Well, Nintendo… you have done it again. You have found a way to get us to buy yet another variant of your highly successful hardware. To be fair, they have found a way to do this many times before, most notably with their Nintendo handheld varieties on the GameBoy, GameBoy Advance, GameBoy Advance SP, GameBoy Advance Micro (take a deep breath), Nintendo DS, Ninendo DS lite, Nintendo 3DS, (believe it or not I’m leaving some out), Nintendo 2DS, Nintendo 3DS XL, Nintendo 4DS Ultra Magnus, Nintendo Virtual 3DS MegaMix Deluxe… okay maybe the last two are just fever dreams. But hopefully you get my point… Nintendo has consistently iterated on their successful products time and time again to deliver yet another “must-have” in their family of products. So will the new Switch Lite follow the path of the continually progressing DS series? Or will it be another flop like the Virtual Boy or the GameBoy Advance Micro that most people didn’t even know existed until right now (and yes, I actually had one… they were REAL and they were FANTASTIC).
I suppose we will have all of our answers on September 20th when the Switch lite descends upon store shelves and the Nintendo faithful prepare to complete their pilgrimage to yet another hardware launch. So what is the main differences? The most notable is that this is a FULLY handheld Switch… it does not, in fact, “SWITCH” at all. One of the primary selling features of the original Switch is it’s ability to be played as a home console as well as on the go, but in order to slash the price point on this new tech the docking capabilities had to go. Next, the snap-on, snap-off joy-con controllers are no longer present, as this new Switch Lite is one complete, cohesive unit with the controllers built into it. This may seem limiting, but on the positive front this new system is a full ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS cheaper, making this much more accessible and only slightly more expensive than the current crop of Nintendo’s slowly disappearing 2DS/3DS family.
So here’s the big question… is it worth it? It really depends on what you are wanting out of it. Saving $100 is pretty sweet, and to be honest, its smaller size makes it fairly attractive as a purely handheld device as it is now easier to take with you on the go. And if that wasn’t enough, the integration of a true directional pad may make some titles easier to play. Your mileage will absolutely vary based on how important it is to you that your Switch is able to… you know … actually “Switch”. This was clearly designed with the intentions of increasing the size of the install base rather than serving current Switch owners, and while it is an excellent tactic it doesn’t necessarily offer anything new to early adopters such as myself.
Now for the even BIGGER question… is a Switch that doesn’t actually “Switch” still a Switch? I mean, that WAS its defining characteristic when it was originally announced. And now that this ability has been removed, I am trying to decide how to define this new product. The question now evolves into something else entirely. Is a Switch truly a Switch because of what it DOES on the OUTSIDE, or because of what it POSSESSES on the INSIDE? It’s a fascinating question. And one we can easily ask ourselves as well.
When we are playing this new Switch in handheld mode, it will be nearly indistinguishable from the original Switch from a gameplay standpoint. A little smaller, true, but functionally similar. But the reason it is a full $100 lighter in the pocketbook is because it is missing one third of it’s weight… the parts that made it compatible with any monitor with an HDMI port for easy accessibility to all. In much the same way, it can be easy for us as Christians to operate in “handheld mode”. We can appear to have it all together on the outside, demonstrating all of the right moves in all the right places, but without the Spirit of God working through us in a real and authentic way each day we are also missing one third of the reality of walking with Christ. The part that CONNECTS us with others and allows what we carry to be beneficial to ALL.
It is easy for us as believers to operate in this selfish “handheld mode”. I know I spent much of my life searching for God so He can benefit ME, solving MY problems and answering MY prayers. But this is not the purpose of receiving or following Christ. As Paul clearly states in 1 Timothy, as wonderful as it is for us that Christ came down to save each and every one of us, it is only so we can pay this forward in perpetuity using our lives as a pattern to all who we are brought into contact with. We do not have a relationship with Christ that is meant for only ourselves… it is a gift that must be SHARED.
1 Timothy 1:15-16 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all long-suffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.
As Paul so clearly states, the REASON we receive mercy from the Lord is to demonstrate His mercy to others. If you have chosen to receive His mercy then you experienced the “Switch”, becoming born again into His family. But we are expected to carry and share our “Switch” from person to person, allowing each of His children to see Him in “docked” mode. Jesus chose the analogy of being a vine, and we are branches off of that vine. Our purpose? To bear FRUIT. Fruit is not for the vine… it has no need of it. A grapevine does not eat it’s own grapes to survive. Likewise, the fruit is not for the branches either. It is for OTHERS to be nourished by it.
John 15:16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.
So… what is the difference between a purely handheld Switch Lite and the original console? Well, for the physical Switch console it is easy… one item “Switches”, and the other does not. It is only capable of being ONE thing… a portable handheld. It can mimic many of the capabilities of an original Switch but it only carries it’s image, not it’s essence. In much the same way, as believers we are expected to carry our faith not for our own selfish consumption, but so that we can generate fruit that others can receive and be blessed by. Our mission has changed from a CONSUMER to a PRODUCER, and it is through the Spirit of God in our lives that we are able to demonstrate the incredible and remarkable mercy that Christ has given us and share this with all we come in contact with.
Like us? Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube for our articles and videos!
Facebook: Finding God in the World of Video Games
Instagram: Finding God in Video Games
YouTube: Finding God in the World of Video games
Video versions of our articles are available here: