I’m not sure what to think - this is clearly a cut down model that doesn’t replace the existing machine, focusing solely on portable play.
Its design looks really appealing - I love the pastel hues which bring to mind the DS Lite and Japanese PS Vita Slim models. It’s a very attractive looking machine.
The new Tegra X1 (T214 or T210b) is said to be fabricated on a 16nm process compared with the now-aging 20nm used in the original X1 (T210). That gives a revised model the usual power efficiency gains required to reduce the battery and thus, chassis size. But I’m really surprised it retains the active cooling given the improvements to power efficiency, and the exclusive emphasis on handheld mode.
Given it also doesn’t support other play styles it’s also stretching the definition of the brand a tad. I’m actually surprised this is the case considering the SoC is still actively cooled and the USB-C interface is being used. In theory they should be able to bump up the GPU clocks but maybe it’s an intentionally cut feature to reduce confusion (you’d need a new dock design) and justify the two model tiers.
I’m also surprised the screen size is reduced to 5.5” - while it retains the same resolution I can see this decision stretching the legibility of some games’ interfaces to breaking point. Many Switch games simply take the interfaces designed for large TVs and computer monitors, leading to tiny text on the 6.2” display. It’ll be interesting to see what the hit is because quite a few Vita games had extremely small text on its 5.0” display and 5.5” is in the middle.
It’s great that Nintendo originally designed the Switch from the top-down by focusing on a lavish hybrid. Developers have had to support two power profiles (docked and portable) for every game released since launch, so no one loses out with a model like this existing (edit: I forgot they gutted HD Rumble so that might cause developers to lose confidence in supporting that feature in the future).
But let’s get the most important question out there: how does that D-Pad feel to use!