On 6th June 2021, Nintendo announced a new Switch model known as the Nintendo Switch (OLED). This model has an upgraded 7-inch OLED screen compared to the 6.2-inch LCD screen, the current model features. It was announced in a short trailer on Nintendo’s YouTube channel, which highlighted the key features that this new model brings to the table and confirming the release date as the 8th ofOctober 2021, which is the same day that Metroid Dread, the first 2D Metroid game in 19 years, announced at E3 2021, is also releasing. It will retail at 349.99 US dollars.

A “Switch Pro” has been rumoured for the past couple of years particularly pre-E3 this year when various reports and leaks from online magazines such as Bloomberg and The Verge stated that a new Switch model was going to be released before E3 to give developers and companies the chance to showcase at the conference, new games that would take into perspective these mind-blowing rumoured features. These rumoured features included: 4K output to TV, Samsung OLED screen, a bigger kickstand, and a new line-up of games with games that would run in 4K. Other rumours included DLSS and Nvidia Silicon. Earlier, on the day of the announcement a particular The Verge article stated that “Nintendo is announcing a new Switch model today with a larger 7-inch 720p OLED display” which proved to be in fact, correct! However, post OLED launch, The Verge stated that Nintendo had confirmed to them that “Nintendo Switch (OLED Model) does not have a new CPU, or more RAM, from previous Nintendo Switch models”. So, a lot of these rumours and so-called “leaks” turned out to be false.

The main new feature of this revision is of course the 7-inch OLED screen. This will be quite a big benefit for handheld players as OLED “makes things pop” and makes the colours seem more vibrant and deep so hit first-party games such as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild will look fantastic on this bigger display.

The biggest let-down of the Switch OLED announcement was that the new revision would in fact, not run at 4K TV mode and instead remain at 720p in handheld/ tabletop mode and 1080p in TV mode which is equivalent to the current model. Another leak that turned out to be true was the upgraded kickstand. This is a breakthrough for current switch owners as the stand on the original switch is quite easily breakable, so this offers a much better experience playing in tabletop mode as you do not have to constantly worry about the device falling over! IGN said, after their hands-on experience with the device that the kickstand’s hinges “offer a satisfying amount of resistance so that you can easily lean it at any angle and be confident it will stay that way.” The new kickstand’s length is that of the switch itself and is adjustable so you can angle the device to suit your play style. Since there was an emphasis on “table-top” mode in the trailer, this is bound to be a welcomed new feature.

Another new quality of life bonus is the added LAN port so you can use an ethernet cable to connect the device, via the dock, to your WIFI router to ensure more stable connection speeds when playing online. The new dock and the current dock will be interchangeable so the current Switch can dock in the new dock and vice versa which is nice to see. The dock’s cover is also more easily accessible and has a new design.

The OLED Switch was featured in an all-new sleek white design in the trailer, with new white joy-cons and a white rounded dock. Due to the screen enhancements, the bezels are also a lot thinner so the new model in general is a lot more modern-looking and will also be sold in a classic neon red and blue variant. The game card slot is also a different shape to make it easier to insert game cartridges and the light sensors are in a different place. The packaging is also slightly different with a vertical design. The joy cons still seem to be the same design and model as the current ones which adds a nice addition and hope that they will be compatible with the original switch and interchangeable like the dock.

The internal memory capacity of the Switch OLED is double that of the regular Switch with 64GB instead of 32GB. However, this was not one of the major differences as users could already upgrade their storage by inserting a micro-SD memory card, but this is still great to see.

The new model also includes “enhanced audio” with extra speakers on the outer rim of the bezels which makes a better experience in hand-held mode. This new version is also slightly heavier and weighs approximately 0.93 pounds compared to the original 0.88 pounds and is 0.1 inch longer so is about the same size as the current model. It also has the same battery life range.

Many users were concerned at whether games for their current switch would still be compatible with the new switch, and it seems as though the new switch will host all current Switch games, however, may not be able to run all aspects of Nintendo Labo which is possibly due to the bigger design and improved screen. No new games were announced alongside this so it seems as though there are not any current plans for OLED exclusives but that could all change. The Switch OLED is going to be sold at 349.99 dollars which adds up to 50 dollars more than the current revision.

Even though this is a nice upgrade to the current Switch, the new model has not seemed to offer enough reasons to upgrade to the average consumer, already owning a current Switch. From the new features announced, many fans believe that these are only improvements to handheld play rather than docked play. Lots of people also believe that we are halfway into the Switch’s lifetime and were hoping for more of an upgrade to the current version. The fact that the Switch OLED offers less new features than people expected could be down to COVID-19 parts shortages which is also why the PS5, and Xbox series X/S are quite hard to find.

Fans are also speculating over whether the “Pro model” they were hoping for will coincide with the release of Breath of The Wild 2 which is aimed to release in 2022. However, the media seems to be really loving the new design and from various hands-on experiences from big companies such as IGN, they have all said that the OLED screen really does make games “pop”. This will make a great addition to the Switch family for people who do not already own a switch or who want a better handheld experience, offering new enhanced ways to experience the vast Nintendo game library.