My excitement when a new Nintendo system is inbound has never waned. The same enthusiasm I exhibited when I opened my NES, bought my own N64 or brought the original Nintendo Switch home to the family. While this isn’t a new system, but an upgrade, what it promises is more than enough reason to be pumped. The Nintendo Switch OLED looks and sounds great, but how good is it?
First, we need to see what is different about the two systems. When it comes to the screen size, the Nintendo Switch OLED offers a 7-inch screen compared to 6.2 inches on the original switch on nearly the same size console. The OLED has taken up all the real estate on the surface of the device. The size discrepancy between the two screens is a stark contrast and was greatly appreciated.
Screen quality has taken a big jump with the Nintendo Switch OLED, since the screen is…OLED. The colour, vibrancy, contrast and true black bring your games to life in a way that the original just doesn’t provide. Not that the original looks bad, but the latest incarnation is a thing of beauty. It’s good enough to make me want to play handheld exclusively.
“Screen quality has taken a big jump with the Nintendo Switch OLED…”
As for screen resolution, both versions sport 720p when handheld and 1080p when on the TV. I am personally shocked that we haven’t seen an upgrade in the OLED’s resolution. To not have at least 1080p in handheld mode on the new model is a crime. An increased resolution for the TV mode would have been a nice treat given the lack of upgrades for that mode. Frame rates also stayed the same.
Audio is another huge upgrade this time around. The enhanced audio on the OLED is loud and crisp. There was never a need for headphones when playing because the rich presence of the sound immersed me in my gameplay. This is a great improvement for anyone playing handheld or in tabletop mode with a friend.
Built into the new Switch is a wider, adjustable stand that puts the screen at a number of different angles, allowing you to find just the right angle for your needs without having to compensate for the limited movement of the original stand. The extra width of the stand also makes it a lot sturdier for when a one-on-one game with a friend gets rowdy.
Also built in is an expanded internal storage capacity. The OLED has doubled the internal storage from 32 GB to 64 GB. Don’t fret, though. If you are a game hoarder, you can still upgrade with external storage using a micro SD card, which is now inserted sideways behind the stand, so it is harder to accidentally remove it.
“Any controllers that you wirelessly connected to the original should also have no issue hooking up to the OLED.”
The controllers are the same old Joy-Cons. No improvements have been reported, so drift is very much a possibility. Any controllers that you wirelessly connected to the original should also have no issue hooking up to the OLED. It is said that certain Nintendo Labo sets may not fit the OLED due to its slightly larger size.
The dock is where you will find the biggest improvement for playing on the TV. It comes with a built-in Ethernet port for online play. While Wi-Fi shouldn’t be an issue for most gamers, more competitive multiplayer action requires the least possible latency, which a wired connection can provide.
“The dock is where you will find the biggest improvement for playing on the TV.”
The dock is also a lot sleeker looking than the original with more rounded edges and the look of the white console is such a clean alternate aesthetic compared to the original. We have lost the USB port on the back of the Nintendo Switch OLED dock, but still keep the two ports on the side of the unit.
The price of $349.99 USD for the Nintendo Switch OLED is only a small jump from the original console’s $299.99 price tag. I would say that the improvements to the system are more than significant enough to justify the cost. The question is, though, is it worth putting up the cash for the upgrade?
I hate to disappoint you, but the answer depends on how you play it. If you are primarily playing on the TV, you won’t receive many benefits from the new system. If you play handheld or tabletop often enough, you will get all the perks of the OLED, and it is a worthy purchase.
Overall, I would suggest that, if you are buying your first Nintendo (or replacing one), then you should definitely look to the OLED for your Nintendo needs.