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Paige FTW: The King Is Dead, Long Live The King

Nintendo didn’t come right out and say it, but we all know the truth.

The advent of Nintendo Switch Lite means that the Nintendo 3DS is on its deathbed.

The new Switch, which retails for $199, is 100 percent portable. There’s no dock, and the Joy-Cons are fused onto the system and not removable. The screen is just under an inch smaller than the regular Switch’s, but the battery life is supposedly better (Nintendo has yet to offer details on what that means, precisely).

It releases Sept. 20, just in time for The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening and Pokemon Sword and Shield.

There are some quibbles among the masses. For one, the Switch Lite will not be compatible with games that require some of the features of the detachable Joy-Cons —unless you buy a second pair of Joy-Cons, which seems pretty dumb from a consumer standpoint. There’s also that Joy-Con glitch that’s been causing some legal rumbles; if Nintendo hasn’t fixed the problem, the Switch Lite owner might be looking at some broken consoles.

But it makes sense, in a way, that Nintendo is going all in on the Switch and finally retiring the 3DS line — it will be an easy way to double-dip for portable and console developers — sad as it is to see the end of the dual-screen era and the innovation that came along with it.

It seems, though, that the age of dedicated portable gaming systems is waning. PlayStation has quietly bowed out of the handheld game altogether. The Switch Lite is Nintendo hedging its bets. There are no competitors on the horizon.

Some talk about the death of consoles as Google and other tech giants try to implement streaming-only platforms. But in the end, the smartphone did more to end a long tradition than any other tech item has.

 

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