Nintendo has announced a new version of the Switch console, but it’s not called Pro like many rumours suggested. Instead, it’s simply called Switch (OLED model) and here’s how it compares with the regular edition in price, specs and more.
While this doesn’t have the ‘Pro’ branding we all expected, the new OLED Switch comes with a number of upgrades over the original that might make you want to upgrade. It will launch on 8 October along with Metroid Dread.
For this comparison we’re just looking at the main consoles, so we won’t be talking about the handheld-only Switch Lite here.
The new Switch (OLED model) will cost US$349 which is US$50 more than the regular Switch at US$299.
In the UK, it's £309 while the regular Switch is £279 making a difference of only £30. If you don’t have either, then it’s not much extra to spend to get the superior model.
If you're in Europe the price is 364 Euro and you can order the Switch OLED from GameStop Ireland. The regular is priced at 329 Euro.
The main upgrade, as the name implies, is the display. It’s now bigger at 7in compared to 6.2in and also uses OLED technology instead of LCD.
It’s similar to the phone or TV world where buying a higher-end device gets you an OLED panel. Organic LEDs provide a better viewing experience thanks to much better contrast and also colour reproduction.
While an LCD is backlit, each OLED can be turned on and off individually, so blacks are achieved simply be keeping a pixel switched off. With no backlight, the display is also more uniform when it comes to lighting.
Note that while the screen is bigger and uses OLED tech, it remains at 720p resolution which actually means the pixel density is slightly lower on the new model but not so much to make it noticeable.
|Switch||Switch (OLED model)|
Stand, & Size
As you probably know, the Switch has a very basic plastic kickstand which does the job but can be a little wobbly and insufficient at times. It also only offers one angle.
Well, Nintendo has upgraded this significantly on the OLED model with a full-width adjustable stand. It works more like a Microsoft Surface tablet and offers a range of viewing angles and generally more sturdiness.
Although the screen is bigger by having smaller bezels, the Switch (OLED model) is a few millimetres longer than the regular model – 242 vs 239mm – which might not sound like much but will mean it isn’t compatible with some Nintendo Labo parts.
“The system will not cleanly fit within all the design parameters of the Nintendo Labo series. There may also be games where the game experience may differ due to the new capabilities of the console, such as the larger screen size,” says Nintendo in the small print.
The size also means that some cases and other accessories might not fit the new model. And it’s also slightly heavier at 320g compared to 297g (without Joy-Cons). It still offers the same usage modes - TV, Tabletop and Handheld - and is compatible with existing Joy-Con controllers.
|Switch||Switch (OLED model)|
|Dimensions (with Joy-Cons)||242 x 102 x 13.9mm||239 x 102 x 13.9mm|
|Weight (console only)||297g||320g|
With 64GB of onboard storage, the Switch (OLED model) has double the amount of space compared to the original Switch.
This means you’ll be able to store more games on the console without having to add a microSD card, although a slot is still available for anyone that needs it.
Dock & colour
As you’ll have already noticed, the (OLED model) comes in new white colour and is the only Switch to come in this option. There’s also the classic Neon Red/Neon Blue option if white isn’t your thing.
Either way, it also comes with a new docking station that, apart from matching the white Joy-cons on that model, has an added Ethernet LAN port so you can connect the console to the internet without Wi-Fi while it’s in TV mode.
And just to reiterate, the dock still outputs video at Full HD (60fps) like before. The (OLED model) Switch is not 4K.
Nintendo has also upgraded the sound system in the Switch (OLED model) to provide a better audio experience. There are still stereo speakers on the bottom of the console but with ‘enhanced audio’ with no explanation as to how.
Things that haven’t changed
It’s worth pointing out a few things that haven’t changed on the new Switch (OLED model) including the disappointment that there’s still no support for connecting Bluetooth headphones.
The battery life is no better either, so is still officially quoted at 4.5-9 hours.
The processor is still the same with a custom Nvidia Tegra chip so you shouldn’t expect improved performance, either. Nintendo has confirmed to The Verge that the new OLED console doesn't have a new CPU or an increase in RAM.
If you don't already have a Switch then buying the new OLED model for only £30/US$50 more is a no-brainer really. Especially if you think you'll play the console in handheld or tabletop mode a lot.
However, other benefits are small, so current owners might not be swayed by more storage, a new kickstand, better speakers and a LAN port in the dock. Perhaps the white colour is also a factor but we'll leave you to decide on that.
You could, of course, sell your regular Switch and use the money towards the OLED model but you'll need both consoles in the same room to transfer content over.