October 8, 2021 saw the worldwide release of the new Nintendo Switch – OLED Model. The new console boasts a bigger and more powerful screen, 64 GB internal memory, a more durable kickstand, as well as other features. Nintendo UK graciously sent us our very own Nintendo Switch OLED so that we could feature it on our website and discover for ourselves, just how much of an improvement it is over the OG Nintendo Switch.
The model that we were sent is the White Nintendo Switch – OLED Model. Along with the console which, is in black, it also came with a white Nintendo Switch Dock and White Joy-Con. Just by simply looking at the Nintendo Switch OLED console, you can see an immediate difference in the size of the screen and the shape of the buttons. They are more elongated and look much more refined in comparison to the OG model.
The Kickstand on the back of the Nintendo Switch OLED is an absolute beastie and can be adjusted to any angle from 0º-135º degrees approx. This is a significant step up from the flimsy little kickstand on the original Nintendo Switch that could only be set to a single position and could easily snap off if you weren’t careful. It’s also now comprised of metal instead of plastic, so it adds a little bit more weight to the entire device, but also helps to make the whole thing a little more durable too.
In regards to the new dock, it has a more sleek and less boxy look to it. The top corners of the dock are much more curved, more in line to the curves seen on the Joy-Con and on the back, it has a curved cut-out so that the cables that plug into the back of it can flow out freely without binding on a corner.
Inside the dock where you connect the cables up, it has three ports. One is the USB-C to connect up to the mains via an A/C adapter, There is the HDMI Port to connect the dock up to the TV and there is the LAN port that when connected up to a router via an Ethernet cable. There are two USB ports on the outside of the dock along the side that can be used to connect up wired controllers or other accessories.
On the original Switch, it had two USB ports on the outside and one on the inside. The internal USB is non-existent on the new dock as it has been replaced with the LAN Port. I must admit that the lack of the internal USB port doesn’t bother me too much as I only had a Nintendo Switch LAN Adapter connected to it so I could have a solid internet connection when playing online.
Of course, the most important thing about the Nintendo Switch OLED is how it actually plays and how the games look on the system. As you first set up the Nintendo Switch OLED, you are greeted with a vibrant red screen and the Nintendo Switch Logo accompanied with its distinctive “Click” sound. That isn’t all though as some music also begins to play which, I don’t think ever happened with the original Switch.
After getting through the initial setup of an account or in my case, pairing it up with my existing Nintendo Switch account. I was ready to start playing games on the system. Obviously, with the game releasing on the same day as the Nintendo Switch OLED, I had to make Metroid Dread my first choice. The high use of vibrant colors and dark backgrounds made it the ideal game to test out the OLED screen and the results are nothing short of impressive (If interested in our thoughts on Metroid Dread, do check out our EXPlay review).
Having played Metroid Dread for a few hours on my original Switch first and then playing it on the OLED Model, wow! Just Wow! The colours are so much more vibrant on the OLED. They really pop and the increase in the size screen is much more appealing for my old and tired eyes. Yeah, the OG Switch has a decent enough screen but when playing games like Xenoblade Chronicles 2 on it, there are small details that are a tad difficult to read when in handheld mode. The extra 20mm of screen or so does make a big difference and there is far less strain on the eyes, or at least in my case, it felt like less strain. Other Nintendo Switch OLED users may feel differently.
The images do not do the Nintendo Switch OLED model justice due to the lighting in the room and the camera I was using. It does look so much more vibrant in person but even if you just look at the Metroid Dread icons on both consoles, you can see that the colors are more pronounced in the OLED model.
When the Nintendo Switch OLED Model was announced, I will admit that I was not overly impressed with it and was more than happy to stick with my original Nintendo Switch which, I have had since 2017.
After familiarizing myself with the new and improved model, my thoughts have completely changed. I do play in handheld mode quite often, especially if I am not at home or if I am with my partner while she watches TV. The OLED model may not seem like it offers much to those who play predominantly in TV mode and I can understand that. However, it is a much more substantial upgrade for those who do play in handheld mode a lot.
The original Nintendo Switch was a technical marvel when it was first released. Compared to the OLED model, however, the OG Switch feels more like a tinker toy. The OLED model has improved on so much that already made the Switch great and rectified the shortcomings that the console suffered from (flimsy kickstand, brittle plastic around the air vents, etc.).
If you have been sitting on the fence about buying your first Nintendo Switch, then this is the ideal console to go for, even with the full mark up. The price drop on the other Switch models may seem appetizing but the extra $50 or so is worth the upgrades that come in the OLED model. I love my Nintendo Switch but the OLED model makes gaming in handheld, all the more immersive.