Preorders for the Nintendo Switch Lite just opened and many are probably asking themselves which one to get. Thankfully, this guide will help those who are either on the fence about the latest model or simply don't know the difference between the two.

The Nintendo Switch, first and foremost, is Nintendo's hybrid console that can be played in handheld mode and in "docked" mode, just like a typical home console. It's called the Switch because shifting to and from these modes is instant, no-frills, and seamless.

The Nintendo Switch came out in 2017 and has been selling like hotcakes ever since. Recently, Nintendo announced a slightly upgraded version of the Switch — still called the Switch, but it's got a modest bump in battery life and comes in a new box. This is different from the Switch Lite, however.

The Switch Lite is a miniature version of the Nintendo Switch, featuring a smaller screen and non-detachable Joy-Con controllers. Think of it as the "2DS" of this generation — still essentially the same console, but with several features removed. Let's break those down.

Nintendo Switch vs Nintendo Switch Lite

The Switch Lite will cost only $200 when it comes out this September, a tad lower than the original Switch's $300 asking price. However, it comes with a handful of limitations.

Nintendo Switch vs Nintendo Switch Lite: Features

For starters, it's strictly handheld-only. Yes, the Switch Lite cannot be docked, so users won't be able to hook it up to a TV and blow up their games on the big screen, unlike with the original Switch. Also, as mentioned, the Switch Lite doesn't have removable Joy-Con controllers, which means players can't hand off those controllers to their friends and play co-op modes.

Nintendo Switch vs Nintendo Switch Lite: Games Compatibility

That doesn't really seem that huge of a problem until one considers that there's a considerable list of games that are only playable with the Joy-Con controllers detached, such as 1-2-Switch. It's important to note that all such games will still be playable on the Switch Lite, but users will have to buy a separate Joy-Con, which costs $80, if they want to play them.

There's also no IR camera on the Switch Lite nor a rumble feature, which could irk some people. The IR camera is used in some titles, although not extensively.

Nintendo Switch vs Nintendo Switch Lite: Size And Design

The Switch Lite is much smaller and easier to carry than the original Switch, and it promises a battery life of up to three to seven hours, which is plenty. This is where it gets tricky. The Switch Lite has a better battery life than the original Switch, which lasts only up to six hours and 30 minutes — however, the "updated" Switch model promises up to nine hours. Those who prioritize battery life above everything else should definitely get the new Switch.

Nintendo Switch vs Nintendo Switch Lite: Verdict

There's no "right" Switch model, only one that fits a person's needs. Those who really don't care much for playing games on their TV and see themselves using the console as a handheld device most of the time if not always should definitely get the Switch Lite. It's cheaper, much more compact, and is no-nonsense.

But also for some people, it will eventually come down to the small details. Those who consider having a kickstand, rumble feature, auto-brightness adjustment, removable Joy-Con controllers, and Nintendo Labo compatibility should definitely go with the "updated" Switch instead of the Switch Lite, which has none of these aforementioned features.

ⓒ 2021 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.