How to Decide Which Nintendo Switch Is Right for You

Hands holding a Nintendo Switch.leungchopan / Shutterstock

Looking to buy a new Nintendo Switch? If so, there are now three options to choose from, including the original console, the slightly updated model, and the Switch Lite. Here’s how to choose the best one for your gaming needs and budget.

The Nintendo Switch made its debut in retail stores in March 2017. It was quietly updated in August 2019, followed soon after by its cheaper, more travel-friendly counterpart, the Nintendo Switch Lite ($ 199 ). Nintendo is still selling the old model on the Nintendo store, and it’s the same price ($ 299) as the updated model (more on that later).

The Nintendo Switch has accomplished many great things in the world of video games. He was truly a pioneer in providing console games on portable devices, and he has a multitude of multiplayer games. Nintendo’s Change product page does a very good job of comparing and contrasting the different models, but which one is right for you?

The Nintendo Switch “Red Box”

A red Nintendo Switch box.Nintendo

In March 2017, when Nintendo announced the first version of the Switch (the one that came in the white box), it also revealed the release date of The legend of Zelda: the breath of nature. People were skeptical. A portable gaming device capable of handling the graphics of a home console? Absolutely! And it was a success.

Since then, several console titles, such as The witcher, Super Mario Party, and Skyrim, were released on Nintendo Switch, and they all play perfectly. The biggest problem was the short battery life.

Version 2 of the Nintendo Switch (known for its red box) is not a new console like the Nintendo Switch Lite (or the rumored Nintendo Switch Pro). Rather, it is an updated model. according to Nintendo, this new switch includes approximately two additional hours of battery life. This puts the estimated usage between 4.5 and 9 hours. The older switch has an estimated autonomy of 2.5 to 6.5 hours.

The new model costs $ 100 more than the Lite, but it has a larger screen and a dock for your TV. The flexibility of the console allows you to play with the detachable Joy-Con controllers from the comfort of your sofa or in portable mode.

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It is important to note that the most important weakness of the Nintendo Switch hardware is its screen. Compared to most of the devices we wear everyday (smartphone, tablet, etc.), the Switch has a low refresh rate and, sometimes, poor color reproduction and contrast. However, you can avoid these weaknesses when you connect the system and plug it into your TV.

The box is the easiest way to tell the difference between older and newer models. Again, the new updated switch comes in a bright red box (as shown above), and the old version came in a white and red box.

So what happens if you buy a used Switch and don’t have access to the original packaging? In this case, return the system and check its model number (it will be in small white characters).

Compare it to the model numbers below:

Old switch: HAC-001; Serial number begins with “XA”
New switch: HAC-001-01; Serial number begins with “XK”

The Nintendo Switch source page also contains photo guide this explains in detail how you can spot the difference and make sure you get the best deal. In short, if you get a Switch, put it in the red box – it doesn’t cost more than the old version.

And if you’re still not convinced, Nintendo is launching an absolutely adorable limited edition switch with Animal crossing. Don’t worry, it’s still the new model, it’s just a different color.

RELATED: Nintendo animal themed switch is adorable

Nintendo Switch Lite

Nintendo Switch Lite yellowMartina Badini / Shutterstock

Whether to buy the Nintendo Switch Lite depends a lot on your personal preferences. Do you want a slightly larger machine that will do it all? Or are you constantly on the go and prefer something smaller that will always get the job done? If you’re the last, the Switch Lite is your best bet.

The standard Nintendo Switch has some pretty sweet benefits: it’s portable, has a built-in kickstand, you can dock it and play on your TV, and the Joy-Con controllers are detachable. So why would you pay $ 100 less for its “weaker” counterpart?

Well, the Switch Lite makes up for what it lacks in versatility with its truly portable size. It is smaller and at least 4.3 ounces lighter than the larger version. In addition, the non-detachable Joy-Con controllers facilitate movement.

However, before pressing the purchase button, the Lite model has certain drawbacks. With the update of the Switch console, the Lite can no longer claim to have better battery life. It offers seven hours, while the larger model offers nine. It also has a slightly smaller, lower quality LCD screen.

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Additionally, you can only play games on the Lite that are marked as supported in portable mode. Nintendo’s product page has a great guide to help you understand this, but it’s an important factor when deciding which games to buy for your Switch Lite. Popular movement titles like Ring Fit Adventure and Super Mario Party, will not work on Switch Lite due to this limitation.

However, the Lite has a bunch of color options and more bundles than the larger model. Instead of just Grey or Joy-Cons red / blue, the Lite is available in turquoise, Grey, and Yellow.

A quick comparison

Nintendo Switch

Cost: $ 299.99
LCD: 6.2 inch
32 GB of built-in storage (with microSD extension)
4 inches high, 9.4 inches long, 0.55 inches deep (with Joy-Con attached)
Approximately 0.88 pounds (with Joy-Con attached)
About. 4.5 to 9 hours of autonomy
A set of Joy-Cons included
Joy-Con controllers include HD Rumble and IR Motion Camera
Includes Nintendo Switch dock and HDMI cable

Nintendo Switch Lite

Cost: $ 199.99
LCD: 5.5 inch
32 GB of built-in storage (with microSD extension)
3.6 inches high, 8.2 inches long, 0.55 inches deep
About 0.61 pounds
About 3 to 7 hours of autonomy
A pair of Joy-Con controllers included (not detachable)
System does not include HD Rumble or IR Motion Camera
Compatible with portable mode only
Not compatible with Nintendo Switch dock; does not support TV out

These two consoles have fantastic autonomy, but it really depends on personal preferences and lifestyle.

If you’re looking for something to fit a crazy travel schedule better, and you don’t mind, the Switch Lite might be the best option. However, paying $ 100 more for the upgraded Switch model certainly wouldn’t hurt.

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