Nintendo Switch OLED release date, pre-order, specs and new features
The Nintendo Switch OLED — or Nintendo Switch OLED model, to give it the clunky official name — is an upgraded take on the Nintendo Switch with a larger display with an OLED rather than LCD panel. And it’s coming this fall.
It’s not the Nintendo Switch Pro we’d been expecting, as there’s no 4K output when docked. But there’s still a suite of upgrades that arguably make the new Switch the console to get.
And there’s not long to wait as the new Switch is coming in October. Here’s everything you need to know about the Nintendo Switch OLED.
Nintendo Switch OLED release date and price
The Nintendo Switch OLED will go on sale October 8 for a price of $349. That’s $50 more expensive than the original Switch, which launched at $299. And it’s a good $150 more than the $199 Nintendo Switch Lite.
For the extra dollars, the OLED Switch is not just offering a new 7-inch display but also new gray-white Joy-Con controllers and matching dock.
Nintendo Switch OLED pre-order
Pre-orders for the Nintendo Switch OLED have yet to go officially live. But that’s not stopped retailers from setting up landing pages: Best Buy, GameStop and Game in the U.K. have pages ready and waiting.
Check out our where to buy Nintendo Switch OLED article for more information and retailers to bookmark. Just bear in mind the current challenges of finding a PS5 restock and Xbox Series X restock, due to a semiconductor shortage could also blight the Switch OLED. But we’ll have to wait for October to see if that’ll be the case for sure.
Nintendo Switch OLED specs
|Switch OLED||Original Switch|
|Display||7-inch OLED touchscreen||6.2-inch LED touchscreen|
|Resolution||720p handheld/1080p docked||720p handheld/1080p docked|
|Storage:||64GB (expandable)||32GB (expandable)|
|Chipset||Custom Nvidia Tegra X1||Custom Nvidia Tegra X1|
|Battery life||Approx. 4.5 – 9 hours||Approx. 4.5 – 9 hours|
|Connectivity||USB-C, 3.5mm audio, microSD, wired LAN||USB-C, 3.5mm audio, microSD|
|Size||9.5 x 4 x 0.55 inches||9.4 x 4 x 0.55 inches|
|Weight||Approx. 0.93 pounds||Approx. 0.88 pounds|
Nintendo Switch OLED new features
We had wanted to see a Nintendo Switch come with a 4K output when docked and a boosted chipset for more gaming performance. But unfortunately we may need to wait until the Nintendo Switch 2 for that.
However, the Nintendo Switch OLED still has some desirable features. Obviously, there’s the new 7-inch OLED panel, which is larger than the 6.2-inch screen on the original Switch.
Because it is an OLED panel on the new Switch, it will offer better colors and contrast than LCD, as well as wider viewing angles. Just look at how the iPhone 12 OLED display offers an upgrade over LCD displays in older iPhones.
The only thing that remains unclear is whether the OLED panel will offer an improved resolution. Nintendo has only said the new Switch will offer “HD gaming” when docked.
So we’d hazard a guess that means 1080p resolution when the Switch OLED is in its dock and potentially 720p when used in handheld mode. Upping the display resolution without increasing the power of the chip, would likely mean the Switch would struggle to deliver good frame rates in some of the best Nintendo Switch games.
Nintendo’s promo video for the Switch OLED also mentions enhanced audio, so you should experience better sound to go alongside the boosted display.
While the Switch comes with 32GB of onboard storage, the Switch OLED doubles that to 64GB, which is a boon for people starting out with a Switch and don’t have a spare SD card lying around.
Nintendo Switch OLED: Wide adjustable stand and LAN
The larger and adjustable stand is arguably the most compelling upgrade for the new Switch after the OLED display. The single-position stand on the original Switch was rather skimpy and flimsy, and often toppled over at the merest wobble.
The wider stand on the Switch OLED looks a lot more stable and with the larger display means it could make for a seriously new portable console that can be legitimately set up anywhere for a bit of Mario Kart or Smash Bros local multiplayer.
Speaking of multiplayer, the Nintendo Switch OLED also has a LAN port to support a wired internet connection for more stable online gaming. That could be handy for people in homes with patchy Wi-Fi.
Nintendo Switch OLED missing features
Unfortunately, the Nintendo Switch OLED is still lacking a few things we’d hoped a new Switch console would have.
For a start, the Joy-Cons are the same as the current Nintendo Switch, which means they could (and we stress could) fall victim to Joy-Con drift that has blighted the controllers of the original Switch.
There’s also no support for Bluetooth headphones, which with stellar headsets like the Sony WH-100XM4 available, seems to be a rather disappointing omission with the Switch OLED. Just bear in mind, the same workarounds for wireless headphones used in the original Switch should work with the Switch OLED.
But arguably the most disappointing thing is the Switch OLED doesn’t offer a boost in performance over the original Switch. It uses the same custom Nvidia Tegra X1 system-on-a-chip with seemingly no specs changes, meaning a form of 4K output when docked or 1080p whne handled isn’t available.
All that’s not to say the Nintendo Switch OLED is flawed, but it may not be a must-have for people who are already enjoying the current Switch.
Nintendo Switch OLED outlook
The Nintendo Switch OLED might not have all the features we may have wanted from an upgraded Switch, but it looks like the Switch to get if you haven’t purchased one yet.
And for folks with a Switch who have grown tired of its small LCD display, the Nintendo Switch OLED could be a compelling upgrade. We need to get our hands on the new Switch before we come to any conclusions. But if you can’t find an Xbox Series X restock or PS5 restock, then this could be the console to scratch that new console itch.
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