo Switch Lite will cost $199. This is $100 less than the original Switch model. Much like past systems, Nintendo is looking knock down any barrier of entry to the Switch as a way to entice those still holding out

The Switch Lite will come in three different colors: yellow, turquoise, and gray.

However, if you’re willing to wait until November 8, Nintendo will release the Nintendo Switch Lite Zacian and Zamazenta Edition to coincide with the release of Pokémon Sword and Shield. Considering it is named after the legendary Pokémon from those games, illustrations of them will decorate the back of the light gray unit. In addition to the illustrations, the unit features magenta and cyan buttons.

Features and Specs

It’s not hard to identify what makes this new Switch so “Lite”.

First off, the Switch Lite weighs 9.8 ounces and has a 5.5-inch touchscreen. This is slightly lighter and smaller than the original model’s weight of 14.1 ounces and 6.2-inch touch screen.

Considering the Switch Lite is built for handheld play, it’s worth noting that it doesn’t have the “switch” feature. This means the Switch Lite lacks a stand and cannot be played on TV. Since the controls are built into the system, it doesn’t come with a set of Joy-Con controllers. However, you are free to pair extra controllers to it for multiplayer.

In addition to all these features, the Switch Lite has seen a minor improvement in battery life. The battery now lasts between three and seven hours depending on how demanding the game is.

Exclusive Games

One of the limiting features of the Switch Lite is that it can only be used in handheld mode. Therefore, it only supports games that can be played in that way. So, when searching for game compatibility, look for the “handheld mode” icon. Nintendo says that people can buy separate Joy-Con controllers, wirelessly connect them to Switch Lite, and play games that do not support handheld mode. However, it may not be a great experience on such a small screen.

To help, here are some of the best Switch exclusives suitable for the Switch Lite.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Released at the tail end of 2018, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the fifth installment of this highly-acclaimed crossover fighting game series. Unlike other fighting games, Smash sees up to eight opponents battle to knock each other out of the arena. Ultimate’s biggest selling point is its roster, which includes every character to ever be featured in the series.

Due to past iterations, many people initially thought that playing Ultimate in handheld mode would be inferior to docking it to the TV. However, it turned out that there were no compromises in the fast and responsive gameplay when switching between handheld and TV mode.

Add in the possibility of playing in your bed or as you wait for your doctor’s appointment, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a must buy at $59.99.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the latest installment in Nintendo’s most prestigious franchise.

While still an action-adventure game focused on puzzle-solving and high fantasy, Breath of the Wild takes the series in a brand-new direction. After a brief opening area, you are free to explore Hyrule however you see fit. This incredible freedom has led to critical acclaim and commercial success. In fact, it has received plenty of Game of the Year awards in 2017 and is the best-selling Zelda game at over 14 million copies sold.

At launch, Breath of the Wild had a few performance issues when playing on docked mode. However, said problems rarely occurred in handheld mode. Although these problems have been fixed, it’s a nice

Because you can freely explore the virtual open world, there are no time constraints to finish a specific task, which means it’s the ideal game to play on the go, or maybe when commuting to work or school.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Despite being the best-selling game on the Wii U, Mario Kart 8’s selling potential was always hindered by the low sales of Nintendo’s last-generation console. Fortunately, the game got another lease on life — and a chance at even greater sales — with the release of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for the Switch.

Although Deluxe includes all the gravity-defying racing and features from the Wii U, it has a few new features. Namely, a few new racers, Smart Steering controls, and the return of Battle Mode.

One might think that Mario Kart is best enjoyed with multiple people playing together, ideally sharing a TV. However, today’s technology allows for players to game together via the Internet, which means that you can have as much fun with your friends, but with the Switch Lite using the handheld mode.

You can pick up Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for $59.99.

Accessories

Nintendo is positioning Switch Lite as a great portable gaming system that can be easily carried and enjoyed anywhere. As such, it’s worth noting that there are many accessories that can vastly improve one’s experience or, at the very least, protect the device against falls and scratches.

Here are some of the best accessories that will be available at launch.

Carrying Case

Because the Switch Lite is extremely portable, it’s not too different from a mobile phone. This means that if you’re not careful, it may fall and break. Therefore, a carrying case is the ideal accessory to prevent such unwanted accidents.

Nintendo is releasing a case for $19.99 on the day the Lite comes. It’ll be a great option as there will be dividers for the game cards, earbuds, and will come with a screen protector. However, there are already third-party cases popping up on Amazon such as the ButterFox Switch Lite Carrying Case for $15.99.

Charger

It may seem like a silly idea to buy a charger since you already get one with your Switch Lite. However, you have to think beyond just a wired charger and think about portability.

The best choice is most likely a portable battery or more commonly known as a power bank. If you pick the Anker PowerCore 20100, for instance, it can add an extra 15 hours of battery life — equivalent to 2.5 full charges — and it only costs $74.99 on Amazon.

Memory

The Switch Lite will come with 32GB of memory, which sounds like a lot. In reality, it is just enough space for about five Switch games.

The best course of action to fix the storage problem is to get a micro SD card. A couple of good options include the SanDisk 128GB microSDXC Card for $24.99 and Samsung Evo Select 256GB for $39.99.

Screen Protector

If you’ve ever used a mobile phone with a scratched or broken screen, you know how annoying it can be. Instead of looking for the lower quality plastic protectors, you should consider something sturdier like tempered glass.

A good option is the amFilm Tempered Glass Screen Protector. It comes in a pack of three and is fingerprint and scratch-resistant. Moreover, it only costs $8.99.

Stand

You’re probably going to be mainly playing your Switch Lite in handheld mode. Since you can still connect it to Joy-Cons, you may want to play games on the table. However, the Lite doesn’t have this capability, so you’ll need to purchase a stand to do the job.

One option is the Hori Dual USB PlayStand for $29.99. In addition to propping up your Switch Lite, it will charge the Lite and any controllers you attach to it while you play.

Bottom Line

Your decision to buy a Nintendo Switch Lite will depend on your gaming style and where you like to play.

If you prefer playing on big screens and controlling the games with motion sensors, then the Lite may not be the best fit. But if you’re looking for a great portable device that allows you to play the latest games on the go, then just wait a little bit before getting your hands on this bad boy.

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