After years of anticipation, a new version of the Nintendo Switch is finally here. The Nintendo Switch OLED model is exactly what it sounds like — a Switch with an upgraded OLED display — but it also brings a number of other promising upgrades to Nintendo’s hybrid games console.
The Nintendo Switch OLED is launching on Oct. 8 for $349, with preorders set to open soon. Here’s everything you need to know about the new system, and how it stacks up to the existing Switch and Switch Lite.
As its name suggests, the biggest change to the new Nintendo Switch is its 7-inch OLED display, which is both larger and more advanced than the 6.2 and 5.5-inch LCD screens on the Switch and Switch Lite, respectively.
OLED screens are designed to deliver deeper blacks and more vibrant colors than standard LCD displays, as each pixel is individually controlled. In our testing of various TVs, laptops and phones with OLED, we’ve found these types of screens to deliver a really nice boost in color and contrast. As such, we’re eager to see how titles such as Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild look on the new model.
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It’s worth noting that while the new Switch display uses OLED, it still carries the same 720p resolution as previous versions. So while colors may pop a bit more, you won’t necessarily notice a finer level of detail while exploring Hyrule or jumping around the Mushroom Kingdom.
A fancy new OLED screen isn’t all the new Nintendo Switch has going for it. The OLED model has a wider adjustable kickstand that spans the entire back of the system and allows for multiple viewing angles, which is a nice step up from the small and somewhat flimsy stand on the base Switch model. There’s also a built-in Ethernet port for those who want to use wired internet for the best possible connection when duking it out online in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate or Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
The Switch OLED comes with 64GB of onboard storage for digital game downloads, which is double the 32GB you get on the Switch and Switch Lite. Nintendo also says the Switch OLED features “enhanced audio” compared to the previous models, which is a claim we’re looking forward to testing.
Keep in mind that the Switch OLED has the exact same processor, RAM and general specs as other versions of the system, so you won’t be getting a bump in performance or loading times while playing games. If you’ve been holding your breath for a “Nintendo Switch Pro” with 4K output or more overall muscle, you’ll have to keep waiting.
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The latest Switch also comes in a slick new white color scheme, which extends to both the Joy-Con controllers as well as the dock. And if you’d rather keep things basic, you can still get a standard black model with red and blue Joy-Cons.
At just $50 more than the current Nintendo Switch, the $349 Switch OLED is shaping up to be the version to get for those that haven’t jumped into the Switch family yet. Aside from featuring a promising OLED screen, it also gets you a more refined design with a better kickstand, a handy Ethernet port and more onboard storage.
If you only plan on gaming on the go or just want the most portable (and cheapest) Switch out there, the $199 Nintendo Switch Lite is probably best for you. And if you mainly play in TV mode, this new model performs identically to the $299 Nintendo Switch when connected to a display. There’s little reason for existing Switch owners to upgrade here, but those that don’t yet have a Switch will be treated to the most feature-packed version of the system yet.
The Switch OLED is set to arrive Oct. 8, and we expect preorders to open soon at the links above. Be sure to stay tuned for our hands-on testing and verdict later this year.