Nintendo Switch OLED

Nintendo sent us over the new OLED edition of the Nintendo Switch to look at, is it a worthy upgrade or an overpriced addition? Read on my fellow hybrid hobbyists.

So first off on visiting the official Nintendo website we have the “Tech sheet” for the OLED which is as follows:

Nintendo Switch™ – OLED Model

Size:    4 inches high, 9.5 inches long, and 0.55 inches deep (with Joy-Con attached)

Weight:    Approximately .71 lbs

(Approximately .93 lbs with Joy-Con controllers attached)

Screen:    Multi-touch capacitive touch screen / 7.0 inch OLED screen / 1280×720

CPU/GPU:    NVIDIA Custom Tegra processor

Storage:    64 GB

Users can easily expand storage space using microSDHC or microSDXC cards up to 2TB (sold separately).

Wireless:    Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac compliant) / Bluetooth 4.1

Video output:    Up to 1080p via HDMI in TV mode

Up to 720p via built-in screen in Tabletop mode and Handheld modes

Audio output:    Compatible with 5.1ch Linear PCM output

Output via HDMI connector in TV mode

Speakers:    Stereo

USB connector:    USB Type-C

Used for charging or for connecting to the Nintendo Switch dock.

Headphone/mic jack:    3.5mm 4-pole stereo (CTIA standard)

microSD card slot:    Compatible with microSD, microSDHC, and microSDXC memory cards

Sensor:    Accelerometer, gyroscope, and brightness sensor

Internal battery: Lithium-ion battery / 4310mAh

Battery life:   Approximately 4.5 – 9 hours

The battery life will depend on the games you play. For instance, the battery will last approximately 5.5 hours for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

So now we have the technical stuff out of the way, let’s talk about what additional features it offers over the previous versions of the Nintendo Switch, please note previously I have used the launch model and have limited experience with the “lite” version.

The Dock.

Before we talk about the main event let’s talk about the Dock, taken out for the “lite” release and given the upgrade treatment here over the original release. 

The actual Dock itself feels much sturdier, the back panel now completely removes instead of being on hinges, I know it was possible to take it off the hinges but that never sat right with me, here it feels like a viable option for those who aren’t bless with cable management skills. 

The actual console slot seems to have a slight curvature in it now and a different sheet of plastic, this holds the console better and up to now has kept it from that pesky screen grazing issue that is rampant with the original models.

The best addition I found with the Dock though is the inclusion of an Lan port, something that was sorely missing prior to the point you could buy one, though it would take up one of your USB ports and reportedly run quite hot.

While not everyone would see the benefit of this, it is very handy for people who are redownloading a lot of titles after profile transfer or those of you who play a lot of games online like Super Smash Bros: Ultimate, Splatoon 2 or Ultra Street Fighter II…… just me?.

The Console

Size I’m told by various sources matters, while larger than the “lite” version, physically the OLED Switch is no bigger than the original model, it’s going to fit any standard case and those essential screen protectors, though if you’re like me you’ll pay the extra because it said OLED on the packet!.

The screen is now nearly an inch bigger thanks to the much smaller Bezel, while it was never much of an issue on the original, once the OLED graces your life you’ll wonder what you ever did without that extra inch, yes people I hear you on this!.

The kickstand has seen a massive improvement and rather than a small piece of plastic it actually goes the entire length of the console, this was one of my favourite features as it feels sturdier and less likely to snap whenever used. 

It is also possible for the Shmup crowd to have the console naturally stood in TATE mode though exercise caution due to the angle it stands at.

Once you’ve fully got set up, naturally if you’re transferring your stuff over it’s a drawn out process involving use of the previous console and a format of any micro-sd card you have been using you can finally start to reap the benefits of the OLED screen. 

The OLED display is truly a thing of beauty which, if you’ll permit me the use of dramatics, brings a whole new life to games on the system. 

Titles such as Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Astral Chain, No More Heroes: III, Espgaluda II, Mario 3D World, Sonic Colours Ultimate and Metroid Dread have honestly never looked better. 

I played the above titles through on both consoles and the differences were so night and day that I would say seeing is believing, Sonic Colours Ultimate didn’t sit right with me on the original console but after playing it on the OLED I’m happy I chose to go for what is considered “the worst version” because of how damn good it looks.

I mentioned in my Metroid Dread review how impressive the use of colour was and how it helped with the overall feel of the game, while it wasn’t a slouch on the original model the OLED really brought out the vibrancy of the colours making the darker scenes within the game really feel special.

The new model also boasts an improved battery life which was incorporated into the newer models and the lite and I can confirm you do get much more mileage. 

I had the brightness much higher than usual and kept the WiFi on and still had more than enough battery life for extended sessions of play with titles like Metroid Dread alongside less demanding titles.

In terms of settings there isn’t a great deal extra within this unit aside from the OLED visuals which can be tweaked to be more vivid or standard which dulls them somewhat, you still get some benefit from it but it’s more of an inclusion for some games that may be slightly too colourful and strenuous on the ol’ peepers.

Worth making the “Switch” 

So the verdict on the OLED Switch really boils down to how much you play the console handheld, if you spend most of your time with the hybrid docked onto your television the only benefit you’ll get is the built in LAN port. 

On the flip side if you are like me and this is a portable gaming hero to you, you benefit from an amazing screen in size and quality and improved battery life, the former really bringing your game visuals to life!.

If it’s worth upgrading from your standard model really lands with you, personally I think the screen is a game changer and makes me wonder how I did without but I also appreciate how costly it is and the need for your old console means you can’t trade towards it. 

Personally speaking I can’t get enough of the OLED and think it’s well worth the asking price, especially if you’re on the fence about the Switch in general. 

This is the definitive way to experience the phenomenal Nintendo Switch.

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Straight from the streets of SouthTown, all Dunks Powah'd and ready to Bust A Wolf. Catch me on Twitch/YouTube.

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