The year the first Nintendo Switch was released it sold a record 7.63 million units worldwide, beating sales of the PS4 at the time and becoming one of the world’s favorite gaming consoles. However, Nintendo’s come a long way since the release of the first Switch.
If you're looking to take your gaming experience to the next level, you might want to consider the Nintendo Switch OLED. It's an all-in-one console with impressive features, making it perfect for both casual and hardcore gamers alike.
From its cutting-edge graphics and smooth controls to its stunning picture quality on a vibrant OLED display, this (somewhat) new game system is offering up countless hours of entertainment at your fingertips.
In this comprehensive review of the Nintendo Switch OLED, we'll be discussing everything from specs and ports to the availability of your favorite games. Let’s dive in.
What Is an OLED Display?
OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) displays are a breed of display technology that is changing the way we interact with our screens. OLED displays are composed of thin organic materials and require extremely small amounts of power to operate.
The big benefit of an OLED display is that it can generate its light, eliminating the need for a backlight found in traditional LCDs, resulting in thinner and brighter screens with higher contrast ratios and better viewing angles than ever before.
What's more, as OLED technology continues to advance, the following factors will only continue to improve:
- Screen resolution
- Refresh rates
- Power consumption
OLED displays also provide bright colors and ultra-fast response times for a great user experience across many devices and platforms.
When Was the Nintendo Switch OLED Released?
Now that you know what an OLED display is, it’s time to talk about the new Nintendo Switch OLED. Nintendo (somewhat) recently made waves with the launch of its Nintendo Switch OLED console on October 8th, 2021, shortly after the release of the iPhone 13.
This progressive fourth-generation console from Nintendo offers players a new and improved level of gaming and visual experiences, unlike any other Nintendo console before it. What’s the difference between this version and the basic Nintendo Switch version?
We’ll go over some of the most popular specs below. However, the OLED version is slightly bigger, features more internal storage, and packs a powerful processing punch.
How Much Does the Nintendo Switch OLED Cost?
If you're looking to step up your gaming experience, then you might be curious about how much the Nintendo Switch OLED will cost you.
For those willing to invest in an upgraded version of the popular console, be prepared to pay around $349.99 depending on where you purchase the device. However, that figure still pales in comparison to the cost of higher-end consoles on the market.
While this gaming console may initially come with a hefty price tag, improvements such as its OLED display panel provide unprecedented visuals for an unparalleled gaming experience.
So, if you're after a state-of-the-art gaming experience at an affordable price, then this may just be the perfect console for you. Not convinced the price is great for what you’re getting?
The Steam Deck, Valve’s answer to Nintendo’s Switch consoles, retails at $399 for the most basic, non-OLED version. Keep in mind that the Steam Deck does offer 4K capabilities. However, when compared head to head, the Nintendo Switch seems to offer better value.
Nintendo Switch OLED Specs
It's no secret that Nintendo is known for its high-performance Switches and other gaming systems. After all, they’ve been churning out some of the most popular gaming consoles for decades now.
However, when it comes to Nintendo Switch specs, it seems that Nintendo has taken things to the next level with the OLED model. Here’s an overview of every single one of the Nintendo Switch OLED’s most important specifications and features.
The Nintendo Switch OLED may look almost identical to its base model, and that’s because it pretty much is. The overall design of the console is the same. This means that Nintendo hasn’t added any crazy buttons or ports that’ll interfere with functionality or comfort.
The console itself measures 9.5 x 4.0 x 0.6 inches. This is a comfy size and slightly larger than the handheld-only Nintendo Switch Lite. Not to worry though — all of your existing accessories will still work with this new version, so no need to go out and purchase all new items.
Plus, if you already own a carrying case for the Switch, you can continue using it for your Switch OLED too, making it a time and money saver for those interested in upgrading.
The only slight difference in weight between the base model and the Switch OLED is 14.9 ounces versus 14.1 ounces. That’s noticeable in terms of practical use, though.
Seeing as the biggest difference between a regular Nintendo Switch and the Nintendo Switch OLED is the screen, it comes as no surprise that the Switch OLED offers a better screen compared to the base Switch.
The most striking difference is its 7-inch OLED display, with far richer colors than the traditional 6-inch LCD screen.
Despite this obvious advancement, however, the overall image quality isn’t dramatically different between the two versions. That is unless you’re a hardcore fan of vibrant visuals or enjoy your favorite games on a larger display size. If that’s the case then you’ll notice the difference.
A recent usability test revealed that even after 3,600 hours of continual use, the Switch OLED showed only slight signs of ghosting. This makes it quite durable, especially given the somewhat budget-friendly price.
Nintendo has certainly made a few small but essential improvements to the Switch OLED, starting with a redesigned kickstand.
No longer just a flimsy piece of plastic, it now runs along the length of the device which makes it sturdier and much easier to stand on various surfaces without fear of it toppling over.
