Hardware Review: Nintendo Switch OLED

Is Nintendo’s new Switch worth the upgrade?

I received a Nintendo Switch OLED model on Saturday morning, courtesy of Nintendo who I want to thank hugely for their generosity and decided to take it on a test run, giving it a whirl and seeing how it compared to the original launch model that I still own…

Over the weekend I’ve been playing a number of Switch games to see how the new OLED screen impacts them. First of all was Metroid Dread (review live here) which launched the same day as the new Switch model and is ultimately the best showcase of what the new hardware can do, which provides a brighter but also more captivating experience for the game. The game itself is fantastic so far and having seen it side-by-side with my launch Switch, I can safely say that the game looks the best on the new tech.

I also tried older Switch games on the new model like Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, Link’s Awakening, Smash Bros Ultimate and then went back to the original Switch model to see if the new OLED tech would enhance the experience, which ultimately it does more than I could imagine. If you’ll pardon the pun, it literally made me see the game in a new light.

Everything from the forests of BOTW, the worlds of Mario Odyssey, Planet ZDR from Metroid Dread and even your town in Animal Crossing all are vastly improved with the more vibrant colours of the OLED, making each game look bolder, richer and more immersive overall. This is the way that these games should be experienced, of that I’m certain.

There are other improvements to the hardware besides the new screen though, which is also a little bigger now at 7” from its 6.2” launch version. The stand from the original model has been replaced with a much sturdier and wider one, plus the console’s speakers have also been improved in quality with much greater sound than the launch version. The new dock also comes with a LAN slot if you want to plug in your ethernet cable for a more stable connection when playing games online.

The new model also comes with 64GB of internal storage, double that of the original 32GB Switch and as still supports upgraded storage via microSD. The battery life of the original model was improved in later revisions of the hardware and that same upgraded battery has made its way to the newer model, which clocks in at roughly 4.5-9 hours with a 3-hour charge in the dock. Breath of the Wild will last a good 5.5 hours on a full charge, which is a huge improvement over the launch battery.

The Verdict

While it isn’t the Switch Pro that was rumoured, the Nintendo Switch OLED is still a vast improvement over the original model with its incredible new screen, quality of life improvements to the design and a must have for any Nintendo fan this holiday.

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