Nintendo in the present day revealed a brand new Swap Lite model of its current-generation console, which attaches the controllers completely, shrinks the hardware a bit and provides a contact extra battery life — but it surely additionally takes away the “Swap” a part of the equation, as a result of you may solely use it handheld, as a substitute of connected to a TV or as a singular tabletop gaming expertise.
The adjustments largely appear in service of bringing the worth down, as it can retail for $199 when it goes on sale in September. That’s $100 lower than the unique Swap, which is an enormous worth reduce and will open up the marketplace for Nintendo to a complete new group of gamers. Nevertheless it’s additionally a change that appears to remove numerous what made the Swap particular, together with the flexibility to plug it right into a TV for a big-screen expertise, or rapidly detach the Pleasure-Con controllers for motion-control gaming with rumble suggestions.
Swap Lite makes some essential adjustments that I believe Nintendo is aware of are reflective of how lots of people truly use the Swap, no matter what the aspirational, idealized Swap buyer does in Nintendo’s adverts and promo supplies. As talked about, it ought to bump your battery life throughout precise gameplay — it may add an additional hour when taking part in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, for example. And the dimensions financial savings imply it’s a lot simpler to slide in a bag if you head out on a visit.
The brand new redesigned, completely connected controllers additionally embody a correct D-pad on the left as a substitute of the person circle buttons used on the Pleasure-Pad, and the smaller display screen nonetheless outputs on the identical decision, which implies issues will look crisper in play.
For me, and doubtless for lots of Swap customers, the trade-offs made right here are literally enhancements that mirror 90% of my use of the console. I nearly by no means play plugged right into a TV, for example — and will simply do with out, since largely I try this for one-off party-game use that isn’t actually all that mandatory. The controller design with a D-pad is way more sensible, and I’ve by no means used movement controls with my Swap for any recreation. Battery life implies that you in all probability don’t must recharge mid-trip on most quick and medium-length journeys, and the dimensions financial savings implies that after I’m packing and push involves shove, I’m that rather more more likely to take the Swap Lite slightly than go away it at dwelling.
Already, some critics are decrying how this mannequin makes the Swap “worse” in nearly each means, however truly I feel it’s simply the other — Nintendo might have traded away a few of its trademark quirk with this model, however the result’s one thing way more akin to how most individuals truly wish to use a console more often than not.