Plus, the dock has an integrated Ethernet port so you don't need to shell out extra money for an adapter. As far as subtle yet useful upgrades go, these from Nintendo hit the mark.
Speakers are one of the most important components of a gaming system. When it comes to the Nintendo Switch OLED, the speakers may look very similar to their predecessors, but they sound considerably better.
In terms of design, you might notice slight changes. That’s because these speakers are slightly bigger and have an even more rectangular shape than the past models.
However, even with the subtle differences in design, it's the audio difference that is most impressive. Not only do they project a clearer auditory experience, but also a more nuanced soundscape. This is thanks to the closed-type speaker that doesn’t let sound escape.
Whether it's ambient noise or strong melodies they're playing, each one of your gaming experiences will no doubt feel more cinematic and come alive on these new speakers.
With the release of the Nintendo Switch OLED, fans were wondering if there would be a difference in navigation compared to the base Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite.
Thankfully, the interface is the same with all three models featuring the same OS. This makes navigating easy with a laid-out homepage menu featuring separate sections for:
- Nintendo Switch Online
- Controller options
- Other system settings
Although less advanced than what you'd find on PS5 or Xbox Series X/S consoles, the simplified design of Nintendo's interface is certainly appreciated by users.
And now, with Bluetooth audio support (thanks to a recent firmware update), the gaming experience just got that much better. This isn’t something that Switch Lite users or standard Nintendo Switch users were previously able to enjoy.
Performance-wise, the Switch OLED comes with a custom Nvidia Tegra X1 chipset, 4 GB of RAM, and 64 GB of storage. You can also expect to enjoy 720p image quality at up to 60 frames per second in handheld mode and 1080p at up to 60 fps in docked mode.
Though 4K resolution and 120 frames per second would be a nice addition, the System on Chip capabilities of this device is quite impressive, especially when compared with high-end streaming devices like the Nvidia Shield which uses a similar chipset.
All in all, the Switch OLED is ideal for those who don't need lightning-fast loading speeds but still want reliable performance with ample space for their games and media.
The Nintendo Switch OLED has the same control options as the base model. But this time, Joy-Cons come in a few different colors. You can choose blue and red for a classic style or opt for black and white for a scaled-back look.
When attached to the console, they work just fine, but if you plug them into the controller base it can feel a bit off-center and uncomfortable.
However, what these Joy-Cons lack in comfort they make up for in convenience; they’re great for quick multiplayer games while also taking up very little space. Plus, they make playing some of the best Nintendo Switch games like Animal Crossing even more fun and interactive.
Still, when you’re settling down to play something that requires maximum concentration and accuracy, it might be worth investing in the ergonomic Nintendo Switch Pro Controller. The shoulder buttons on this controller are, simply put, stellar.
The Nintendo Switch OLED is capable of delivering impressive graphics processing and frame rates, but one of the key things to keep in mind, however, is battery life.
Nintendo claims that this OLED version of the Switch can support between 4.5 and 9 hours of gameplay on a single charge depending on the games you're playing. This isn't necessarily bad news when you consider that the same battery from the base model is used in this new version.
Of course, a lot depends on individual usage as well. Whether you’re playing epic RPGs or just a few levels at a time — it could mean all the difference when it comes to how long your gaming session will last.
Game enthusiasts should know that the Nintendo Switch OLED offers an extensive and varied game library, just as attractive as the game libraries of the basic Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite. No matter which console variation you pick, you'll have access to a fantastic selection of titles.
Along with essential first-party Nintendo releases, such as Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey, users can also look forward to third-party blockbusters like Doom and Dragon Ball FighterZ.
That is not all, though. If you have a thing for retro games there is still plenty to experience on the Nintendo Switch OLED. It has wonderful picks from classic series such as Mega Man X up to modern favorites like Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
Using the Nintendo Switch OLED
Understanding how to use the Nintendo Switch OLED properly is critical to get the most out of your gaming experience. When it comes to playing this model of a Nintendo Switch, you’ve got three main options.
The handheld mode on Nintendo's Switch OLED model is great for gamers on the go.
The 7-inch panel makes the gaming experience extremely immersive, as the intense colors of the OLED screen make it easier for players to keep track of their actions in fast-paced games.
When comparing this display to the original Switch’s LCD panel, there is no comparison. The newer model reigns supreme in terms of vibrancy and punchiness.
Even though the Switch OLED's display is only 720p, you’ll find that any text you interact with looks extremely clear and sharp while using it in an ergonomic position. However, this mode isn’t without a few drawbacks.
While the flat, wide console shape allows for extended use without discomfort, play sessions may still lead to hand cramps due to its aging Joy-Con design. Likewise, some users have reported issues with Joy-Con controllers as they move up and down slightly.
