In this series of end-of-year features, we're summing up some of 2019's biggest talking points.
2019's biggest talking point from a pure hardware perspective was the release of the Switch Lite, Nintendo's first major revision of the popular Switch system. While it removes some of the console's core features – such as the ability to 'switch' between portable and home console modes – its solid design and lower price will make it a very appealing prospect for parents with young children.
Indeed, the Switch Lite is expected to fill the void left by the departing 3DS range, which will surely see the end of the line in 2020. While seasoned Switch players will no doubt be waiting for the arrival of the inevitable 'Pro' model, the Lite offers the ideal entry point for newcomers – and those dedicated enough to need a second Switch console for long trips.
There were some who doubted the sense in creating a Switch which can't switch, but the sales figures justify Nintendo's approach; the Switch Lite has sold strongly, as has the original model, throughout 2019. The introduction of a second SKU alongside an already decent selling platform means Nintendo may well achieve the goal of beating the Wii's lifetime sales – although the DS may be out of reach.
Did you pick up a Switch Lite in 2019, or do you still think it's a pointless console, given that it can't toggle between handheld and docked modes? Let us know with a comment.
I will allow myself to maintain my doubt in regards to the sense of selling parents and their kids millions of Switch models that won't work with Nintendo's award winning LABO sets, that really hold great appeal with kids and parents.
LABO sets on which it isn't specifically mentioned that they won't work with the Switch Lite.
The whole switch moving logo doesn't work for the Switch Lite as the controllers on the sides dont slide off.
To me its all a bit snatch and grab.
It's been months since the confirmation that Switch Lite CAN switch between the two remaining modes, except with more hassle. How is the contrary even resurfacing in the article, let alone serving as a subtitle?😕
Instead of Switch Lite they could've named it Switch Less. Much more appropriate since it does NOT switch.
Cue hysterics from some as you've dared state the obvious about the 3DS's future.
I think Nintendo Portable is the fit name since it looks like PSP XL. 😆
I picked one up for the wife for Xmas. She loves it. I personally prefer the screen quality of the OG unit, but it does have its pros. One being it's far, far more comfortable to hold and the D pad is absolutely lovely.
You are of course right, but it's sold as NOT being able to do it, so I would not really expect new owners to pursue the possibility.
@Pod brain age as well. This is for the whales who want a backup copy for the road. Transferring was a pain as nintendolife said. At least give themes lol the 3ds legacy lives on.
@nhSnork Really? How.
Do you mean something like homemade optical projectors or an actual way to get a decent image with HDMI out? I'd heard the hardware just didn't exist inside the Switch. Your comment now has my hopes up.
@Zuljaras That was clever. I like it.
When I first saw the Switch Lite was announced I thought it was pointless for me, and just aimed a kids who are too rough with tech. But after playing with one at a expo I really liked it, I ended up getting one for xmas from the other half, and love it. Syncing save files is easy enough to do between my old switch and Lite.
Some people just prefer handheld. My brother in law could happily sit at a dining table playing handheld games for hours and not even look at a TV. The Lite would be perfect for him, as both devices run the same OS, which happens to be called Switch. A good comparison would be with the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. Different levels of functionality yet they run the same software. It’s not that hard to figure out. I get the feeling Nintendo has built a scalable OS which will continue to improve through better OS improvements and hardware over time, much like iOS or MacOS.
We've added the pokemon sword and shield one to our household. And we'll probably add the inevitable animal crossing one as well.
Lots of defenders of the Switch Lite name in here while lots of haters of the Xbox series X in another thread. I guess consistency isn't something fans do well.
Personally I would love a switch tv box like my nvidia shield. No screen. No battery. Lan plug. And about $50 cheaper than the Lite. I'm sure there's a segment of xbox and ps gamers that would like to play Nintendo's first party line up but at the cheapest price possible.
@sixrings One thing about fans is that there are alot of them and they all are individuals with their own opinions.
Are they the same people? Or are they in fact different people with different opinions?
That Comparison doesn’t make sense. Do they claim older Consoles are still alive and getting new releases like a current Console? Do they ever say 3DS owners have to stop playing on them?
@NotoriousWhiz that’s not the way 5+rings thinks. One person’s opinion equals millions in his eyes. It’s like me thinking all Canadians are exactly like him.
A concept lots seem to struggle with. Viewing ‘fans’ of anything as one homogeneous mass is always going to cause confusion, as they aren’t.
