So... The long rumored 'Switch Mini' has now been officially announced by Nintendo as the 'Switch Lite', and I have to say that I am not impressed. It is ridiculously overpriced to start, and unless it has some massive 'wow' factors included that have yet to be mentioned, I really don't see any reason to buy one. Please keep in mind that this is 100% my own personal opinion, so if you do not agree, that is completely ok
. Different people are allowed to have different opinions
about things that do not matter
With that said, let's get into this.
This new 'Switch Lite' will be a dedicated handheld system and will NOT be dockable (making me wonder if you can even call it a 'Switch' then, but ok). There will be no detachable JoyCons, no IR sensor, and no HD Rumble at minimum. It also does not look to be THAT much smaller than the current Switch. The retail price has now been officially announced as well at $200 USD, and that is a big problem in my opinion. Let me explain.
A current Switch system costs $300, and it is a system that can be used as either a handheld system, or a home TV Console, or a mix of both. How you use your Switch is entirely up to you. In the box, that again costs $300, you get the tablet portion, a pair of JoyCon controllers, a dock for playing on the TV, an HDMI cable, a power cable, and a JoyCon Grip (a piece of plastic that allows you to snap on your joycons to somewhat emulate a standard controller).
Since this Switch Lite does not connect to your TV, you can automatically throw out the dock, the grip, and the HDMI cable. The dock retails for a whopping $90, and the grip sells for $15; a cheap HDMI cable is probably about $5-10. Even with the lower price of $5 for a cheap HDMI cable, you are already removing $110 from the standard Switch right off the bat, yet Nintendo is going to sell this for only $100 less.
Once could try and say it's close enough, but don't forget that you are not simply removing standalone items, but you are also removing various tech from the hardware itself. From what I've heard in the past, the HD Rumble alone was a bit expensive in it's own right (part of the reason these tiny little half controllers sell for $40 each). So removing that tech, as well as the moving/locking parts associated with detachable JoyCons, plus a (slightly) smaller screen, should ALSO bring the cost down quite a bit. Again, in MY opinion.
If Nintendo took the existing Switch as is and made a bundle for it, targeting a handheld only demographic (something I have personally wanted for over 2 years), they could easily sell that package for $190 without losing retail value. And that's WITH the system still having detachable JoyCons, the potential for docking, HD Rumble and the IR Sensor.
Instead, they are selling us less for even more (at least that's how it seems).
To be fair here, they are saying (on their website) that the battery will last 3-7 hours (about 4 hours running Zelda) when compared to the current 2.5 to 6.5 (3 running Zelda). However, this first of all isn't at face value a huge increase; 30 to 60 extra minutes isn't such a large increase in my opinion. Second, did they improve the current battery already? I have a launch system and haven't paid a lot of attention to system stats, but when it came out in 2017, it was put at about 2.5 hours running Zelda, not 3... I also remember them saying that the battery life (again, around launch) was 2.5 to 5, not 2.5 to 6. So HAS the battery already been improved? Or are they flat out lying on their website? I'm legitimately asking here; if I can somehow get a newer, better battery for my launch Switch I absolutely will...
Regardless though, as I already said, an extra 30 to 60 minutes isn't exactly something to get too excited about.
Now, maybe there are some details and features that have not yet been mentioned or described in full that will make it more of a must buy. For example, maybe the screen will be improved enough that I can actually take it outside during daylight hours and actually see it decently while sitting in the shade, and that MIGHT make a compelling case. But at the moment, I can't say I am all that interested. I honestly don't see any reason to not spend the extra $100 for a dockable Switch when it comes time for the rest of the family to get their own systems (thanks to Animal Crossing).
Before I cut out, I have a few last thoughts.
First, I really hope that the analog sticks are designed differently than they are in the JoyCons, otherwise the drifting issue will not be as easily fixable. Second, if they happen to include something like StreetPass (something I've desperately wanted for the Switch), I MAY raise an eyebrow. However, why can't that already be on the current Switch? Finally, and this is more of a question, a 'wondering' if you will; will a 3rd party dock cable work? I can see how this new design absolutely will not fit into the official 'Nintendo Dock', but the charging port, which also acts as the output port, is USB-C and looks to be in the exact same place. So I just wonder if it's only being advertised as 'non-dockable' because it simply won't fit in the official dock? Or are there other significant hardware and software changes that will prevent even a 3rd party cable from working?
If you disagree with me, fair enough. This is simply how I feel at the moment. If you find flaws in my thoughts, feel free to express them; I will absolutely listen, I just can't guarantee that I'll agree.