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As you may have heard, Nintendo introduced a new version of the Switch known as the Switch Lite. It is supposed to be a more inferior product than the original Switch, but this is not the case. By lowering the specs and lowering the price, Nintendo is giving price-conscious consumers a chance to enjoy gaming on the cheap.
Looking to buy a new Nintendo Switch? Should you buy the Nintendo Switch or the Nintendo Switch Lite? Let’s talk.
Something to note, Nintendo released a refresh of the original model this year which promises significant battery life. It is on sale already and it replaces the older model. How can you tell the difference between the two? The older model has a serial number that begins with “XAW” while the newer model begins with “XKW”. This can be found near the port for the AC adapter. They also have different product code names. “HAC-001” for the older Switch and “HAC-001(-01)” for the newer model.
Another way to tell the difference is to look at the box it comes with (if buying new). The color of the box is all red (as pictured above) while the previous version was white. If you’re planning on scouting the used market for a Switch, we highly recommend asking for pictures of the serial number instead of going by the box. You might get tricked into buying a newer model when in reality, they just put the old model in the new box, so be careful!
The original Switch is 4” in height, 9.4” in length, and 0.55” in depth while weighing only 0.88 lbs. It has a screen size of 6.2’ as well. The Switch Lite is smaller in almost every dimension with a height of 3.6”, a length of 8.2”, and a depth of 0.55”. It’s lighter than the original Switch at 0.61 lbs. and has a smaller screen size at 5.5”. The Switch Lite is definitely the more portable device.
To keep things short and brief, the OG Switch has a dock that you can plug into your TV for a console-like experience. It’s controller(s) (called Joy-Cons) can be removed and docked into many peripherals that allow them to act as a conventional controller. Each side can act as a controller on it’s own which opens up the door for local multiplayer support. They also support HD rumble.
The battery life is also bigger giving you almost 6 hours of game time but the Lite, supposedly with its lighter internals, is supposed to deliver comparable results despite having a smaller battery.
The Switch Lite does not have any Joy-Cons which means that the controls are built into the device with no way to remove them (and no HD rumble either). This means that the console is only a single-player affair. If you want to play with someone else, they’ll have to purchase another Switch Lite or use their OG Switch and before you even ask, no, the Joy-Cons of the OG Switch cannot be used to play games in multiplayer mode on the Switch Lite and vice versa. The controls are actually slightly different with Nintendo opting to give it a traditional d-pad like on the Nintendo 3DS XL.
The one major feature that makes the Switch, a Switch is the ability to dock for TV mode or flip the kickstand for tabletop mode. This was removed from the Lite edition meaning it’ll only support handheld mode. That may seem like something minor for some but there is an important detail that you need to know.
Some games like Super Mario Party only support TV and tabletop mode. Which means you won’t be able to play that game on the Switch Lite. Other games like Super Mario Odyssey will be tough to play due to a lack of motion controls. The Switch Lite doesn’t include the IR Motion Camera that’s in the original Switch to assist with this. Therefore, it is important to look at game titles ahead of time to see if your favorite game will be supported on the Switch Lite.
Now that you understand the differences between the Switch and the Switch Lite, it’s time to reflect on your needs and wants.
Buy the Original Switch if you:
If the above sounds like you, you can purchase the Original Switch below.
Buy the Switch Lite if you:
If the above sounds like you, you can purchase the Switch Lite below.