Beautiful On The Outside.
The much-talked about rumors leading up to the announcement of the Nintendo Switch OLED was that it was a “Switch Pro” or “Pro-like” model. That isn’t what quite happened. The Nintendo leakers swear up and down that they didn’t get it wrong and that a “Switch Pro” is coming but yet never mention this half step at all. So like with any rumor take everything with a grain of salt. But let’s get to it! Here’s our review of the Nintendo Switch OLED model.
The Switch OLED box is a bit more compact and heavier than the previous model. Right out of the box you’re greeted by a beautiful upgraded white-colored dock and white-colored Joy-Cons. The Switch OLED screen is 7 inches and you can tell right away that it’s a premium item. The buttons at the top are more rounded, the power/sleep button is more fleshed with the system as is the spot where you put your game cartridges. I won’t lie to you I had a bit of a struggle popping off the cover to put in my copy of Pokemon Sword. Switch OLED has a much improved kickstand that no longer feels cheap like the console will tip over at the slightest California earthquake. The kickstand has great range for whatever surface or whatever angle you’re trying to get.
The Joy-cons feel like they somehow fit better and don’t feel as if they’re about to break off if you hold it with one hand. It’s a sturdier overall feel when holding the console than before — if that makes sense. The Switch OLED has a clearer looking dock as well, now with a LAN adapter built into it (to go along with the HDMI and AC spots). The back-panel to get to them comes right off so no more having to flip it open. The dock itself is a really slick looking compared to the others and it fits/slides the Switch OLED in better with no fear of the screen getting scuffed up.
The main event of the whole show is the OLED screen and it is a BEAUTIFUL screen. The contrast looks damn near flawless when playing a game. For the purpose of this review I played Smash Bros., Pokemon Sword, Digimon Story, Minecraft Dungeons and Breath of the Wild. These games looked even better than I remembered from my first play-through. The colors popped off the screen. The OLED let me see the details that were always there just better than before. It’s really hard to describe if you haven’t seen an OLED screen on anything but it’s gorgeous in every possible way. A downside with OLED screens is “Burn In” which is when static menu images could ”burn into” the screen but I don’t see that happening here unless you leave a specific screen on for a week straight.
Downsides? The games looks amazing but they still run the same as you remembered them. Breath of the Wild didn’t improve on draw distance nor the stutter when too much is happing on screen in Smash Bros. Reason being is the internals of the Switch OLED haven’t been improved on at all (though some claim to see some improvement, I didn’t) it’s the same insides since 2017. That is bummer for someone looking to upgrade from a current Nintendo Switch. Same with the Joy-con’s they are the same ones we’ve been using but maybe with less prone to drift issues? Time will tell.
So is it time to upgrade or not? That’s really up to you. If you don’t have a Nintendo Switch then the Nintendo Switch OLED is must-have hardware. If you already have a Switch then it’s really coming down to how much you want a shiny new screen vs how much you need it. The MSRP is $349.99, or $50 more than a standard Nintendo Switch.