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Nintendo stealthily announced the Switch (OLED Model) is going to be available for preorder today via a Tweet posted earlier today. Preorders will go live at Best Buy, Amazon, B&H, Adorama, and Target at 12 p.m. PT, which is 3 p.m. ET. today, July 15.
Rumors about an updated Switch have floated around for years, and some suggested it would even be announced before this year’s E3 conference, but the news dropped a little later. It will be available on October 8 for $349.
The biggest difference between the OLED Model and the standard Nintendo Switch is its display. This new version has a seven inch screen, which is slightly larger than the 6.2 inch display in the current Switch. This new screen uses OLED technology, which is capable of displaying colors and contrast a lot more vividly.
The second biggest difference is that Nintendo bumped up the Switch OLED Model’s internal storage from 32GB to 64GB, which is great if you like to play digital games. Nintendo also upgraded the Switch’s speakers, and made its kickstand wider, which will allow the console to rest more securely on a table. This updated kickstand can also be adjusted to more angles than before.
These are nice quality of life improvements that will make Nintendo’s new console better in handheld mode, but the differences are pretty subtle. Its screen has the same 1280 x 720 resolution, the battery life hasn’t been extended, and Nintendo is continuing to use the custom Nvidia chip that’s in the current Switch.
When it’s docked (connected to a TV), the experience of using the Nintendo Switch OLED Model is identical to the current version. It can still play games at a resolution of 1080P at 60 frames per second. Nintendo did upgrade the Switch OLED dock to include an Ethernet port, which is nice if you play online games, or download larger titles at home.
Rumors suggested Nintendo was preparing to show off a “Switch Pro,” which could play games at 4K (twice as high as 1080) thanks to an upgraded chip. That new chip was also said to have improved the performance of older Switch titles that the current version struggled to play.
Nintendo is certainly working on a totally new generation game console (whether it’s a more powerful Switch or a completely different system is yet to be seen,) but this OLED model isn’t it. If you’re contemplating whether to upgrade from a current Nintendo Switch, or waiting to get your first one, here are our suggestions.
If you treat the Nintendo Switch like a home console, you can safely skip this upgrade at stick with the current LCD model. If you mostly play the Switch in handheld mode, and have an original launch console, it may be worth springing for the Switch OLED Model for a couple of reasons.
The jump in color accuracy between an LCD and OLED screen is high, and having a larger display makes a big difference when you play games on-the-go. Plus, Nintendo Switch consoles released before 2019 have substantially worse battery life.
While the Nintendo Switch OLED Model may not have been the powerhouse console some gamers were waiting for, it is an upgraded version of the system. It won’t compete with Sony’s PlayStation 5 or Microsoft’s Xbox Series S/X in terms of raw performance, but it extends Nintendo’s lead in the handheld gaming market even further.
If anything, the Nintendo Switch OLED Model proves that the company got just about everything right when it launched the original model in 2017. The LCD model of the Switch is available right now for $299.99, and it’s still the version we recommend for most people.
It can play the same library of games at the same level of performance as the Switch OLED Model, and you can get it today. The original Switch has been hard to find, but both it and the portable-only Switch Lite are available right now with quick, free shipping.