The newest hardware revision for the popular Nintendo Switch console is coming out very soon. The OLED model of the Nintendo Switch releases on October 8 and will have an MSRP of $350, though it’s anyone’s guess if you’ll be able to actually find the console in stores for that price.
Some models of the device have been slipping into the hands of YouTubers and reviewers, and the early impressions are in. So, is the OLED model a worthy upgrade for existing Switch owners, or is it just a nice upgrade for people who are buying into the console? Let’s take a closer look.
First things first, let’s take a look at the console’s namesake: that OLED screen. At the outset, it’s worth noting that the screen is just flat-out bigger than the standard Switch’s. Where the old Switch has a 6.2-inch screen, the OLED model all but eliminates the bezels and reclaims that real estate as screen space, making it a 7-inch display.
That display is also bolder and brighter, thanks to the OLED construction. The image is even a little smoother, owing to the more advanced display technology powering the device. It’s not all upside, though: This device is still capped at outputting images at 720p in handheld mode, a slight disappointment to fans who were eagerly awaiting a “Switch Pro.”
Other new features on this system include a slightly bigger internal storage capacity, which has been doubled from 32GB to 64GB. This is negligible, however, and you’ll likely still be purchasing an SD card to expand your internal storage approximately three seconds after you download one decently-sized game.
Quality of Life
The dock that comes with the OLED Switch is redesigned to make it a bit easier to deal with. The backplate now pops off, instead of opening on a swivel, and the dock now includes a built-in LAN port. Previously, players who wanted a wired internet connection needed to use a USB-to-LAN converter to hook into the dock’s USB port.
One other major change to the OLED model is that it now sports a wide kickstand that runs along the entire back of the console. The original model’s kickstand is just a flimsy little piece of plastic that sticks out at a preset angle, barely offering you any control over where your screen is pointed. The new kickstand can be set to various angles, changing the screen’s position to point it directly at your eyeballs.
What Hasn’t Changed
It’s also worth noting that the OLED model is a very iterative upgrade instead of a complete overhaul. It doesn’t allow the Switch to handle 4K graphics or higher framerates, as it runs on the same Nvidia Tegra chip architecture as the base Switch. The design of its Joy-Cons remains unchanged, which is frustrating for fans who have struggled with Joy-Con drift in their controllers.
Without a processing power upgrade, some fans have wondered why Nintendo went through all the trouble of upgrading the console’s screen. After all, if you’re playing this device while docked, it will be indistinguishable from the base Switch model. Some fans have pointed out that this means there is little reason to upgrade if you already have an existing Switch system.
That being said, this is a great quality of life upgrade for those who have been holding out on picking up a Switch system. With the launch of the OLED model, it’s safe to say that any plans of a beefier Switch Pro coming out any time soon are nonexistent. So, if you’ve been holding out for that, it might be time to bite the bullet and just grab an OLED Switch so you can start playing modern classics like Breath of the Wild or Super Mario Odyssey.