The eagerly anticipated Nintendo Switch Lite announcement earlier in July 2019 has many Nintendo die-hards scratching their heads. Many fans were left feeling shortchanged by the lack of newer features on the Lite, while others saw it as a step in the right direction for the company attracting a new class of gamer. The name Lite itself does denote that something has been shaved off the original. Could the new announcement be seen as Nintendo attempting to cater to a wider market – after all Pokémon Let’s Go changed the premise of the games to appeal to a new target audience. Or, will the missing features of the new handheld device render it less successful than the hero product in Nintendo’s wheelhouse?

Nintendo Switch Lite – What are its Features?

With the Nintendo Switch amassing lifetime sales of 8.13 million units in a calculation in May 2019 – which surpasses the lifetime sales of the PS4 at 8.07 million – the console changed how gamers were able to connect with games. It also changed how Nintendo fans saw the company and its offerings compared to the other big hitters in the gaming world, PlayStation and Xbox. The Lite offers the gameplay essentials that the original had. Indeed, the Switch Lite is dubbed as a smaller, cheaper version of the original, built wholly for handheld gaming. There’s no connecting the console to your TV and the Joy-Con controllers are inbuilt into the design of the lighter model. The Switch Lite comes in multiple colors, has a slightly more efficient battery and is aimed at those wanting the Switch experience, but pared back slightly.

A New Era of Nintendo Gaming

With the focus on gameplay and accessibility over extra features, could Nintendo’s intended audience on this console grow enough to rival its competitors and even facilitate eSports tournaments? If the Nintendo Switch Lite is an example of the future of gaming and of more people getting involved with handheld gaming that is both immersive and easy to use, could this be relevant in terms of eSports? As Betway shows through the extensive range of eSports games already on offer, such as Overwatch, League of Legends, Call of Duty and Dota 2, there is room for this field of gaming to grow in order to encompass those who may opt to play their games on the Nintendo Switch Lite. Fans already have a host of Mario-themed titles to play on the Switch Lite, with the Nintendo mascot already featuring in existing Nintendo Switch eSports tournaments in the form of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but a growing Switch audience could see further titles from the Mario pantheon reach eSport status, with Mario Kart being a possible inclusion.

Source: Pixabay

Can the Consoles Coexist?

Nintendo of America President Doug Bowser (Bowser is a very apt name for a president of Nintendo!) claims that both the Switch and Switch Lite will happily coexist in the marketplace. He surmises that the goal of having multiple Nintendo consoles in each household could be aided by the Lite. Many could be concerned that the 3DS will also suffer, and the release of Pokémon Sword and Shield on the Switch means that the original fanbase, and those they have picked up from Lets Go, will be purchasing the console solely for Pokémon. Nintendo has ensured that the consoles each target a slightly different demographic, but have enough overlap that the consoles won’t end up cannibalizing one another. Ultimately, Nintendo has launched the console as a way to show that it understands the market. Mobile gaming is on the rise because our phones are light and therefore by producing an accessible handheld device that doesn’t come with the price tag of a console to connect to the TV, they are able to compete in this market too.

The Nintendo Switch, with its success, was a coup for Nintendo, especially when appealing to the Mario market. Should the Nintendo Switch Lite aim for a different kind of audience to the original and aim for a different kind of gaming – such as opening up eSports as a possibility for Switch Lite players – then they could have a gaming revolution on their hands. Not only would the new console be different enough to not compete directly with the original, but it would offer a completely different gaming experience.

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