@Pod neither would I, but I'm questioning the word choices in an article that clearly wasn't written by new owners here. The whole oddity about Switch Lite's "Nintendo Vita" concept was attaching the core-reflecting name to a one mode system that no longer reflected it (like I said before, even 2DS remained a dual screen machine). The actual release dispersed that oddity, but now it's being [inadvertently] brought up again like we're still in early 2019 or something.
@brunojenso while I've seen examples of crazy user contraptions made to output Switch Lite picture to TV screens (I think NL may have reported on some, too), there is indeed no conventional TV mode in this version. However, it still generally inherits the older sister's tabletop mode (and even one screen multiplayer in what games support it in these conditions) if you pair external joycons... and find something to prop the thing against.😆
i’ve had a switch in my household since launch and have been wanting a second unit for some time but the lite seemed like the perfect thing to have instead of another regular one. my lovely wife got me one for xmas and i’m absolutely ecstatic because i finally have my own and dont have to wait my turn. i love the smaller size and the fact that the controls are built in. the regular switch feels a little off playing in handheld mode
I love the flexibility of the standard Switch, and while I mostly play in handheld, I've found that while I like the feel of the Lite from a demo unit in stores, the size is actually a bit cramped for me - whereas I've found the regular Switch to fit pretty well into my hands. That said, I understand the Lite's existence and the niche in the market it's trying to occupy.
@nhSnork Ok thanks.
Got one for my lucky wee one this year. It really is a joy to hold and play but it would be a waaaaaay better system if it could actually switch. I mean how hard would it be to release a widget to make this happen , and rake in even more loot.....
I think you’re confused about the word ‘dead’ in relation to Consoles
@WiltonRoots @electrolite77 @NotoriousWhiz Actually I do not think everyone thinks like me... Theres plenty of people who clearly think the switches power is sufficient. You are right i didnt take a record of who said what to produce when questioned. However it sure seems like there are a lot of Nintendo defenders of the switch lite name while there are a ton of people who dislike the series x name. Also over and over and over in so many threads people mock the idea of a tv only switch. So clearly there are people with different mind sets than me. However the people that mock seem to believe they speak for all nintendo fans that portability is what matters or hybrid but basically no one buys the switch to tv game.
According to Nintendo 20% of gamers use the system primarily docked. That includes me. But that isnt an insufficient number to mock the idea of a tv only console. Perhaps that number would increase if people had a option to buy a tv only model. Not all canadians think like me... and clearly not all nintendo fans think like me. But you would think here or there someone would agree with me. Perhaps they do but they arent on this site.
While Switch Lite hasn't been as massive a runaway success sales-wise as the base model, it, interestingly, hasn't been cannibalizing any of the base model's sales, either, so I'm sure Nintendo is extremely happy with how it's performing.
I own both, and while I wouldn't want to be without the Phat model (some games just feel better when being played on a TV, and I like being able to comfortably play games like Ring Fit Adventure), I do think it blows the original out of the water as a handheld console. It's light, comfortable, and I really dig the D-Pad on my Zacian/Zamazenta model. I end up using both fairly regularly every day, depending where I am and what game I'm playing.
Not essential, but a fantastic luxury.
@sixrings If that does happen, it'll be years from now to pick up stragglers. The Switch Phat, which is being positioned by Nintendo as the "home console" model, is selling better than ever, and it'd be dumb of them to destroy that momentum.
But yeah, I wouldn't count it out as a budget revision down the line intended to extend the life of the console.
“ However it sure seems like there are a lot of Nintendo defenders of the switch lite name while there are a ton of people who dislike the series x name.”
And? Some people like Thing A and others don’t like Thing Z.
Sort of, but your beef seemed to be with them labelling the 3DS as Commercially Dead, which it is, while also talking about other systems that are Commercially Dead. I don’t understand the comparison unless they stop talking about the 3DS or are pretending that e.g. the SNES is more alive (Commercially) than the 3DS
Personally I love the Switch Lite, it's my preferred way to play Switch games and I think it's a much better portable than the original design. I hardly ever use my launch model these days, it's just for playing games on a TV.
Did a lot better than I thought it would, I won't lie. Switch games actually going on sale every once in a while (Black Friday, Boxing Week) might have something to do with it.
Fair enough, all interpretations I guess. I can totally relate to that last bit BTW. A lot of my
Posting on here has been done from Exercise Machines. It’s like arguing with someone staves off the tedium 😉
I don’t see a pro model Switch, but rather another “Switch that doesn’t switch” in a TV-only (PSTV-like situation) console.
If you never want to play on a television, the Lite is very much the best Switch. It’s smaller and lighter (hence the name) so it’s a lot more comfortable to play long handheld sessions.
