Allow us to preface this Nintendo Switch OLED review by saying that although we’re about to dollop shade over the new Switch OLED, it’s the best version to date. We absolutely love it and the new adjustments are well received. But don’t get all gooey thinking that the OLED is like the ‘Pro’ version of the Switch.
Because it’s not.
As with most consoles, there is always an inaugural refresh or ‘updated’ version. This typically comes midway through the development of a major upgrade and the Switch OLED presents as Nintendo’s turn to keep profits flowing as they work on bigger and better consoles. Well, hopefully not bigger. Unless it’s an N64 reboot.
So, if the Switch OLED is nothing but a glorified Nintendo Switch then is this console worth buying? Absolutely. But only if you do not own a Switch. Find out why as our editors go under the hood of the new Switch OLED in this Nintendo Switch OLED review.
When you’re done, don’t forget to hit us up in the comments with your thoughts on the new Switch OLED. Now, without further natter, let’s dive straight into it.
To remain compatible with existing accessories (this is Nintendo, not Apple) the height and width of the new Switch OLED console remain unchanged. There is also no redesign to the joy-con controllers which, frankly, is not a bad thing. To the untrained eye, the Switch OLED will look almost identical. Again, that’s probably not a bad thing.
However, what does come new is the stunning black and white colour scheme. While you can purchase the Switch OLED with traditional Nintendo colours, the black and white vibe delivers a more premium feel.
Besides that, what might draw your attention is how Nintendo have better-handled the display bezels. On the Switch, these are chunky and hideous. Yet, the Switch OLED uses slim lines that are approximately a third of the size of the original 2017 model.
Couple this with the matte plastic frame which has also shrunk and immediately the Switch OLED once again looks more premium. Your kids won’t give monkeys though.
The star of the show is the much improved graphical display. If you are looking to play some of your favourite Nintendo Switch games with heightened visuals then the Switch OLED is the best version to achieve that.
Starting with the display size, the Switch OLED comes with a full 7-inch OLED screen. This is a good step up from the modest 6.2-inch display of the 2017 Switch and while a whopping 0.8 inches may not sound like a lot, it was appreciated.
Most likely, after a few hours of gameplay, your eyes will adjust and you really won’t notice much difference. But that’s not even the good part!
As soon as you turn on the screen you will be somewhat blown away. By swapping the original LCD with a bigger OLED screen, the experience is much improved when playing via the handheld mode. The display delivers deeper shades and brighter hues alongside pureness and crispness to the colour. Heck, it will even make SkateBIRD look like a premium game.
The improvement is undeniable.
As for the rest of the console, there is nothing that will improve your gaming and so the screen is the winner here. But only when playing via handheld mode. When docked, the Switch OLED on your TV delivers a slight improvement but nowhere near the touts of 4K quality.
It’s a shame really. We were eager to see a 3D Pikachu bundle across the screen in 4K definition when playing Pokémon Snap. It could be a long time before we see that one!
Again, your kids won’t notice the new kickstand.
However, for the oldies up in here, the Switch OLED replaces the flimsy afterthought that once was with a new kickstand that spans almost the entire width of the console. It could be mistaken for the same technology used with the Microsoft Surface as this kickstand also is not limited to just up or down. With the ability to angle your Switch to the exact degree you like, we really enjoyed this addition.
Because of this, you can say goodbye to those awkward moments where your Switch just collapses onto its back. Unless you keep your Switch docked all of the time, laying the Switch OLED down to rest securely onto your table and solely holding your Joycon controllers is a refreshing experience.
Functionally identical to the 2017 Switch, the new $350 OLED Nintendo Switch plays identical games, uses an identical interface and the same controllers.
There’s no performance boost to older games. There’s no additional resolution and besides the smallest of peripheral changes, the hardware remains unchanged too.
So, is the Nintendo Switch OLED worth the money?
Probably not unless you really care a lot about owning the very latest technology. The OLED and improved peripherals are definitely worth the extra $50 for anybody who does not own a Switch. However, we wouldn’t be upgrading our 2017 version too hastily.
When we were writing this Nintendo Switch OLED review we couldn’t help but full circle back to the same predicament. The problem we have with the latest Switch update is not the upgrades themselves. No, they are great. It’s that we cannot help but feel that the Switch should have had these in the first place.
The slimline bezels, the bigger screen and the kickstand that actually works. It doesn’t appear that much brainpower has gone into the new Switch OLED. It’s an updated Switch, not a new model.
When buying upgraded gadgets becomes confusing, let us make it easy for you. The new Switch OLED is only worth upgrading to when you care about the screen.
The performance is identical to the Switch, the specifications are almost identical to the 2017 version and, although a welcome addition, the fixes to the peripherals are not worth the extra money. In addition, you can ignore any rumours surrounding 4K outputs as this is just not true. Sure, game time looks incredible on the new Switch OLED but the output onto your TV is still worlds apart from 4K.
Thoughts on the new Nintendo Switch OLED? Join the comments below.
Don't get all gooey thinking that the Switch OLED is the Switch Pro. Because it's not. However, the new kickstand, better handheld mode graphics and smoother peripherals make for a slightly improved 2017 Switch. We wouldn't be thinking of upgrading in too much of a hurry. However, if you don't own a Switch, this is definitely the model to buy.
Content Disclaimer: This Nintendo Switch OLED Review is independently written. We have not been commissioned by Nintendo, nor have we received any royalties for this article. This includes financial reimbursement, free advertising or the Nintendo Switch OLED.
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