Unless you’ve made a concerted effort to either stay in bed or bury your head in the sand, chances are that word of the Nintendo Switch OLED’s reveal has reached your ears. What a time to be alive… or is it?
The long rumoured Nintendo Switch Pro (now known as the Nintendo Switch OLED Model) may have been a victim of overwrought internet hype as the new console isn’t quite upgrade that fans were hoping for.
In a very Nintendo fashion, the Switch OLED does offer some genuine quality of life improvements, but it also ignores some facets of the Switch’s design completely. We’re still in two minds over how we feel about this new console, so we’ve put together its biggest updates and worst omissions so that you can make your own mind up.
Love: An OLED screen with smaller bezels
Back in 2017 the Nintendo Switch’s absolutely gargantuan bezels weren’t that much of an issue. In 2021 however, playing the Switch handheld feels like dusting off an old block TV for some portable gaming.
The Switch OLED does away with this by increasing the screen size from 6.2-inches to a hefty 7-inches, considerably reducing the surrounding bezels in the process and feeling like a more modern device for it.
Of course, as the name implies, the real star of the show is the inclusion of an OLED panel. It’ll still work with the same 720p resolution as the existing Switch, but OLED technology will allow everything to be a heck of a lot more punchy, with brighter colours and deeper blacks. Those Zelda dungeons will have never looked so good.
Hate: No 4K output
The big expectation for the Switch Pro was that it would serve as Nintendo’s foray into the world of 4K gaming. After all, 4K is now commonplace on competing consoles such as the Xbox Series X and PS5, but in hindsight we should have remembered the Wii when talking about Nintendo’s attitude towards better graphics – it simply doesn’t care.
Nintendo could end up biting the 4K bullet for the fully fledged sequel to the Nintendo Switch, but for the time being it’s just plain old 1080p for anyone enjoying some sweet Mario Kart action on their TV.
Love: The kickstand has been fixed
Ask any Switch owner what the worst component of the console is and I’m sure they’ll unanimously agree that it’s the poor excuse for a kickstand. The tiny piece of plastic that juts out from the Switch feels like it can barely do the job its intended for, and I gave up on using it years ago.
Luckily, Nintendo appears to have paid attention to all our whinging as the Switch OLED features a near console-wide kickstand that can also operate at different angles. With this upgrade, I think it’s fair to say that tabletop play is back on… well, the table.
Hate: No new processor
An updated chipset would have been essential if the Nintendo Switch Pro had 4K gaming in its sights, but it could have brought a bunch of additional benefits along for the ride. For instance, a newer GPU could have improved the performance of existing Switch games, particularly those that incur a heavy toll on the console such as The Witcher 3 and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Improved performance would have also allowed for more ports to make their way to the Nintendo Switch, keeping the console’s library updated for the foreseeable future until a true successor came along. Sadly, this just isn’t the case, and it feels like a huge missed opportunity.
While we ponder amongst ourselves over whether or not we fancy trading in our current Switch consoles for a brand new Switch OLED, we’d love to hear your thoughts in the poll below.