Nintendo took us by surprise today and announced a brand new OLED Switch. Now that the shock has started to wear off, I have to ask: Is this the upgraded Switch any of us really wanted?
At a quick glance, forking out an extra $50 for a more colorful OLED display and some other minor improvements compared to the standard model seems like a good deal, especially for any first-time Switch buyers. However, if you look a little closer, the new OLED Switch isn’t exactly the premium gaming console that a lot of gamers may have been hoping for. So let’s break it down.
The refreshed Switch, which is officially called the Switch (OLED model)—just rolls off the tongue, right?—includes these features:
- A 7-inch 720p OLED touchscreen, up from the 6.2-inch display on the standard Switch, or 5.5-inch screen on the Switch Lite.
- 64GB of onboard storage, up from 32GB on the standard model/Switch Lite.
- A new, wider kickstand.
- A redesigned dock that features a built-in Ethernet jack.
- Enhanced audio.
- A fresh black-and-white color scheme (though the classic red/blue will also be available).
And that’s about it. Yes, the OLED Switch will be backwards compatible with all previous Switch games, aside from some potential issues with Nintendo Labo due to the OLED Switch being 0.1 inches longer. Nintendo has also confirmed that the OLED Switch will work with existing Switch docks. The company said the performance and battery life of the OLED Switch will be the same as the standard model.
However, there are also a lot of features (including some things that have become industry standards) that you still don’t get on Nintendo’s flagship console.
- No support for Bluetooth audio.
- No mention of a fix for Joy-Con drift.
- No support for 1080p resolution in handheld, or 4K while docked.
- No support for ray tracing or tech like Nvidia’s DLSS or AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution to help improve performance.
So it seems that what we’re really getting is more of a Switch refresh than a true “Switch Pro,” to the point where I wouldn’t be surprised if the standard model gets discontinued in a year or two.
Now back to the question at hand: After seeing the OLED Switch’s new features, are these the upgrades you wanted to see? If you’re a current owner, will you be dropping $350 on the new model? If you’re a potential first-time buyer, were these updates enough to convince you?
Let us know what you think in the comments—there’s always a lot to talk about when a new Nintendo hits the streets, and we want to hear it.