The Nintendo Switch OLED: Instant Buy or Hard Pass?
Let’s be real for a second, everyone knew that at some point Nintendo would announce a revision or even perhaps an upgrade to the Nintendo Switch. The hybrid console has been around for more than four years at this point, and while Nintendo users had a couple of iterations such as the V2 model which boasted longer battery life plus the Nintendo Switch Lite which mainly catered to people who prefer playing purely in handheld mode, those weren’t necessarily noteworthy upgrades. So when Nintendo stealthily dropped the announcement for the Nintendo Switch OLED, there was a mixed reception.
The Rumor Mill Behind A “Switch Pro”
Before the existence of the Nintendo Switch OLED, there were already rumors circulating about the idea of an upgraded Switch console. The amount of speculation was endless – even high-profile news websites such as Bloomberg went ham on the possibility of Nintendo finally making an arguably much-needed upgrade to the console. Much to the dismay of many, the important aspects of the long-awaited Nintendo Switch Pro were nowhere to be found and people instead got to take a look at an upgraded model of the Switch that was far out of their expectations. They wanted 4k resolution, Bluetooth capabilities, improved joycons – the whole shebang of what a “pro” version of a Nintendo Switch would be.
It’s no surprise that fans have been clamoring for an upgraded version of the Nintendo Switch. With future releases of some heavy-hitters such as the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (there’s no official title yet) and Pokemon Legends: Arceus, it’s natural for the players to want to see their games at the very best – unfortunately for them, the Nintendo Switch OLED isn’t necessarily the answer to their prayers. This has led to many fans left with the feeling of disappointment as it lacked the improved features that they were hoping for for so long.
Are There Any Noteworthy Upgrades in the Nintendo Switch OLED?
Perhaps the most noteworthy aspect about the Nintendo Switch OLED is its, well, new OLED screen. The new model will be featuring a slightly large OLED screen for those who primarily play in handheld mode. While this is great news, it poses a new problem that has many people worried: screen burns. Concerns over burn-in began to spread after Nintendo showcased the slightly bigger screen for the latest model.
It’s worth saying that the technology within OLED has advanced further since the Vita days (the second iteration of the PSVita upgraded the LCD screen to OLED) thanks to the built-in solutions that were created, but that doesn’t mean that the possibility of a burn-in couldn’t happen on the Switch OLED screen. Different games have different static features and unless they’re playing the same game for many hours at a time, players who are looking to get the OLED Switch will be fine.
Another upgrade that’s been made is the new dock that it’s going to boast. Compared to its blockier sibling, the dock for the OLED Switch is slightly curvier and will have a wired LAN port for those that give utmost importance to internet speed and connection. The dock is also sold separately, giving the older Switch owners an option to upgrade their dock if they see the need for it. There’s also a new adjustable stand which is miles better compared to the flimsy kickstand that previous Switch owners got. The previous kickstand only made the Switch stand in one angle and easily snaps off, so the beefier, new stand is a welcome change for tabletop users.
Last but not the least, it’s also been revealed that the internal storage will be receiving an upgrade as well. The original Nintendo Switch only had 32GB worth of internal storage, whereas the OLED Switch model comes with double of that – 64GB, to be exact. It’s quite a nifty upgrade since there are a lot of Switch games that require more than 20GB of space. The thing is though, the upgrade is rendered moot since people can just purchase a microSD card ranging from 64GB to a whopping 1TB. Lastly, there are the enhanced audio features. According to Nintendo, the audio for the newest Switch model will be taken to the next level thanks to the stronger built-in speakers.
Who is the Nintendo Switch OLED for?
It’s hard to know what Nintendo was thinking when they were making the Nintendo Switch OLED. While there were indeed a couple of pretty helpful upgrades, there are alternatives that fans can take over them. For example, if players would be playing the Switch mainly in handheld mode in the first place (because of the larger OLED screen), there’s the cheaper Switch Lite that could be a much better option for them.
As for the wider and adjustable stand, people can take a loophole by purchasing third-party stands made by brands such as Hori, Nyko, and Dobe instead. A larger microSD card storage easily bypasses the increased internal storage as well. The upgraded speakers, while nice, can be easily replicated by using a pair of the best earphones/headphones that are currently available in the market. Lastly, the features of the new dock that includes an ethernet port can be imitated by simply using a standard USB ethernet adapter which does the job done.
So the question remains, who is the Nintendo Switch OLED for? It’s not for the people who already have a Switch, that’s for sure. It is, however, a compelling purchase for those that don’t have a Switch and are looking to their it for the first time.