The Nintendo Change Lite is smaller, lighter and cheaper than an everyday Nintendo Change, and, most significantly after months of rumors, it’s actual, having been introduced by the Home of Mario. 

Having choices as to methods to spend our hard-earned gaming cash is welcome, and the prospect of a extra reasonably priced Change is unquestionably tantalising. 

However the Nintendo Change Lite is nearly actually not higher than its current stablemate. And that’s earlier than contemplating the potential for it to be problematic general for the corporate’s current participant base, because it undermines what made the primary Nintendo Change {hardware} so distinctive and particular within the first place.

Value versus efficiency

Cheaper than the unique at $199 (changing straight £160 and AU$288, however anticipate these costs to spherical as much as the closest hundred), the Nintendo Change Lite ditches the choice for docked TV play for a handheld-only expertise. That additionally means you’ve not the choice to detach the Pleasure-Con controllers too.

The Nintendo Switch Lite. Image Credit: Nintendo

The Nintendo Change Lite. Picture Credit score: Nintendo

(Picture credit score: Nintendo)

And with these adjustments, the Nintendo Change Lite turns into simply one other handheld. A handheld that has some nice video games, admittedly, however one which has not one of the tactile, remodeling toy-like marvel that introduced a lot pleasure on the unique console’s preliminary reveal.

It promised to be the console to suit all conditions. You had on-the-go play, ala the Nintendo Change Lite, however you additionally had docked TV big-screen play, together with non-obligatory movement controllers, in addition to the flexibility to huddle round a kick-standing Change display screen propped up solo, for gaming buddies who wanted to get their multiplayer sport on wherever they might be.

The Nintendo Change Lite turns into simply one other handheld

The Nintendo Change Lite does away with all this risk, eradicating the dock and kickstand totally, and consequently has additionally eliminated the {hardware} flexibility that made the console so attractively distinctive within the first place.

The argument, after all, will probably be that for a lot of current Change homeowners, it primarily is simply one other handheld console. Nintendo’s option to make a handheld-only console has been knowledgeable by information it’s seen from its participant’s person habits, in keeping with still-superbly-named CEO Doug Bowser, suggesting that couch-based-play on the Nintendo Change isn’t maybe as well-liked as you’d think about.

“It’s more about how we’ve observed them playing,” Bowser stated of the console’s viewers when talking to The Verge. “We have the ability to track how people play games and play our titles, so I would say that it’s really an option that offers more choices to people.”

A layer of complexity

However what this argument doesn’t defend is the truth that this new {hardware} introduces a layer of complexity when buying video games for the Nintendo Change Lite, successfully splitting the participant base. 

Put merely, some titles won’t work correctly with the Nintendo Change Lite, whereas a couple of extra will solely work in the event you seize some sold-separately Pleasure-Cons and pair them with the brand new {hardware}.

Nintendo Switch

The extra versatile unique Nintendo Change. Picture Credit score: TechRadar

(Picture credit score: Future)

“If a game supports Joy-Con functions such as HD rumble, IR Motion Camera and Joy-Con motion sensors, some features will not be available using Nintendo Switch Lite alone,” reads a line on the Nintendo Change Lite product web page, which knocks out immediate, out-of-the-box entry to Mario Tennis Aces, Snipperclips and Snipperclips Plus.

Then there are the video games that don’t help handheld mode, comparable to Tremendous Mario Celebration, 1-2-Change and the vast majority of the Nintendo Labo Toy-Con kits – or, in different phrases, a swathe of the console’s most-popular social multiplayer video games. To play them you’ll want further Pleasure-Cons – in addition to a method to cost them, such because the Charging Grip accent, as you received’t be capable to cost them via the Nintendo Change Lite itself as you’ll with an everyday Change.

Nintendo has historical past with this form of manoeuvre – there was a complete subset of Nintendo 3DS video games that will solely work correctly in the event you had a New Nintendo 3DS – Xenoblade Chronicles 3D being one such splintered title.

In fact, if these video games and options are of determined significance to you, there’s a easy repair – keep away from the Nintendo Change Lite and get the unique mannequin as a substitute. Nevertheless it does then put an implied (and who is aware of whether or not or not in time, mandated) impetus to make video games that don’t serve the richer function set of the unique Change in an effort to higher serve the broader Change household. That’d be a crying disgrace.

With rumors of a full-on Nintendo Change 2, or Nintendo Change Professional nonetheless circulating, right here’s hoping its introduction received’t additional fracture and complicate what till this level has in any other case been a near-perfect playtime gadget.

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