Out of nowhere Nintendo decided to drop the news of the next Switch iteration. For years we’ve heard rumblings of a Nintendo Switch “Pro”, with supposedly upgraded performance and even the capability of displaying 4K visuals. The latest batch of rumors got everything right, except the performance boost, which is arguably what most people wanted the most. So let’s dive right in and detail what this new Switch offers, and perhaps more notably, what it doesn’t.
Nintendo announced today that the Nintendo Switch (OLED model) will release the same day as Metroid Dread, on October 8, 2021. The system will come in two packages: one with white Joy-Con controllers and a white dock, and one with Neon Red/Blue Joy-Con controllers and a black dock. The biggest upgrade comes with the bigger 7″ screen (an increase from 6.2″ on the original Switch). This screen will also offer better color and saturation thanks to it being an OLED. A bigger and more durable kickstand on the backside will make playing the system in tabletop mode easier than ever and the Switch dock removes one of the USB ports and replaces it with an ethernet port for wired internet access, something that should please online players. The system includes double the storage space, with 64GB instead of 32 GB and better sound when played on the go. The new OLED model comes in $50 higher than the original at $349.99. And that’s about it.
This product reveal goes to show just how damaging rumors can be since expectations can be much higher than they would be otherwise. Most of the rumors focused on the supposed increased horsepower the new Switch would have, allowing it to offer up smoother frame rates and even 4K graphics. It’s interesting that many of the rumors got all of the other details correct, but massively missed the boat with the better CPU/GPU talk. Obviously plans can and do change, and there are those out there suggesting that maybe the chip shortage is the reason Nintendo decided to go this route instead of a more powerful iteration of the Switch. Of course it could easily just be that there was never a plan to release a souped up system and that the rumor mongers were always wrong. Or maybe there’s still a chance Nintendo releases this “Pro” model next year? Who knows at this point, but it’s completely understandable that many Nintendo fans came away disappointed with this announcement today.
It is a bit strange that we have the Switch Lite that comes in at $199 and caters to the handheld gamer, but now we have this more expensive Switch (OLED model) that also caters to the handheld market. If you play your Switch mostly on the TV, there’s little incentive to pick this new one up. The bigger and better screen as well as the bigger kickstand and improved sound won’t do anything to make your games play any differently on your television. It would have been nice for Nintendo to throw console gamers (remember at launch Nintendo insisted the Switch was a console not a handheld?) a bone here. However, it is a great option for on-the-go gamers as well as potential new buyers.
So, will you be picking up this new model of Switch hardware on October 8? Is there enough here to entice you to upgrade? Personally I’m very underwhelmed and disappointed with what’s on offer here, but in the end I’m sure I’ll still probably upgrade because I pretty much get all of the variations of Nintendo hardware, especially if I can get $250 or more for my existing Switch via a trade-in. I also am a big fan of the white Joy-Con controllers and dock, but damn if I wasn’t wanting some performance upgrades to make some of my Switch games run a bit smoother and look better on my 4K TV.
The Nintendo Switch family of systems is about to gain a new member. On Oct. 8, Nintendo Switch (OLED model) will launch at a suggested retail price of $349.99, giving people another option for how they want to play the vast library of games on Nintendo Switch. Click here to view the video announcing the new system.
Nintendo Switch (OLED model) has a similar overall size to the Nintendo Switchsystem, but with a larger, vibrant 7-inch OLED screen with vivid colors and crisp contrast. Nintendo Switch (OLED model) also features a wide adjustable stand for tabletop mode, a new dock with a wired LAN port, 64GB of internal storage, and enhanced audio for handheld and tabletop play. Just like Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Switch (OLED model) allows players to play on the TV and share the detachable Joy-Con controllers for right-out-of-the-box multiplayer fun. And just like both Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite, with Nintendo Switch (OLED model), the system can be taken on the go to enjoy its play-anywhere versatility. A carrying case and screen protector set for Nintendo Switch (OLED model) will also be available.
Nintendo Switch (OLED model) launches on Oct. 8, the same day as the Metroid Dread game, the next entry in the 2D Metroid saga that kicked off with the original Metroid on NES. With the vibrant OLED screen and enhanced audio, embarking on the latest adventure of intergalactic bounty hunter Samus Aran in Metroid Dreadwhile playing in handheld or tabletop mode will feel even more immersive.
“The new Nintendo Switch (OLED model) is a great option for players who want to experience the new vibrant screen when playing in handheld and tabletop mode,” said Nintendo of America President Doug Bowser. “With the addition of this new model to the Nintendo Switch family of systems, people have an additional choice of a system that best fits the gaming experience they desire – whether it’s Nintendo Switch (OLED model), Nintendo Switch or Nintendo Switch Lite.”
Nintendo Switch (OLED model) will let players experience enhancements in all three play modes:
TV mode: Set the Nintendo Switch (OLED model) system into the dock to play Nintendo Switch games on the TV. By using the built-in wired LAN port, players can enjoy another way to connect online in TV mode.
Tabletop mode: Flip the stand on the back of the system and use the system’s screen to play multiplayer games using two Joy-Con controllers right out of the box. A wide adjustable stand makes for a solid and sturdy foundation. It allows players to freely tilt the system and adjust the viewing angle, so it makes it easier to see the screen.
Handheld mode: Players can bring the system wherever they go in handheld mode and play local* or online** multiplayer with friends. The system’s 7-inch OLED screen provides vivid color and crisp contrast.
When the system launches, it will come in two color options:
- Nintendo Switch (OLED model) white set, which features white Joy-Con controllers, a black main unit and a white dock.
- Nintendo Switch (OLED model) neon red/neon blue set, which features neon red and neon blue Joy-Con controllers, a black main unit and a black dock.
All previously released Joy-Con for Nintendo Switch are compatible with this new model. Additionally, Nintendo Switch (OLED model) is compatible with the full library of Nintendo Switch games.***
For anyone that picks up this new system and wants to transfer their digital games and save data from another Nintendo Switch system, details about the transfer process can be found at https://support.nintendo.com/.
Check with local retailers for pre-order information soon. For more information about the system, visit https://www.nintendo.com/switch/oled-model/.
Remember that the Nintendo Switch family of systems features parental controlsthat let adults manage the content their children can access. For more information about other features, visit https://www.nintendo.com/switch/.
* Additional games, systems and/or accessories may be required for multiplayer mode. Games, systems and some accessories sold separately.
** Nintendo Switch Online membership (sold separately) and Nintendo Account required for online features. Not available in all countries. Internet access required for online features. Terms apply. nintendo.com/switch-online.
*** Nintendo Switch system (OLED model) is compatible with the full library of Nintendo Switch games. However, 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.