Should you buy a Nintendo Switch this Christmas? Which one to get?07.11.2019, 12:49
The Nintendo Switch will be one of the much-desired gaming console gifts this Christmas, but don’t overlook the possibility of starting out with the impressive new Switch Lite either.
The Switch Lite is the cheaper, more compact hand-held version which might suit those families on the move, or who might do a lot of travelling in the New Year. It's also for some kids who aren’t allowed to get too engrossed in games on a bigger screen. Of course, many daily commuters also feel more stealthy holding one of these than the regular switch handheld. It's another great item to save up your Prizes Drop points towards, so you can put them towards a free Nintendo Switch.
Indeed, if you can afford the main Switch console you have the option of ‘going handheld’ too. You can also ‘dock’ those and continue playing on the big TV, which can be a very nice transition, when battery life is low. Serious players would seriously miss this freedom if they opt for the Switch Lite.
But there’s something pretty cool about the Switch Lite. It’s neat and compact and comes in a choice of three funky colors (yellow, grey and turqoise). It’s also ideal for younger or early gamers who wouldn’t miss the features of the major console, because they’ve never experienced them before!
Bear in mind, the Switch Lite can’t play all the Switch games either, only titles that support ‘handheld mode’ (which however, are many and it does include Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild plus most of the greats).
The main Switch
The big Nintendo Switch is $100 more expensive, but you get the full glory of TV mode with Joy-Con controllers (HD Rumble and IR camera included), plus the Tabletop Mode and Handheld option. For bigger families and more social play it’s the wisest choice.
Yes, both Switch versions of course allow for multiplayer gaming. Local multiplayer - ‘link-up’ - play is free, but if you want online engagement you’ll have to add on the extra monthly/yearly subscription to the Nintendo Online Service.
For all the available games, check out this link to the Nintendo site, and check the supported Play Modes ('Handheld mode') under each one (if you’re after just those compatible for Nintendo Switch Lite.)
Should you buy? And Switch 2 rumours…
Yes, you should buy one which suits your gaming habits, family - or type of kid! Games are imaginative, engrossing, challenging and puzzling… but they’re also addictive ‘reality replacements’, so a sense of balance is essential. The good news is that Nintendo has made a solid effort to give parents the controls. A separate smartphone app allows for all kinds of notifications, limits and alarms to say when it’s ‘time out’. The limits you can set also cover online play, as well as details like whether screenshots are saved. Restrictions can also be set on what types of games can be launched, suitable to your kid’s age group. It's all super-comprehensive. (However, there’s no parental control for a pushy kid who controls their parents!)
When is the Switch 2 coming?
Are you worried about a newer version being released? Well, the Switch Lite has only just been released, but the Switch 2 could well be out by Summer 2020. Who’s to guess what sort of improvements or new areas Nintendo will want to explore, but it’s really not been that long since the first one (March 2017). The battery life will probably be improved, for one thing. But who knows what cost or problems might accompany its initial release?
It does mean that this Christmas, there could be some great deals, and bundles featuring various games. It’s worth owning one for a year and then upgrading, possibly. Nintendo will likely want to push bundle deals with online, multiplayer titles that promote the regular subscription to the Online service, but you don’t need to get roped in. There are many games for local play (see this list.)
We'll feature more updates or lists of top games for the Switch in the future, since Christmas is also beginning to surface on everybody's minds again. The good news, is there's still time to save up more of those points here at Prizes Drop, so you can get a free Nintendo Switch with our free codes, or when the Sales arrive in January.