It’s the year 2022. There’s a new OLED Nintendo Switch console on the market, and the standard edition has just started taking its first ever price cuts. But is the humble, handheld-only Nintendo Switch Lite worth it still?
At $199.99, the budget offering certainly has a lot going for it. This is the cheapest gaming device from the Big Three on the market right now, and the easiest way to play the latest and greatest games without breaking the bank. However, that smaller screen size, lack of docking functionality, and all-in-one frame (no switching out your Joy-Con here) do represent some significant sacrifices over the full-fat experience.
We’re digging into exactly what the Nintendo Switch Lite can offer for the cash in 2022, and who should take the plunge on the budget console (or keep their eye open for standard edition Nintendo Switch deals).
Nintendo Switch Lite vs Nintendo Switch
Of course, the first difference between the Nintendo Switch Lite and the standard edition Nintendo Switch lies in the price tag. The handheld-only device comes in at $199.99 / £199.99, with the standard model priced at $299.99 / £259.99. You’re saving $100 in the US, but only £60 in the UK, by opting to drop a few features.
Of course, that’s at face value. The truth of the matter is Nintendo Switch Lite deals are rampant in the UK right now, which means you’ll often find this device for around £185 instead. All in all, then, there is enough of a price difference between the two consoles to serve those working with a tighter budget. It’s quite a jump from $199 to $299, after all, so what are you losing by opting for the cheaper model?
Nintendo Switch vs Nintendo Switch Lite
Nintendo Switch Lite
- 5.5-inch display
- Handheld only
- No detachable Joy-Con
- No HD rumble
- 6.2-inch display
- Can be docked to a TV
- Detachable Joy-Con
- HD rumble
The only main differences in the Nintendo Switch vs Nintendo Switch Lite debate revolve around that all-in-one form factor. You are picking up a smaller 5.5-inch display, however, because you’re still getting the same resolution on that screen, your games will look a little crisper on the Nintendo Switch Lite.
Because it’s designed as an on-the-go device, there’s no detachable Joy-Con and no docking ability either. That means you won’t be able to swap out controllers (though you can still pair additional Joy-Con for multiplayer or Joy-Con dependant games like 1-2 Switch and Nintendo Switch Sports), and there’s no HD rumble under the hood either.
All in all, those are sacrifices that are going to suit some but not others. You might not care for a docked experience at all – some Nintendo Switch OLED models have never seen the inside of their cradle, for example – and you may prefer a more portable, higher quality screen compared to the larger device.
However, if you’re going to be playing more multiplayer titles, you’re worried about wearing out your thumbsticks, or you simply like the idea of playing on the big screen every now and then, the Nintendo Switch Lite isn’t going to be the best buy.
Who should buy the Nintendo Switch Lite in 2022?
It’s been nearly three years since the Nintendo Switch Lite first graced our shelves, and in all that time there has only been a handful of discounts on the budget system. However, it does represent better value for money compared to the full console for many players.
If you don’t mind sacrificing a little screen space and dropping docking functionality, the $199 / £199 price tag does offer good value. You’re saving $100 in the US and still picking up all the core gameplay provided by the standard Nintendo Switch console.
However, this is only true if you’re not interested in playing games that require Joy-Cons to work. Because a set of Joy-Con can easily run you an additional $70-$80, you’re going to be spending close to the price of a standard console once you’re set up to play any of the following titles:
- Just Dance
- Super Mario Party
- Fitness Boxing
- Fitness Boxing 2: Rhythm & Exercise
- Ring Fit Adventure
- Nintendo Switch Sports
Similarly, things are a little hazy over in the UK. Sure, you can regularly find the Nintendo Switch Lite on sale for between £180 and £190 in the UK, but that £199 price tag does creep a little too close to the £259.99 cost of the main console for comfort. If you’re working with a strict £200 budget, then the Nintendo Switch Lite is still worth it – you’re still getting access to Nintendo’s full library and a solid handheld console for your cash. However, if you can stretch to the full £259.99, your money will be working a lot harder for you.
Buy Nintendo Switch Lite if you:
Only need to play in handheld mode
Are looking for better portability
Won’t be playing Joy-Con specific games
Want to spend as little as possible
Overall – Is the Nintendo Switch Lite worth it?
Overall, yes, the Nintendo Switch Lite is worth it in 2022 – for a select group of people. If you’re running up against a hard budget but you still want to play the vast vast majority of the latest Nintendo Switch games, there’s no better option open to you. You’re getting a fantastic console at your disposal, for a super low price.
However, considering multiplayer controllers can steadily creep towards the cost of a full console when added into the Switch Lite price, those with a little breathing room on the top of their budget may want to reconsider. If you’re going to be buying a set of Joy-Con for co-op, or to play any Joy-Con dependant games, then the standard edition may well be the better buy for you.
We’re also tracking all the latest Nintendo Switch OLED stock if you’re keen to upgrade even further. Or, take a look at the best Nintendo Switch accessories and the best Nintendo Switch cases for more day one inspiration.