Nintendo has announced its new portable console, Nintendo Switch Lite, a new smaller, lighter and compact model that serves as a natural replacement for the veteran 3DS family -which had six designs- and opens the doors to those players who saw the barrier of the 300 euros too high.
“Now consumers can choose between the system that suits their liking to play their favorite titles of Nintendo Switch,” argued Doug Bowser, president of Nintendo America, on the occasion of the announcement. And so it is. There had been many rumors surrounding a possible low-price version since the beginning of the year, but it did not materialize. In fact, it was not announced at the E3 2019 fair, the most important event of the season for the electronic entertainment sector, this past June.
It was in the middle of summer, as it happened in the past, when they revealed their cards for next season. A low cost model that will arrive in full return to school, September 20, in three colors: turquoise, yellow and gray. But let’s go to the important thing, how is Nintendo Switch Lite different from the original model?
Lightness, portability and reduced price
Nintendo began its statement somewhat surprisingly: instead of bringing out the virtues of its new product, which is usually normal when a new member of a family of consoles is introduced, the company led by Shuntaro Furukawa preferred to avoid any kind of suspects about the obsolescence of its current hybrid model, Nintendo Switch, which has the ability to be used both on television and in a portable way. On the contrary, they indicated what he does not do about his older sister.
Nintendo Switch Lite is only portable console. Their controls, the so-called Joy-Con, are not uncoupled but are part of the chassis; In addition, the HD vibration function and the infrared connection are lost. Finally, you can not connect to a TV via HDMI, cuts that end up allowing the reduction of product cost and, therefore, the retail price, which will be 219 euros in the European market.
The measurements of Nintendo Switch are, in the current model, 102 mm x 239 mm x 13.9 mm (provided that we have the Joy-Con coupled). With Nintendo Switch Lite, the dimensions are 91.1 mm x 208 mm x 13.9 mm. At a percentage level, the new model is 28% smaller than the original. The weight also undergoes a considerable change, going from the original 398 grams to 297 grams.
Moreover, the small size of the set also makes the screen (capacitive touch) is reduced slightly. We went from 6 inches diagonal to 5.5 inches while maintaining the resolution. Failing to know if Nintendo will opt for some type of protective glass to protect the LCD panel, we can confirm that the screen will gain in sharpness for a very simple matter: by maintaining the resolution (1280x720p), will be gained in pixel density per inch, specifically from 237 PPI to 267 PPI.
Smaller screen size is synonymous with lower consumption. Although Nintendo Switch Lite will have a lower capacity battery, according to the Japanese company the battery life will be 30% higher than the successful model currently in stores, which exceeds 34 million units sold in just two calendar years. This portable solution will offer between 3 and 7 hours of autonomy, depending on the level of brightness or if we are playing online.
Otherwise, the console maintains its structure and layout of the buttons, with 32 GB of internal storage – expandable by microSD cards, two control levers, NFC, triggers, audio connector for headphones and stereo speakers. Even if there is not a notification LED as it happens in some smartphones, the crown of the HOME button, located in the lower right area, will illuminate with these notifications when appropriate with a specific chromatic language.
This move responds to a clear commercial need on the part of the company, which recognized last January that its lower cost product, 3DS, was falling in sales at a very pronounced speed because of the success of Nintendo Switch. As the signature of the well-known plumber Super Mario does not want to die of success has restructured its commercial strategy with a laptop capable of running all the games in the catalog -some with certain limitations for not being able to uncouple Joy-Con-, at a lower price and that, in short, democratize the entrance to this generation of consoles to new types of players. In addition, they can justify the price reduction of the original switch as it already has a console with a price lower than 100 euros.
A Catalog of Crack Releases
The large number of exclusive releases planned for the second half of 2019 made us suspect that Nintendo could execute this move in the hardware market. Videogames like Fire Emblem: Three Houses , Super Mario Maker 2, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening , Luigi’s Mansion 3 or Pokémon Sword and Shield , these last masters of ceremonies round off a year where successes and the records are just around the corner.
It remains to be seen whether reducing the barrier to entry to that catalog at Euro 219 will be the final boost for a console that increasingly seems to emulate the success of one of its recent predecessors, Wii.