Nintendo today introduced a new Switch Lite version of its latest generation console, which permanently connects the controls, reduces the hardware a bit and adds a bit more battery life. But it also eliminates the part of the 'Switch' equation, since it can only be used in the hand. Instead of connecting it to a TV or as a unique desktop game experience.
Most changes seem to be at the service of lowering the price. Since it will be sold retail for $ 199 when it goes on sale in September. That's 100 dollars less than the original Switch, which is a big price cut; could open the Nintendo market to a whole new group of players.
But it is also a change that seems to take away much of what made the Switch special. Including the ability to connect to a TV to enjoy a great experience on the screen, or quickly separate Joy-Con controllers for movement control of the games with feedback of rumblings.
The new design of the Nintendo Switch is aimed at portability
Switch Lite makes some crucial changes that I suspect Nintendo knows that reflect how many people actually use the switch. Regardless of what the ideal client and with Switch's aspirations do in advertisements and Nintendo promotional materials.
As already mentioned, you should increase the battery life during the actual game. I could add an extra hour when playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, for example. And the saving in size means that it is much easier to slip into a bag when traveling.
The new redesigned and permanently connected controllers also include a suitable D-pad on the left instead of the individual circular buttons used on the Joy-Pad. And the smaller screen continues to output the same resolution, which means that things will look sharper in the game.
Most people use the switch in a portable way
For me, and probably for many Switch users, the compensations made here are actually improvements that reflect 90% of my use of the console. I almost never play connected to a TV, for example, and could easily do without it. Since most of the time I do it for a single use of party game that is not really all that is needed.
The design of the controller with a D-pad is much more practical, and I have never used motion controls with my switch for any game. Battery life means that you probably do not need to recharge half the trip on most short and medium duration trips. And the saving in size means that when I'm packing and pushing, I'm much more likely to take the Switch Lite instead of leaving it at home.
Some critics are already criticizing how this model worsens the switch in almost every way. But in reality I think it's the opposite. Nintendo may have changed part of its brand peculiarity for this version, but the result is something much more like how most people want to use a console most of the time.