After what’s felt like an eternity of speculation, Nintendo has finally announced a new Switch model with a projected launch date of October 8th worldwide. The company officially refers to the machine as “Nintendo Switch (OLED Model),” which is almost as bland a name as I can conceivably imagine. (“New Nintendo Switch” and —dread it, run from it — “Switch U” being the only worse contenders.)
Nintendo Switch (OLED Model) Screen Specs
The Nintendo Switch (OLED Model)’s biggest pitch is, indeed, its OLED screen. At seven inches, the screen shares its size with the original Nintendo Switch model but reduces the bezel count for a fuller picture. In laymen’s terms, this means that the OLED model’s visible space is wider, which is never a bad thing. The real breadwinner is of course the OLED technology itself.
While the Switch and Switch Lite’s 720p LCD screens still look great to this day, the contrast capabilities of OLED are frankly on another scale. Reds, greens, blues, they all pop with vividity. This is half the reason I’m still willing to be seen in public with a PlayStation Vita — even at just 544p, the OLED screen featured in the initial batch of Vitas (later replaced with LCD; such woe) has a sheen to it that makes games like Persona 4 Golden shine.
More Reasons to Upgrade
Playing upcoming Switch exclusives like Metroid Dread in handheld mode with the new Switch model is going to rock. And whatever the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild ends up being called, it’s safe to say when it comes to handheld play, nothing will compare.
But what about the rest of the package? Many of us prefer to play our Switches primarily docked, hooked up to a big, flashy television. Is there any reason to care about the Nintendo Switch (OLED Model) when we’ll be staring at 50″ 4K TVs the entire time instead? Yes, though it’s a somewhat limited sphere.
For starters, the system will include 64GB of internal storage, which is (obviously) a twofold improvement on the 32GB of the original and Lite models. This is undeniably handy, but I’d really recommend that all but the most casual players strongly consider purchasing external SD cards, anyway. 32GB is typically enough for maybe three or four games at a time. The Nintendo Switch (OLED Model) also includes a LAN port, so households with subpar wireless capabilities might just see some improvements in online gaming sessions with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
Meet the newest entry to the #NintendoSwitch family! Nintendo Switch (OLED model) brings the versatility of the Nintendo Switch experience with a vibrant 7-inch OLED screen, a wide adjustable stand, and more. Nintendo Switch (OLED model) releases on 10/8.https://t.co/zRpGxakJDn pic.twitter.com/Tsc55r35ay
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) July 6, 2021
Aside from a slightly improved internal speaker — which, again, probably only matters much to players who game portably a ton — that’s pretty much it. Is it enough to justify a suggested retail price of $349.99 for this new Switch model? Bear in mind that the regular model launched at, and remains. $299.99. The Switch Lite, on the other hand, is a (relatively) mere $199.99.
I suppose there are two answers to that question. Those who have kept their expectations for a hardware revision safely in check will be more pleased with the Nintendo Switch (OLED Model) than those who bit hard on the rumors of a 4K screen and DLSS (deep learning super sampling) architecture. The idea of cranking the Switch, which is a fantastic console but technically an even less powerful kit than the base Xbox One, into something so futuristic seemed unlikely from the start. Had it not been for the strong track records of the industry sources with such claims, the denizens of Nintendo fandom would likely have tuned it all out and braced for a simpler revision.
If you were hoping for Nintendo to hit it out of the park with a hardware revision that feels more like an unofficial console successor, this ain’t it. But if the idea of a modest upgrade to your experience is appetizing, dig in. And if you’re still in the market for your very first Switch? The $50 premium over the launch model doesn’t sound so bad at that point. That’s roughly a 14% price increase for the best possible first impression. Not bad.
Stick with The Nerd Stash for more Nintendo Switch (OLED Model) news updates as we count down the days until October 8th!