@Zacattack99 PSTV failed 100%, so I don't ever (want to) see that happen(ing).
@sanderev, that was because the PlayStation Vita (the hardware of the PSTV) failed. So don’t count it out yet.
@Zacattack99 @electrolite77 "
I don’t see a pro model Switch, but rather another “Switch that doesn’t switch” in a TV-only (PSTV-like situation) console". Why is this comment disliked. This is what I'm talking about. This was a simple statement but hybrid and portable switch supporters dislike comments suggesting a tv only system.
@sanderev if you never want to play portable a switch tv would be the best way to play.
@Zacattack99 The PSTV even failed in Japan, where the PS Vita was a moderate success.
@sixrings true, but that's about 0,0001% of the entire Switch market.
@sanderev according to Nintendo 20% of their users (I would include myself in this category) play primarily docked. That's a sizeable audience.
The real question is why not release a docked only unit. It would be cheap to produce. If it sells it sells. If it doesn't you move on. But a docked only switch would be like the 2DS. Sure most people didn't buy that version but it would have its audience and would have a cheaper barrier of entrance and would be great black Friday door crashers.
😀😀 Very true. Normally my Brain is great at generating noise but as soon as there’s exercise involved it just turns off. Or is just telling me how little I’m enjoying it. Best to find an argument....
Well I know the Switch Lite was a success for Nintendo with my family. Two of my nephews & my daughter got Switch Lite’s for Christmas. It’s now the 4th Switch console only my home.
Let's not surmise to much. Why would you say that the Lite is an appealing prospect for parents with young children, yet all Nintendo's commercials feature young adults.
And as for filling the gap the 3ds left; well Nintendo abandoned the 3ds in favour of the Lite, creating the gap in the first place.
Nintendo's aim was to have one game card to fit a home console and a hand held console and they have successfully achieved this, but with some compromise.
Also.... The Lite has competition from tablets and even smartphones. At £200 plus £50 for a game, you could get a reasonable tablet for that. That's why the Lite is not the runaway success Nintendo had hoped for.
I would update my Nintendo home console and handheld ds each time a new version was released and would buy games for both. I would guess that most Switch owners haven't bought the Light, whereas they would update to a pro.
Although I miss the 3d games the upside is that the Switch is now a one size console that fits all, so the money I save will fund the PlayStation 5. I will still have two consoles but will only buy half as many Nintendo games.
I was interested in buying one, as I game primarily on the go and something smaller would've been nice, and I would've been able to leave the other Switch docked at home for the family to enjoy, but alas, Nintendo made that impossible, as someone can only have ONE main system that can play games without being connected.
Let's say I make my Lite my "main" Switch (so I can play offline), then all my downloaded games would be unplayable at home on the other Switch UNLESS if using my profile, and UNLESS I'm not playing on the Lite while connected. My kids, my wife, no one would be able to play the games I purchased with their own profiles (and saves).
I mean, Nintendo obviously doesn't want my money.
Nice for those not having a Switch already and preferring a portable unit, but apparently, Nintendo haven't figured out families of gamers yet....
My brother got 200 dollars in amazon gift cards and asked if he should buy a Switch lite. I told him to spend the extra 100 for the regular Switch. Glad he called me
@sanderev, like @sixrings said, it would be inexpensive, only giving people easier access to the games available on Switch. That may mot be your cup of tea, but there’s a sizable few that only play in TV Mode.
That is what I hope happens, and NOT the “Switch Pro”, as it’s never been about the power of the system, but rather, again, the games.
@Zacattack99 I'm sure I'm damaging my switches battery keeping it always docked. So that's one reason I want a tv only switch. The second problem is the fan. It would be easier to cool a tv only version.
The Switch Lite is, at the end of the day, running the same operating system; it just has some of its features pared down to cut costs. It personally isn't for me since I like the original Switch's hybrid nature, but there certainly is a niche for it in the market. Sales over the past few months prove that.
How much does NL want to kill the 3DS? Every year they say that the 3DS will die that year, LOL. I like the Switch Lite, it's comfortable to hold and has a decent D-pad but the screen's visibility and speakers of the New 3DS are much better. Seriously, play Luigi's Mansion (1) on a New 3DS, the sound is incredibly clear and surrounding for such a tiny console. The game library of the 3DS is arguably better, too.
@sixrings Do you have a source for that number? My 0,0001% isn't accurate, but I don't think it's more than 10%. The Switch lite is like the 2DS, a Docked only Switch would be a 0DS.
