Gift guide: Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite are the consoles kids want this Christmas

The cute consoles are sure to keep the whole family entertained

Nintendo Switch
(Image credit: Nintendo)

The Nintendo Switch was one of the stars of the pandemic, providing sociable and escapist fun to gamers. But, if you know someone who hasn’t got one yet, there are two options: The Nintendo Switch console and the cheaper, smaller Switch Lite.

Unsurprisingly, there are quite a few differences. While both can be played in handheld mode, the original Switch also boasts TV and tabletop modes for more sociable options, which might be a great option this Christmas.

Both models have the same processor and screen resolution, but the Switch has a larger screen and detachable Joy-Con controllers, which include HD Rumble and IR Motion Camera for novel game features. The original version can be used as two separate controllers in multiplayer games like Super Smash Bros. for example.

Put simply, the Switch is bigger and heavier but far more versatile and sociable, with more gameplay options and longer battery life. But, if you’re on a budget, the Switch Lite is a brilliant gift that will let players enjoy all the same games.

Who's it for?

Children, teens and whole families: People of all ages wax lyrical about the appeal of the Switch, and Nintendo produces more family-friendly games than its rivals. The original Switch also lets families play multiplayer games on the TV and using the Joy-Con controllers, which is a bonus.

Calm and thoughtful gamers: Unlike other consoles, Nintendo has really cornered the market when it comes to calm and strategic games. The most famous is perhaps Animal Crossing, which kept loads of people quietly entertained and connected during the pandemic. But there are also strategy games like Overland and Tetris 99, old-fashioned-style titles like Stardew Valley and creative options like Animal Crossing and Mario Maker 2. 

Nintendo lovers: Nintendo has an incredible cast of characters and legacy titles to draw upon and any fans of the original titles will love the new spins the gaming company has put on Mario, for example, using the quirks of the Switch.

Age range:

Older children and teens love the Switch for its more sociable way of gaming. The original Switch really comes into its own as it can be played by families on the TV.

Nintendo Switch Lite

(Image credit: Nintendo)

What makes it the ideal Christmas gift?

Sociable approach: Traditionally, board games help bring families together at Christmas, but the Nintendo Switch is a techie alternative, offering a whole host of games to suit everyone from children to great grandparents. 

Unique games: While all consoles have titles unique to them, Nintendo is arguably the only one with a wide range of games for kids and those that like a bit of calm (as well as action-based titles). The Switch also lets gamers play with Nintendo’s host of famous characters thanks to new titles such as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Pokemon Sword and Shield.

The price: Games consoles are never cheap, but Nintendo’s is priced to be affordable – especially the Switch Lite, which is its value-based console. What’s more, the games themselves aren’t too pricey either.

Buy the Nintendo Switch here:

Buy the Nintendo Switch Lite here:

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Sarah Griffiths

A journalist with 10 years experience, Sarah specialises in Science and Technology, writing for the BBC, national papers and consumer magazines, including T3, of course. Sarah has reviewed a range of products for T3, from children’s electric toothbrushes to water bottles and photo printing services. There's nothing she can't become an expert in!