Nintendo Switch Lite Impressions
It finally happened. After six months of umming and arring over whether I had any need for a secondary Nintendo Switch, the reveal and subsequent release of the Coral Nintendo Switch Lite made my mind up for me.
As I’ve mentioned, I simply never felt the need. Perhaps some part of me was holding out for a Pro model but given the nature of the world right now, that seems a long way off right now and paired with the fact that we’re all staying at home, now seemed like the time to bite.
Out of the box, the Nintendo Switch Lite is a thing of beauty, offering more ergonomic angles along with its rounded edges. So far so good. A little bit of internet research had me setting up my launch day Nintendo Switch as a secondary console; with the view that it would remain docked and with that always online, while my shiny new pink acquisition would become my primary console. Although I hardly leave the house for anything other than work, shopping or a light jog – even less so now – this seemed like the logical way to utilise multiple Nintendo consoles.
You are the Lite, our Lite, that must shine on Hyrule once again
Multiple accounts all set up and logged in, I quickly popped in the irrefutable GOAT, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, downloaded the cloud save from my OG Nintendo Switch and ran around Hyrule a little. On the slightly smaller screen, Hyrule popped and really came to life. Textures that I hadn’t noticed in over 300 hours prior became apparent and the sun beaming across a vast stretch of water looked particularly prepossessing. It was only when I went to open my map did things begin to appear amiss. As I pressed X, nothing happened. Panic struck instantly as I repeatedly jabbed at the X button, anxiously awaiting the Hero’s Path to show me any nook or cranny that I had yet to explore, but alas, it never materialised.
A quick check informed me that it had to be re-downloaded and the game restarted. As such, I headed to the eShop, finding it was no walk in the park. I assumed I would have to go to the game’s page and opt to re-install it from there but as it turns out, the option instead existed within my eShop profile. Regardless, when I next loaded Breath of the Wild, normal service had resumed and everything was as I had left it on my inaugural Nintendo Switch. Huzzahs all round. Short lived but heartfelt huzzahs for all.
Now, full disclosure – as somebody who wasn’t sure whether they would pick up a Lite or wait for a Pro, I was a little out of the loop as to the state of Nintendo’s cloud sharing. I recently spoke about their online presence in general so perhaps shouldn’t have been too surprised, however as it turns out, it was worse than I ever feared.
Blinded by the Lite
Next up on my to-do list was to get Super Mario Maker 2 up and running, a simple enough task I assumed. After all, that epic final update isn’t going to entertain itself! I once more loaded up the eshop located the re-download section and looked for SMM2. And looked, and looked and looked. No avail. Instead I headed to the games main page where I was offered the chance to purchase it. Confusion and fear were soon replaced with clarity as I realised that I picked it up from the South African eShop – a store front that not only is cheaper due to a lower sales tax, also offers titles a little bit earlier due to the time difference, all the while still classing as a European territory. Loading up my SA alt account quickly had the bold yellow icon of Super Mario Maker 2 gracing my desktop. Once more, the overwhelming sense of excitement and optimism soon turned to crushing disappointment. Unlike on my main Nintendo Switch, I could only load the data with the account it was downloaded on, not my main profile. To clarify, I could play Super Mario Maker 2, but couldn’t access any of the save data tied to my account.
While this may seem like a strange problem to have; with most sane folk opting to support but a single region’s eShop, having dabbled in the realms of game reviewing, it is something of a requirement to be able to access multiple store fronts. My own penchant for the South African store is nothing more than a combination of my eye for a deal and also, perhaps more importantly, my desire to push the Nintendad brand exponentially. If I can access a game a few hours earlier than regular muggles (non-magical folk), perhaps I’ll stumble upon an Easter egg or a little trick that will garner even the slightest traction. Evidently, my ego and frugality have culminated in stiffing my technical prowess. An oxymoron if ever I saw one.
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, was my next port of call. After all, I owned this title physically. But wait, again I purchased the DLC from my South African account. Inadvertently a paradox had been created. I could either download my save data and carry on my progress, but without the DLC content, or start the game afresh with the bonus adventure readily available. Ultimately, I did neither, and simply returned to the main menu
Make mine a skinny latte to go
As the day drew to a close, I decided to load my guilty pleasure, FIFA 20, on to the system, a game I knew had been acquired through my main EU account. The game downloaded without a hitch, appearing in my re-download list on my main account as it should. This time however, and not inherently Nintendo’s fault I might add, the title didn’t support cloud saves. Dozens of hours of previous playtime inaccessible, my super star Arsenal squad of 2027 not more than a future’s thought, lost amidst a cloud sea of mediocrity.
While the Nintendo Switch Lite is a highly stylised spin on Nintendo’s hybrid, the uncomfortable state of Nintendo’s cloud service makes owning a Lite somewhat uncomfortable as an additional unit.