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How to decide which Nintendo Switch is right for you



  Hands with a Nintendo Switch.
leungchopan / Shutterstock

Looking for a new Nintendo Switch? If so, you now have three options to choose from, including the original console, the slightly updated model, and the Switch Lite. Here you can read how to choose the best for your game needs and budget.

The Nintendo Switch found its first way to stores in March 201

7. It was silently updated in August 2019, shortly thereafter followed by its cheaper, more travel-friendly counterpart, the Nintendo Switch Lite ($ 199). Nintendo still sells the older model in the Nintendo Shop, and it's the same price ($ 299) as the updated model (more on this later).

The Nintendo Switch has achieved many great things in the world of video games. It was truly a pioneer in making console games available on portable devices, and it has a multitude of multiplayer games. Nintendo & # 39; s Switch product page does a pretty good job of comparing and contrasting the different models, but which one is right for you?

The "Red Box" Nintendo Switch

  A Nintendo Switch red box.
Nintendo [19659003] In March 2017, when Nintendo announced the first version of the Switch (which was in the white box), it also unveiled the release date for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild . People were skeptical. A portable game device that can handle the graphics of a home console? Absolutely! And it was a hit.

Since then, various console titles such as The Witcher Super Mario Party and Skyrim have been released on Nintendo Switch, and they all play flawlessly. The biggest problem was the short battery life.

Version 2 of the Nintendo Switch (known for its red box) is not a new console such as the Nintendo Switch Lite (or the rumors Nintendo Switch Pro). It is rather an updated model. According to Nintendo, this newer Switch has a battery life of approximately two extra hours. This puts the estimated use between 4.5 and 9 o'clock. The older Switch has an estimated battery life of 2.5 to 6.5 hours.

The new model costs $ 100 more than the Lite, but it has a larger screen and a docking station for your TV. Thanks to the flexibility of the console, you can play with the detachable Joy-Con controllers from your armchair or in handheld mode.

RELATED: 10 excellent accessories for Docked Switch Play [19659004] It is important to note that the main weakness of the Nintendo Switch hardware is the screen. Compared to most devices that we take with us every day (smartphone, tablet, etc.), the Switch has a low refresh rate and sometimes poor color rendering and contrast. However, you can prevent these weaknesses when you place the system in the dock and connect it to your TV.

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

So what if you buy a Switch second hand and do not have access to the original packaging? In that case, turn the system over and check the model number (it is in a small, white print). Compare it with the model numbers below:

  • Old switch: HAC-001; Serial number starts with "XA"
  • New switch: HAC-001-01; Serial number starts with "XK"

Nintendo & # 39; s Switch source page also has a photo guide that thoroughly explains how to recognize the difference and ensure that you get the best deal. In short, if you get a switch, get it in the red box – it costs nothing more than the older version.

And if you're still not convinced, Nintendo is giving an absolutely cute Limited Edition Edition with Animal Crossing . Don't worry – it's still the new model, it's just a different color.

RELATED: Nintendo & # 39; s Animal Crossing Theme Switch is Cute

The Nintendo Switch Lite

  Yellow Nintendo Switch Lite
Martina Badini / Shutterstock

Or the Nintendo Switch Lite is purchased depends strongly on personal preference. Do you want a slightly larger machine that can do everything? Or are you constantly on the move and prefer something small that the job is still right? If you are the latter, the Switch Lite is your best choice.

The standard Nintendo Switch has a number of nice sweet benefits: it is portable, has a built-in standard, you can dock it and play it on your TV, and the Joy-Con controllers are removable. So why pay $ 100 less for its "weaker" counterpart?

Well, the Switch Lite makes what it lacks in versatility with its truly portable format. It is smaller and at least 4.3 grams lighter than the larger version. In addition, the non-detachable Joy-Con controllers make it easier to travel with.

However, before you press the purchase button, there are some disadvantages to the Lite model. With the update of the Switch console, the Lite can no longer claim the better battery life. It offers seven hours, while the larger model offers nine. It also has a slightly smaller, lower-quality LCD screen.

RELATED: The 5 best Nintendo Switch controllers not made by Nintendo

In addition, you can only play games on the Lite that are marked as supported in handheld mode . The Nintendo product page has a pretty good guide to help you figure this out, but it's an important factor in deciding which games to buy for your Switch Lite. Popular movement titles, such as Ring Fit Adventure and Super Mario Party, will not work on Switch Lite due to this limitation.

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


A quick comparison

Nintendo Switch

  • Cost: $ 299.99
  • LCD: 6.2 inch [19659041] 32 GB built-in storage (with microSD extension)
  • 4 inch high, 9 , 4 inches long, 0.55 inches deep (with Joy-Con attached)
  • About 0.88 pounds (with Joy-Con attached)
  • approx. Battery life of 4.5 to 9 hours
  • One set of Joy-Cons included
  • Joy-Con controllers include HD Rumble and IR Motion Camera
  • Contains a Nintendo Switch dock and HDMI cable

Nintendo Switch Lite [19659040] Cost: $ 199.99
  • LCD: 5.5 inch
  • 32 GB built-in storage (with microSD extension)
  • 3.6 inch high, 8.2 inch long, 0.55 inch deep
  • About 0.61 pounds
  • About Battery life of 3 to 7 hours
  • One pair of Joy-Con controllers included (not detachable)
  • System does not include HD Rumble or IR Motion Camera
  • Compatible with handheld mode only
  • Not compatible with Nintendo Switch dock; does not support TV output
  • Both consoles have a fantastic battery life, but it really comes down to personal preference and lifestyle.

    If you are looking for something for a better itinerary, and you don't mind the limitations, the Switch Lite might be the better option. However, it wouldn't hurt to pay $ 100 more for the improved Switch model.


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