NINTENDO is adding a third console to its Switch lineup this week, with a brand new OLED model.
The hardware offers a few incremental upgrades over the original Nintendo Switch but is it worth splashing out on?
Nintendo Switch OLED design and display
The Nintendo Switch OLED isn’t drastically different to the original model at first glance.
But closer inspection reveals a more refined design that’s very much in keeping with the chic white colourway.
I have to say, I wasn’t a fan of the new colour when it was first revealed, but it looked great once I reorganised my TV stand to make room for it.
If the Nintendo Switch Lite and its boisterous colour palette is perfect for younger users, then the Switch OLED is most definitely for grown-ups.
Every aspect is sleeker and smoother than the OG model – even the finish has been tweaked to a more matte and textured plastic for those intense gaming sessions.
The volume and power buttons are thinner, the vents have had an overhaul – heck, even the game card slot looks sexier.
Gone is the flimsy flap of plastic on the back; the OLED model has a kickstand that runs the length of the console.
The plastic is actually thinner than its launch model counterpart which had me worried, but the reinforced hinges really do their job making for a surprisingly robust tabletop gaming experience.
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It doesn’t feel loose at all, but we’ll have to see how it holds up over time.
The Switch OLED is practically identical in size to the original but is slightly heavier.
That hasn’t posed a problem while gaming in handheld mode s far. I’ll have to spend a bit more time with it to discover if my wrists are going to give out due to the 15-20g difference, but I don’t anticipate that happening.
Nintendo Switch OLED display
Of course, the selling point of the new console is the larger, OLED display. It boasts a 7-inch panel with a significantly slimmer bezel than the Switch.
Swapping out the LCD screen for an OLED display means a bump in price, but if you’re a sucker for deep blacks, and rich, vibrant colours then you won’t mind paying the £50 / $50 difference.
Sony did a similar move with the PS Vita and PS Vita Slim, transitioning an OLED display to a cheaper LCD which was noticeably ‘worse’, so at least we’re going in the right direction here.
I will say, I much prefer the OLED panel – and I did with the PS Vita too. You can find out more about how OLED screens work here, and it can be largely down to a personal preference, but it ticks all the boxes for me.
So much so that I’m tempted to dive back into The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
The game was a Nintendo Switch launch title and it’s absolutely gorgeous – and I’m itching to see what it looks like with the new display.
It’s a bit of a bummer that we’re stuck with the same resolution (720p handheld and 1080p docked).
But there’s enough of a marked difference to keep me happy.
Nintendo Switch OLED price and specs
Just putting this out there now: the chip in the Nintendo Switch OLED isn’t any more powerful than the launch model.
The rumoured all-powerful, 4K gaming experience didn’t come to fruition yet, but you can check out the specs below:
- Screen: 7-inch OLED touchscreen
- Resolution: 720p handheld / 1080p docked
- CPU/GPU: Custom Nvidia Tegra X1
- Storage: 64GB
- Connectivity (console):
- 3.5mm audio jack
- USB type C
- Connectivity (dock):
- USB type A (USB 2.0 compatible) x2 on the side
- System connector
- AC adapter port
- HDMI port
- Wired LAN port
- Battery life: Approx. 4.5 – 9 hours
- Charging time: Approx. 3 hours
- Size: 102mm x 242mm x 13.9mm / 4-inches x 9.5-inches x 0.55-inches (with Joy-Con attached)
- Weight: Approx. 320g / 0.71 lbs (with Joy-Cons attached: 420g / 0.93 lbs
- Price: £309.99 / $349.99
Nintendo Switch OLED verdict
Having spent some time with the new console, it’s almost as if the Nintendo Switch launch model is a late prototype of the final vision that is the Nintendo Switch OLED.
Overall, the console just looks and feels more ‘finished’ thanks to the slew of small touches on the machine.
The new dock and colourway are great, with gamers finally getting a wired LAN port, but both peripherals are compatible with the original Switch so you can always pick those up.
But should you buy the Nintendo Switch OLED if you already own a Switch?
You’ll probably be fine without it. My launch model Switch is still going strong, four years later. Ultimately it’s £309.99 / $349.99 you really don’t have to spend,
Personally, I’d want to upgrade. Having experienced the difference between LCD and OLED in handheld gaming with the PS Vita, I know I prefer an OLED panel. Plus the refined design looks super slick.
However, if you’re specifically looking to buy a Nintendo Switch console, it’s a no-brainer. Spend the extra £50 / $50 and treat yourself to the incarnation of the Switch that you deserve. You won’t regret it.
The Nintendo Switch OLED is available for pre-order now, and is on sale from October 8. Check out our Nintendo Switch OLED pre-order page.
All prices in this article were correct at the time of writing, but may have since changed. Always do your own research before making any purchase.
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