Nintendo Switch is what you need to light up your mood or shrug off Monday blues by indulging yourself with exciting games. The video game console is all the rage among gaming aficionados thanks largely to the unique ability to deliver stunning handheld graphical quality while effortlessly donning the role of a top-notch home console. That being said, despite being such a cool game console, it can’t claim to live up to everyone’s taste. While some may not like the split D-pad, others might find the right analog stick placed too oddly. Well, if you are one of those who are yet to be charmed by Nintendo Switch or looking for something cheaper/more exciting, this roster of the best Nintendo Switch Alternatives of 2020 has you fully covered.
Best Nintendo Switch Alternatives in 2020
Though Switch is way ahead of the pack in many aspects, there are quite a few rivals that can give the video game console a run for its money. So, whether you are hunting for an elegant handheld console or itching for handsome consoles, you have got multiple options to put your hands on.
Oh yes, there are also quite a few players designed to take your gaming to the all-new level. So, let’s dive right in (along with me) to explore the best Nintendo Switch alternatives.
Best Nintendo Switch Alternatives for Handheld Gaming
1. Nintendo Switch Lite
Should you wish to get a cheaper and lighter alternative to Nintendo Switch, look no further than “Nintendo Switch Lite”. The brand new game console looks pretty compact that makes it well-timed for on-the-go gaming. Unlike Switch, Lite has got the Joy-Con controllers fully integrated which makes it a fine bet for casual and younger gamers.
Similar to Nintendo Switch, Lite has also got a good-looking display. However, unlike the bigger sibling’s ultra-large 6.2-inch display, the Lite variant sports a bit smaller 5.5-inch screen that is up to the mark.
Besides, it also comes with a D-pad style control pad that can let you get on top of your games with aplomb. Though it’s not designed for tabletop experience, you can fill up the void by pairing it up with a super handy accessory.
On the battery life front, the Nintendo Switch handheld can run up to 7 hours at one charge. What’s more, you can choose it in three variants: yellow, grey, and turquoise. As for price, it comes at $199 – that is a good $100 cheaper than the original console.
For someone who is looking for an exclusive handheld gaming experience, Nintendo Switch Lite is one of the best Nintendo Switch alternatives you can buy.
Buy From Amazon: $199
2. Nintendo 3DS XL
When you talk about one of the best handheld consoles, Nintendo’s 3DS XL comes into the picture straight away. And rightly so as the gaming console is right on the money in many aspects. Just like the all-new Switch Lite, it also looks pretty lightweight and feels comfortable in the hands. Therefore, you can use it to play your favorite games for hours.
3DS XL comes with a C stick for much-improved controls. The built-in amiibo compatibility and NFC support further enhance its reputation as one of the cheapest Nintendo Switch alternatives. Furthermore, this handheld can let you play all the Nintendo 3DS games at will. As it also has parental controls, you will be able to restrict 3D mode for children (6 years old or under).
Lastly, 3DS XL can deliver up to 3.5 – 6.5 hours of battery life which is not bad as compared to the refreshed Nintendo Switch that promises 4.5 – 9 hours of battery life. Everything considered; it’s among the most affordable yet quite efficient alternatives to Nintendo Switch.
Buy From Amazon: Around $150
3. LYRA | Handheld Game Console
If you love playing classic games then you are going to love this handheld gaming console. Dubbed as “LYRA” this gaming console promises to bring the history of gaming in your palms.
Basically, this handheld console will be able to emulate all the consoles of the classic era thereby allowing you to play games that were supported on those consoles. Powered by Raspberry Pi CM3L, LYRA is not just meant for playing games as it can also act as your personal computer and entertainment system at the same time.
Talking about the technical specs, the LYRA handheld console is being powered by the Broadcom BCM2837B0, Cortex-A53 (ARMv8) 64-bit SoC which is a 1..4GHz 64-bit quad-core processor. It will come with 1GB of RAM and a 5″ TFT LCD with a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels.
As you can see, LYRA is not very powerful, however, it’s enough for playing the kind of games that it supports. LYRA is currently on Kickstarter where it has raised the required money many times over. So, we are hoping that it will come to market soon. If you pre-order this console, you can get it for 30% off.