The Nintendo Switch OLED is somewhat of a disappointment for TV mode aficionados. While the new dock does come with an added LAN port for better online gaming, the TV mode offers no improvements whatsoever over the predecessor.
With 4K TV featuring prominently in many households now, the lack of 4K support is concerning and extremely out of touch. For example, the Steam Deck supports 4K playback and even supports 8K playback at 30 fps.
Additionally, one also has to be content with a 720p UI output resolution of 1080p, a far cry from standards set by other last-gen consoles that feature HDR technologies years ago. Despite this setback, it would be great to see Nintendo add better display technologies in TV mode soon.
Tabletop mode, already a convenient feature on the original Switch, has been upgraded significantly on the OLED model.
Thanks to its wider, redesigned kickstand, it's far easier and safer to use Tabletop mode than ever before. The hinge is much more robust and makes a satisfying thud when closed, with no worries of it loosening over time like the regular Nintendo Switch.
All in all, detaching Joy-Con controllers from the side of the unit opens up opportunities for impromptu multiplayer sessions. And now with the adjustable stand, you can set multiple viewing angles for an even better and more enjoyable experience.
This makes the Tabletop mode perfect for gamers who want to get their family or friends involved in some fun without compromising on quality.
Nintendo Switch OLED vs. Nintendo Switch vs. Switch Lite
Are you a die-hard Nintendo Switch fan? If so, you’re likely wondering whether or not it’s worth upgrading to the Nintendo Switch OLED. Here’s how the OLED model compares to both the basic Nintendo Switch and the Nintendo Switch Lite.
Nintendo Switch OLED
The Nintendo Switch OLED model features a larger, 7-inch display coupled with vivid colors and perfect blacks. The enhanced audio is just icing on the cake, especially for gamers who love to be in the middle of the action.
The internal storage capacity is also doubled from 32 GB to 64 GB (although 4K is still absent, which is a major bummer). Unfortunately, Nintendo didn't make any upgrades when it comes to outputting content to TV mode, and both models have the same internal specs overall.
Even though it might be more affordable than the OLED variation and offers the same performance abilities, the basic Nintendo Switch display isn't as vibrant. It also comes with larger bezels making it look a bit outdated.
Nevertheless, the Nintendo Switch provides a bright, crisp, and colorful screen that many gamers still appreciate. If you don’t already have a Switch, it might be worth opting for the OLED model; if you currently have a Switch, it’s likely only worth the upgrade for serious gamers.
Nintendo Switch Lite
For those who don't mind giving up the ability to dock their Nintendo Switch to their television and settle for the handheld-only version, they will find the Nintendo Switch Lite smaller and cheaper ($150 less than the OLED).
Plus, it comes in multiple beautiful colors. While it certainly has its advantages, Nintendo Switch Lite also comes with drawbacks to consider. Not only do you not get removable controllers, but some games don't even work with Nintendo Switch Lite at all.
Furthermore, if you're a fan of competitive or co-op games, then sharing a Nintendo Switch Lite won't be an option because the lack of removable controllers makes it harder to do so.
Is the Nintendo Switch OLED Worth It?
The short answer is that it depends. As mentioned above, if you don’t currently have a Nintendo Switch then it might be worth opting for the newest model and getting the OLED version. However, there are two cases where it’s definitely worth the upgrade.
The newest Nintendo Switch model is the ideal choice for any first-time buyer. Boasting an improved kickstand, improved speakers, and a vivid display, this iteration of the fan-favorite console makes it easy to invest in. Yes, even with its higher price tag.
All in all, this version of the Nintendo Switch provides a smooth and comprehensive experience for anyone looking for hours of entertainment.
The Nintendo Switch OLED has revolutionized the handheld gaming world. With its gorgeous OLED screen, wider kickstand, and enhanced speakers, this console has been designed to offer a much more enjoyable experience when playing in either handheld or tabletop mode.
Not only is the picture quality significantly better than previous models, but the wider kickstand also allows players to set their system up without worrying about it being too unsteady. If you’re primarily a handheld player then this mobile console is for you.
Nintendo Switch Cases
Nintendo Switch OLED cases are essential in this day and age. With the Nintendo Switch already fairly scratch resistant, a case is not just to protect your gaming device, but can also be used to express your personality.
Plus, Nintendo Switch OLED cases come in so many different sizes and styles that you can truly customize your console however you would like.
Not only do they look great, but they also provide added protection against scratches, dust, and dirt buildup. They’re also critical in preventing damage from direct impacts and scratches from everyday wear and usage.
All in all, investing in a Nintendo Switch OLED case will help keep your device looking new for years to come.
Be sure to choose the right size of protective case, though, as this is where many users find they struggle. Remember, the Nintendo Switch OLED screen is 0.8 inches larger. So, you’ll need to ensure you’re purchasing a case or covering that fits the screen for this model.
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