It’s finally happened: Nintendo has announced the new Switch model that’s been rumored for years. After countless leaks and plenty of hype, the newest Switch has been formally unveiled by Nintendo–but it’s not exactly what fans were expecting.
The new system boasts an impressive 7-inch OLED screen, offering more vibrant colors and crisp graphics than the existing LCD screen. Notably, the original Switch system sports only a 6.2-inch screen, so the new display is much bigger than its predecessor.
Fans of the previous model may notice the reduced size of the side bezels on the main tablet, allowing for that bigger screen that uses the existing space more efficiently. The size of the base unit is unchanged, however, which means that existing Joy-Con controllers will still fit on the new system. It will weigh only slightly more than the original model.
The new model also sports a few quality-of-life improvements that make it a step up from the existing Switch model. For instance, the kickstand has been upgraded to run the entire length of the back of the device, instead of being a small, flimsy strip of plastic. The new kickstand also has significantly more flexibility, allowing it to be set at a number of viewing angles.
The redesigned dock for the new system has a wired LAN port, which is great for players who like competitive online games. Additionally, the base OLED model will have more internal storage, coming in at 64GB to the original’s 32GB.
Many fans were shocked to see that the new model does not support 4K resolutions, even in docked mode. The higher resolution standard was a mainstay of rumors speculating about a “Switch Pro,” with many outlets claiming they had credible sources saying that a 4K device was in the works. It’s possible that such rumors were confusing the OLED Switch for the eventual successor to the hybrid console, which would almost assuredly boast an improved resolution.
Another somewhat surprising element of the new device is that it uses the exact same Joy-Cons as the base model. This is good, in some ways, as it means that there will be no confusion for customers about which controllers work with their system. However, it also means that the hardware failures that plague the Joy-Con controllers will continue to affect the new model. Notably, Joy-Con drift, where the analog sticks on the controllers begin to send “ghost” signals, remains a major concern for enthusiasts.
Upgrades on the Horizon
The new model sports a pair of stark white Joy-Cons, an interesting contrast to the base model’s black Joy-Cons. The new dock matches this arctic design, bearing a white finish that looks unique compared to the original model’s muted, black dock.
The OLED model Switch will land on October 8, 2021, alongside the hotly-anticipated Metroid sequel, Metroid: Dread. The new system will retail for $349.99, making it a full $50 more expensive than the base model Switch.