I think most Switch owners 80% use the Switch both docked and handheld. And 18% use the Switch purely handheld and 2% purely docked. That market is simply not viable. (Nintendo would have to make, market and distribute a system dat would sell only 1-2 million at best) Also if they'd release such a system in 2020, it would have to go against the PS5 and XBOX Series X. Well it will lose that fight.
If Nintendo made a Switch Pro that would run games like the current Switch on 4K docked and 1080p handheld or faster 1080p (docked) and 720p handheld (so performance vs resolution options) in 2020 Nintendo would be absolutely ready for the PS5 and XBOX Series X. Otherwise 2020 will be the last year of the Switch's success and constant game releases.
@Averagewriter the Wii u was the same price as it's competition. The tv switch would be significantly less than the competition.
@sanderev the report I cited earlier in this thread. Btw the new nvidia shield tv with the same processor as the Switch has a great 4k upscaler and has HDR.
@Averagewriter I assume a tv only switch would be priced less than a switch lite. So in Canada the og switch is 399, switch lite 279, switch tv 200.
Then if you wanted you could buy a switch lite and a switch tv still have the best of both worlds just in a different set up.
@sixrings That could be very outdated. (Since it's from before the Switch lite) Also it's an American article. So it only covers the US. I'm not in the US so it really doesn't count for me. And the biggest Nintendo market (Japan) is also mostly handheld. Also it NEVER states any number for people who ONLY play docked. Just for people who play mostly docked. If you play docked for 51% of the time you still play "mostly" docked.
Last year I played around 10% docked, but since I got my Switch lite that number has gone down by 10%. (so it's at 0% right now, haven't used my Switch docked since I got the lite) Even though I still have, and use, my original Switch.
Also the Nvidia Shield doesn't run the same demanding games the Switch does.
@sanderev well you can't dismiss a country with 300 million to only prioritize a 125 million population
@sixrings of course not, but only if 300 million people in the US would buy the Switch over a PS5 or XBOX Series X.
And I will tell you now: they won't.
Even the EU market is even smaller. To the Switch / Nintendo only matters are sales in Japan. And looking at the Japanese sales of the Lite vs the normal Switch of this week (see https://www.nintendolife.com/news/2019/12/japanese_charts_pokemon_stays_in_first_place_for_the_sixth_week_as_switch_sales_increase) it's almost a third of the sales are Lites. That's 33% of exclusive Switch handheld players.
@sanderev how can you say something so definitively. You don't know the answer for sure. Nintendo was once massive in the United States. Just because it's lost its cool factor doesn't mean you just give up.
Also you can't say for sure why so many people are buying the Switch Lite. I could make an assumption that a good amount of those numbers are from people who economically want to spend the lesser amount versus the more expensive amount. But that's an assumption.
@sanderev according to this Japan makes up only half of Nintendo of America's revenues. https://www.statista.com/statistics/216627/revenue-of-nintendo-by-region/
Btw Europe makes up more sales than Japan recently.
@Averagewriter, imagine a $100 game console with thousands of mostly quality games, compared to $400 - $600 console that just started with uncertainty of it’s potential library.
@Averagewriter, essentially $100, $200, $300 Switch consoles, each with more functionality than the last.
@sixrings Those financial numbers are new to me. But without sales numbers they don't really give much to work with.
Also nobody is buying a Switch lite to play on the TV. Since you can't.
I do want to buy a Switch Lite but have plenty of 3DS games in my backlog so won't bother for quite some time. The original Switch too big for my hands and the battery life could be better. The joy con with a d-pad on the Lite is appealing.
As for the Switch Pro idea, am not sure that's ever going to happen.
@sanderev of course you can't play in tv mode on switch lite. But I am suggesting that there are people buying the Switch Lite not necessarily primarily because they want to play portably but rather their primarily motivation to buy the Switch Lite is because it's the cheapest way to play Nintendo games. So based on my hypothesis you cant assume that the entire percentage of Switch Lite users would prefer to play portable if they had an option to play docked.
I just keep hoping for a 3ds player before Nintendo completely moves on from 3ds.
You can still "switch" with your friends lol.
Its great for people who play handheld only and want a cheaper switch for the same games.
@Averagewriter A dockable Switch lite is the Redbox Switch.
I love Switch lite. The smaller screen can be a challenge for some games, particularly those with small text, but overall it's just great for the portability. Really glad it was created.
I bought a yellow lite on launch day but ended up selling it on eBay. I missed the rumble feature and ultimately couldn't justify keeping it as my og switch does what it can and more
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