Buy from Kickstarter: £149
4. Google Stadia / xCloud
What about getting a cloud gaming service? Should you wish to make your gaming more thrilling by streaming video games up to 4K resolution at 60 frames per second (35Mbps for full 4K HDR/60fps), “Google Stadia” and xCloud Gaming have your covered. To me, what makes this gaming services stand out is the ability to let users play top-notch games without the need to have expensive gaming equipment.
Yeah, you heard it right! All you need to get started with a videogame is just a browser tab – without even having to install a game. Talking about Google Stadia, what sets it apart is it’s cloud computing power that is equivalent to a game console rocking at 10.7 GPU terraflops – more than the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X combined! From what I can see it’s going to be a huge game-changer.
Powered by Google’s own data centers, the service will support desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones (only Pixel phones initially). Not to mention, you don’t need to spend plenty of bucks to buy a game console. Unlike Microsoft’s Xbox, Sony’s PlayStation, and Nintendo’s Switch, Google Stadia’s processing is handled “in the cloud” itself. Keep in mind, it will set you back by $9.99/month.
Microsoft’s xCloud Gaming is another good cloud gaming service that you can use. Like Stadia, it lets you stream high-end games without requiring any hardware. That said it’s in beta right now and works only on Android devices. The iOS app has had some hurdles and there’s no news when it will be available on PCs and Mac.
So, if you want to do cloud gaming, Google Stadia is currently the better option.
I know, I know, most of you didn’t see it coming, did you? Let me tell you that the iPad is by far the best tablet in the market. Powered by A-Series Bionic chip, Apple’s tablet is wicked fast. So, it doesn’t matter whether you want to take on action-packed multiplayer games or desire to take thrilling racing games for a long ride, the iPad can seamlessly fit into your taste.
With the introduction of iOS 13 (iPadOS 13), the tablet also supports PS4 and Xbox controllers. And with the monthly subscription of Apple Arcade, you can access hundreds of paid games without any restriction.
So, should you think of getting one of the best Switch alternatives that have beastly power and let you play tons of games elegantly, iPad can be more than a safe bet for you.
For me, the best part is that the iPad Pro is versatile which means that you don’t have to carry multiple devices. You can carry your iPad Pro and play games, answer emails, watch Netflix and YouTube (something that’s missing on Switch), and do so much more. If you are not looking to play AAA titles like Zelda or Doom, the iPad Pro is the most versatile Nintendo Switch alternatives that you can buy right now.
Buy From Amazon: Starts at $329
Best Nintendo Switch Alternative Consoles
1. Xbox One S
“Xbox” is the sort of video gaming console that never fails to charm us. Right from the day I first put my hands on this console (a few years ago), it has continued to live up to my taste. To me, the best part about it is the more personalized gaming experience which makes it a notable competitor of Nintendo Switch. The excellent graphics with a high-dynamic-range is designed to get the most out of your games.
Just like Switch, it also offers cloud storage to ensures all of your games and saves stay safe and easily accessible whenever you want to get them back. If you wish to liven up the gaming experience even further, you can get the Xbox Game Pass to access high-quality games at $9.99/month.
But this software is not just about gaming. You can also use it to stream 4K Ultra HD video on Netflix and other streaming services. Besides, it will also let you watch movies with stunning details using the built-in 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray.
We all know that while Nintendo Switch brings the best of both the world when it comes to console gaming experience, it’s not powerful enough to give you a 4K immersive gaming experience. If you really want to enjoy gaming at its best, Xbox One S is one of the best Nintendo Switch alternatives you can buy right now.
Buy From Microsoft: $299 (1TB)
2. Xbox Series X
If robust power is what you are after, Xbox Series X can make for a strong case as a solid Nintendo Switch alternative. Games run quite faster on the video game console due to much-reduced load times. So, whether you enjoy decimating rivals in a nerve-wracking car racing game or intense deathmatch to be the last one standing, the video game console can enhance your tryst with the fast-paced gaming.
The 12 teraflops of processing power delivered by the system on a chip (SOC) coupled with the AMD’s Zen 2 and RDNA 2 architectures enable it to take on high-octane games efficiently. Add to that the ability to offer top-notch visuals at up to 120FPS and you have got a video game console that looks really hard to beat.
