The newest hardware from Nintendo is an upgrade to the Nintendo Switch. The OLED model sports a bigger, brighter screen, a redesigned kickstand on the back, and an improved amount of internal storage. But are these marginal improvements enough to justify upgrading from a base model Switch?
The star of the show with the new OLED model is the screen. The display is brighter and more vibrant than its predecessor. Even though the games are still running at 720p, the OLED screen makes a major difference. In addition to being brighter and crisper, the screen on the new device is noticeably larger.
The bezels surrounding the base Switch’s screen are greatly reduced on the OLED model, offering a more immersive gaming experience when playing in handheld mode.
There are a few other little quality of life improvements all over the new Switch. The kickstand has been upgraded: now, instead of being a flimsy strip of plastic, it’s a large hinge that spans the back of the device. You can much more easily pick a viewing angle that’s comfortable for you to play in tabletop mode.
The OLED model also has an improved amount of internal storage. Where the base Switch only has 32GB of storage, the OLED Switch is sporting 64GB. This isn’t much in the grand scheme of things. Most users will be purchasing an SD card to expand that storage capacity approximately five seconds after they download their second game.
The other significant new feature is the dedicated ethernet port on the dock. This is great news for gamers who play competitive online titles like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
The OLED Switch is now available for $350, which is $50 more expensive than the base Switch. If you already have a Switch, it’s hard to see why you’d shell out $350 to get a slight upgrade. Yes, the screen is bigger and brighter. However, the new model offers nothing new to players already using the device in docked mode. Unless you’re the kind of person who mainly uses their Switch in handheld or tabletop mode, this upgrade would be an expensive way to play the same way you’re already playing.
However, the OLED model is a compelling purchase for those interested in getting their first Switch or even upgrading from the handheld-only Switch Lite. It’s not a stretch to pay $50 more for a substantially larger screen, and you get an overall better device for your money. The bottom line is that this is the best Switch yet, but it only represents an incremental upgrade compared to its predecessor.