Unless you’ve recently become a monk and sworn off all technology (If that’s the case, then how are you reading this…) then it’s safe to assume you’ve seen the news about Nintendo announcing the colourful Switch Lite – A smaller version of the groundbreaking console without the capability to dock and play on a TV.
A few cheeky naysayers online have said “What’s the point of a Switch that doesn’t Switch?!” – It’s a fair comment, sure, but even though I don’t own the console myself, most people I know who do barely use it in the TV configuration anyway. Its essentially a handheld with an added gimmick which it seems most people can do without anyway!
Like I said I don’t own a Switch myself, but now that the Lite is coming in all its dedicated handheld glory, I might have to pick one up… I was never a Nintendo fan growing up, I started with a PS1 as my first console, and when given the choice I always chose to invest in the devices without a jolly plumper mascot; nothing personal Mario, I just prefer mental Bandicoots in board shorts I guess? This isn’t saying that I never played a Nintendo game though. My history with Nintendo’s handhelds is a different matter.
We start the way most stories do, with two brothers arguing at Christmas time; ah the holidays… My older brother and I were both tiny and spending Christmas at our grandparents house, all hard chairs and thick carpets, opening a few presents and happy as can be. Then my brother found the holy grail. An original Gameboy… However, because he’s a weirdo who actually enjoys sport, my parents got him a bright red Manchester United Gameboy. I’m lead to believe that being a Man Utd fan is meant to be embarrassing, but whatever, he was happy!
Included with the gift were a couple of games, Tetris and Golf. Literally just Golf… Not Mario Golf or Super Golf. Just… Golf. In retrospect, my Dad might have actually bought that for himself. It is one of only 2 games I’ve ever seen him play after all; anyway, me and my brother logged plenty of hours on the red devil machine, crushing blocks and getting stuck in water hazards and sand traps (We weren’t great at Golf) – This usage only went up when that global phenomenon Pokemon released… I still remember one evening when me and my brother were playing Pokemon, and had gotten to the last gym. Midway through the battle, we had to have dinner but brother dearest decided to argue that he wasn’t done, so my Dad confiscated the device and put it in his room. We were distraught… We hadn’t saved in hours, and worried it’d be lost forever. After eating we snuck into the room and found Dad, with his lack of Gameboy knowledge had left the thing running! A quick save and we were safe!
Not too long after all these antics, one of my birthdays rolled around and it was time for an upgrade… Using my birthday money, I got myself a Gameboy Color and a copy of Pokemon Silver! This was a real game changer for a 10 year old… I mean I’d gotten so used to the dull green screen and black sprites that a sudden 16-bit colour screen blew my fragile little mind! I played that thing to death! At least for maybe a year… Then along came the big daddy.
Christmas 2002, and a very happy Will opened up a brand new Gameboy Advance! Along with a few games, that purple sucker kept me smiling for a long old time. I played it near on non-stop for several months, and showed it off to friends as often as I could. I was somehow more insufferable then than I am now…
The GBA was a stable of my gaming life for a while, so I couldn’t imagine myself replacing it for anything. I mean, I had some great games for that thing like Harvest Moon, Pokemon Ruby and Spider-man Mysterio’s Menace! I didn’t want to give them up for anything… So imagine my joy when on my birthday in 2005, I got just enough money to get myself a brand new DS with Warioware and Mario 64 DS! The icing was obviously still being able to play my GBA games, but with the awesome twin screens and all the new more powerful games to play – My fears of losing the old were unfounded! I don’t think I ever went back to my Gameboy consoles once soon after. The DS was the last in my line of handhelds for quite some time.
Not long after I played through Pokemon Diamond, I retired the thing and went all in on my home consoles instead, which at the time had just become an Xbox 360. The handheld died in my interests. There was a brief rebirth with a 3DS fling, however – I only picked up the 3D handheld to join in with some friends playing Pokemon X & Y, but really the time was over.
The end of an era…
So now with the Switch turning up in its diet form, maybe it’s time I rekindled that love? The quality of games can’t be denied, and there’s no way I can pass up a chance for a portable version of Doom (2016)! We’ll see how I feel come September, but I think there’s a decent chance that the Switch Lite will be joining my collection…Become a Patron!