Tech Up! Nintendo Switch OLED Model

By Jorge Ba-oh 10.10.2021 2

When it comes to hardware revisions, improvements and quality of life improvements, Nintendo are renowned for refined models throughout console lifespans. Up until now, there have been two distinct Nintendo Switch models; the standard base model and the more portable friendly Nintendo Switch Lite. Both run the same ground-breaking games; but the former benefiting from detachable Joy-Con controllers and TV output through a dock.

With the Nintendo Switch having celebrated four years, industry analysis and insiders speculated the existence of a "Pro" model that would introduce improved graphical fidelity through both hardware and docked improvements. Nintendo surprised the industry by announcing the slightly less excitingly named OLED model. An upgraded screen and sound tech, plus a handful of quality-of-life improvements.  Is the new Nintendo Switch worthy of an upgrade or a console for a newcomer? Let's go hands on!

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The Nintendo Switch OLED Model is intended to be a more premium edition from Nintendo, featuring a richer, more vibrant screen, enhanced audio, and quality of life tweaks. At its core, there isn't any additional power that would command a "Pro" title. For example, there isn't upscaled 4K support nor processing power, but the model is certainly an upgrade that feels more premium in its feel and appearance.

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The star of the show is certainly the screen, an OLED panel versus the standard LCD display - it's bigger in size and offers far more vibrant, rich, and punchy colours. Shadows and darker details in games like Metroid Dread really add to the immersion. The added real-estate with the screen creeping closer to the edges is apparent with games like Metroid Dread, but also classic Switch titles like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Having stacked both base model and OLED model side by side, the difference is certainly clear. Both consoles offer striking graphical capability, but the new screen does enhance the contrast in a significant way. That said, the original Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite models aren't bad by any means, but the added graphically fidelity OLED provides is really evident when using the console in the flesh. As with most Nintendo offerings, it really is something to be tried to really absorb the quality.

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The tech also makes running the Switch in handheld mode slightly more efficient - the battery innards are the same, but how the screen runs allows the Nintendo Switch OLED Model to squeeze that bit more juice per charge. It is a shame, though, that Nintendo didn't use the opportunity to up the capacity - especially given the handheld nature and screen being the key selling point.

Beyond the screen comes audio improvements for handheld play, with a deeper, richer sound seeping through the console's speakers. A useful improvement for those who might be relaxing on the couch for handheld play, or perhaps playing table-top with a friend. As with all the Nintendo Switch models, the new revision also comes with the included stereo jack as standard - a rarity in the days of port-less changes and tacky adapters!

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Speaking of cables, as with the base model, the OLED console comes included with all the add-ons to tuck into the different play styles right out the box. Joy-Con wrist straps are included to make two player games a breeze, as well as the standard grip for comfortable TV play. The package also includes a USB-C powered plug and HDMI cables, too.

As with the base-model, the Nintendo Switch dock is included to charge the console and output to a TV or monitor through HDMI. There aren't major changes here, apart from a more contemporary form factor - a stunning black/white finish to mirror the premium feel. The dock does come with an added HDMI port for those wanting a more stable internet connection - Super Smash Bros. Ultimate certainly comes to mind!

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Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10
So, the ultimate question: Is it worth upgrading to the Nintendo Switch OLED Model? Is it worth purchasing as first-time owner? The answer lies on playstyle. For those playing primarily or exclusively on TV, then the base model is more than ideal. With quality-of-life improvements, a refined, more premium feel and build, the Nintendo Switch OLED Model ticks the boxes.

Those who intend to go handheld or approach it in a hybrid way should certainly consider the Nintendo Switch OLED Model for the best possible visual/audio experience.

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It does sound excellent. I think should my old switch give up the ghost I'll invest immediately XD

I own all the consoles, ask me anything

Got mine hooked up, I am now a portable convert after being a solid docker


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