The Switch Lite seems like a very smart move indeed for Nintendo, and will no doubt prove to be decent option for its target audience. For those who already own an original Switch model, though, and those who are happy to pay for the best Nintendo can offer, it does raise one or two concerns.
When Nintendo released the 2DS - a cheaper version of the 3DS which cut back on the console's key features (sound familiar?) - we started to see fewer and fewer games utilise features like the stereoscopic 3D of the original machine. Sadly, it made sense - why would a developer spend valuable time working on a feature that only a portion of its players can enjoy?
With the Switch Lite taking away the 'Switch' part of the console, with no connectivity to the TV, and also other features like HD Rumble and the IR Camera, will we see the same here? Well, hopefully not according to Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser.
Talking to Time, here's what he had to say about how Nintendo will handle the support of both consoles going forward:
“Our developers will be very focused on the Nintendo Switch flagship device, and building games that utilize the capability of that machine. With the vast majority of existing games already compatible with both devices, that shouldn’t be as much of an issue.
But we really want [developers] to focus on making sure that there are great gaming experiences on both platforms. And it’s based on the type of game they want to build — if they want to build a game that uses much more motion control, for instance, the flagship Nintendo Switch device will be the right one. But, you could still potentially, using Joy-Cons, play it on the Nintendo Switch Lite.”
From the players' point of view, having both systems supported to their maximum potential would obviously be the ideal route. Switch Lite owners won't want to be compromised by not being able to play top games, but flagship Switch owners won't want to lose the features that make the console so great in the first place.
Here's hoping Nintendo does indeed find the perfect balance.