Another feature that makes Xbox Series X a better Nintendo Switch substitute is the DirectX ray tracing which plays a vital role in delivering high-quality lighting and accurate reflections to provide an immersive gaming experience. One of my top picks is the 3D spatial sound that amplifies gaming big time.
Priced at $500, Xbox Series X is not too expensive either, which makes it an overall lucrative replacement for Nintendo Switch.
Buy From Microsoft: $499.99
If Xbox Series X claims to be the most power-packed video game console in the market right now, PS5 is not behind in the battle either. Both in terms of raw horsepower and speed, Sony’s latest offering is in the elite league. So, if you are hunting for a Nintendo Switch competitor that can tick off most boxes, you’ve got to keep an eye on it.
Backed by the high-end SSD, the video game console is second to none when it comes to fast loading. The custom CPU, GPU, and SSD along with the I/O are the key components that enable it to deliver fast-paced gaming.
What’s more, the super handy haptic feedback, adaptive triggers, and 3D audio make it fully equipped to offer an incredible gaming experience. With ray tracing, the rays of light are individually simulated for real-life shadows and reflections.
Notably, PS5 supports 8K output, allowing you to play games on your 4320p resolution display. Besides, it delivers a high frame rate of up to 120FPS and supports 120Hz output on 4K displays.
Considering the high-end specs, PS5 deserves to be considered one of the best Nintendo Switch alternatives in 2020.
Buy From Sony: $499.99
4. PlayStation 4 Pro / Slim
I guess you had been waiting for PS4 to finally make a foray into this roundup, hadn’t you? It has consistently been one of the best selling game consoles in the world. Therefore, it deserves to be rated as a noted substitute for Nintendo Switch. When it comes to getting the desired crispness out of games, PS4 is slightly ahead of its counterparts.
Depending on the model you choose, you will get up to 1TB of storage to keep all of your games secure. So, if you think that the 32GB of minuscule internal storage offered on Switch isn’t able to accommodate all of your games, PS4 could be an ideal answer to your needs.
Moreover, it also offers you an ever-growing library of a number of virtual reality games. So, if you have a liking for VR games, they will easily win you over. Beyond gaming, this console can also let you stream videos, movies, and TV shows to spice up your showtime.
5. Super NES Classic
Are you looking for a Nintendo Switch alternative that could let you play retro games? If your answer is yes, Super NES Classic has to be your top pick. Sporting the appearance of the home consoles that used to be very popular in the 1990s, the console can be a great choice, should you wish to turn the clock back and resurrect retro games.
With this console at your disposal, you can play classy 21 games including the very popular Starfox 2 that were all the rage during the 1990s. What’s more, the bundle also boasts some of the most exciting 2-player games of that era including Super Mario Kart and Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting.
One of my favorite features of this console is the new demo mode that replays the saved suspend points. Besides, it also supports the Classic Controller and Classic Controller Pro accessories so that you can amp up gaming.
Buy From Amazon: Around $180
Frequently Asked Questions
What is comparable to the Nintendo Switch?
There are quite a few video game consoles that are comparable to Nintendo Switch. For instance, the Switch Lite and LYRA are great for handheld gaming. Besides, Xbox Series X and PS5 are fully capable alternative consoles.
Can I buy Switch games without a Switch?
Yes and no. I mean you can buy the games using the Nintendo’s online store or offline game cartridges. But without the Switch or Switch Lite, you won’t be able to play them.
What is the cheapest Nintendo Switch?
Though Nintendo Switch is available for $300, you can get it at around $250 by taking advantage of the exclusive offers.
Is Nintendo replacing the Switch?
As per several rumors, Nintendo is getting ready to launch a more powerful iteration of the main Switch which is said to be called Switch 2 or Switch Pro. And it’s rumored to launch in 2021.
Which is better Nintendo Switch or Lite?
If you wish to have high-end performance, Nintendo Switch is the better bet. However, if you are looking for a lightweight and on-the-go gaming experience, the Lite is the way to go.
Pick Out the Best Nintendo Switch Alternatives
So, that concludes my lineup of the top rivals of the Nintendo Switch. Of course, none of the contenders mentioned above can go neck and neck to what Nintendo’s video game console has to offer, they have got most of the things covered to light up your gaming big time. Let me know your valuable thoughts about my picks and the ones that are ready to rock your gaming spree!