The Nintendo Switch has become one of the most popular consoles of all time. Since its 2017 release, the Switch has sold over 78.6 million units worldwide. And these sales have been particularly robust in the past year or so as many turned to gaming to fill time during pandemic lockdowns. In particular, Nintendo’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons became something of a global phenomenon –– offering people a comforting, social gaming experience (and causing the Switch to sell out in several countries).
It is on this strong foundation that Nintendo recently released the new, OLED version of its modern console. The new Switch also comes roughly a year after Sony released the PlayStation 5, a revamped edition of its classic console that became the fastest-selling version yet. That ups the stakes somewhat, with Nintendo no doubt hoping to compete with its long-time rival (as well as continue its momentum from the past year).
So far, the OLED edition appears to be generating a lot of buzz, and looks to be a promising release. But how does it actually compare to its predecessor, the Switch V2?
The first thing you will notice is the new look of the OLED. The newly released model boasts a handheld unit with white controllers and black buttons, as well as a white dock. It also comes in the trademark company colors of red and blue, similar to past Switch iterations. The OLED, however, is armed with a noticeably larger screen that is a big bonus for those who prefer to play handheld instead of connecting the console to a monitor.
Another significant change the company made on the design front is that it created a wider kickstand. This is considered to be a major improvement on the thinner kickstand of the V2, which many found to be somewhat flimsy and unstable. The new version is simply a higher-quality feature, handling more surface area and making for a better user experience.
Nintendo has also made changes to some of the internal hardware of the Switch. Most notably, the company has installed a single printed circuit board (PCB) that contains an audio jack, SD card reader, and cartridge reader. The complexity of modern PCB layouts allows for these kinds of features, and has also enabled a circuitry arrangement designed to maximize functionality and speed. Partially in connection to these new PCBs and their functionality, the new OLED consoles are also reported to have much-improved battery life and more powerful gaming performance. Previous iterations of the Switch had notoriously lackluster battery life, not to mention charging issues that inconvenienced players.
On top of new PCBs and improved battery performance, the OLED also has an improved internal storage capacity of 64GB, which is double that of the V2. It also has better processing capabilities, which means
it can keep up with many of the newer games released, a well as those that will come out in the future.
Aside from the advances mentioned above, there are also some miscellaneous improvements Nintendo has made. First and foremost, the speaker mechanism has been changed. This means that the sound quality of playing handheld in particular is enhanced, making for louder and crisper audio. The company made this change specifically to create a better gaming experience for customers who aren’t docking their devices with bigger screens and external speakers. Meanwhile, they also added a LAN port on the dock for better internet integrity when the Switch is connected to a monitor.
All in all, this looks to be an excellent upgrade on a console that was already performing very well. For serious and casual gamers alike, as well as Nintendo fans and those transitioning from other console providers, the Switch OLED looks to be a winner.