Nintendo is known for its efforts to improve on existing consoles. With the Lite and upgraded battery models appearing in stores over the four-year period, the Nintendo Switch has not been afraid to go through iterations. The Switch OLED is the latest update to the company’s flagship handheld console hybrid, and while those who primarily play on the TV shouldn’t feel the need to purchase the system on day one, handheld players will benefit the most from the shiny new update.
The main draw of the upgrade comes from the new system’s namesake feature; the OLED screen is a wonder to behold. You can see the color fidelity clearly when the Nintendo logo is displayed. Metroid Dread was a great game to play on my 4K TV. However, the handheld version of Metroid Dread is incredibly captivating due to the sharp blacks and whites as well as a palette that really takes advantage of this increase in contrast. That visual fidelity isn’t limited to Nintendo’s most prominent 2021 release. While testing Eastward, Unsighted and Unsighted, the pixel art and color really stood out on my screen. The Legend of Zelda’s Breath of the Wild showed Hyrule in a more gorgeous light. The OLED model is still 720p like the launch Switch. However, it was easily forgotten once I had my hands on it. You can see the difference in quality. I was reminded of the upgrade from Xbox One to the Xbox One X. I’m still playing the same games, but the extra boost in color fidelity and polish leaves me excited to return to my current library on the go. This renewed interest is particularly refreshing since my Switch was not powered up for most of the past six months.
The contrast boost isn’t the only highlight of Nintendo’s new screen. This new model has a 7-inch screen, which is 1.25 inches larger than the Switch Lite and 0.8 inches larger than its predecessor. That doesn’t sound like a sizable change on paper, but it makes a substantial difference in execution. While the OLED screen is approximately the same size as that of the launch Switch (although the bezel on the OLED has a lower profile), it allows more room to accommodate the bigger screen. It is obvious in highly-action games, such as Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was my favorite game. I found that I felt I could see clearly and concentrate on Ultimate better. The combination of the increased colors and this screen size makes Switch games even more appealing. The perfect upgrade for handheld gamers is available.
Quality: Kicking it Up
I’m someone who kicks his feet up and plays his Switch undocked and I love the OLED’s new speakers and kickstand. Instead of the cheap plastic strip that caused rage-inducing headaches while trying to enjoy a 1v1 bout in Super Smash Bros.’s Final Destination stage, the updated kickstand now stretches the length of the console and gives the system better support. I’ve experienced several plane rides where I tried to play my launch Switch with detached joy-cons, only to put it away because the console either kept falling over or I couldn’t get the angle right. The old days of bending over to play my launch Switch with detached joy-cons are long gone. With the adjustable kickstand, you can adjust it for any angle and still be sturdy.
Switch OLED has improved sound quality. New speakers have a richer sound than the original’s tiny audio. It won’t replace my soundbar anytime soon, but I loved playing Metroid in bed or on my balcony and having a more enjoyable sound experience.
However, those who like their Smash beat downs on the big screen don’t have much to look forward to in this model. Both OLED and non-OLED Switch models run on an NVIDIA Custom Tegra processor, meaning gameplay performance, loading times, and previous limitations carry over to Nintendo’s newest hardware. My excitement at buying a brand new console soon faded when I plugged it in to discover the same menus, issues and problems that plagued the system every year since 2017.
It’s not all bad news for couch dwellers, though. This dock has virtually the same features that the TV connector before it, except for one USB 2.0 port. The LAN port built into the dock is a wonderful addition. Instead of searching for an extension, it was much easier to just dock my Switch OLED to download Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle in half as long as Wi-Fi would have taken. I spent a lot of time enjoying multiplayer games like Super Smash Bros. A wired connection allowed for a smoother internet experience, which was a benefit to Ultimate and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. It’s a welcome addition that Switch players will appreciate even though it’s not exactly groundbreaking.
This model also has 64GB internal storage. It is twice as large as previous versions. Combining the new storage space with my 128GB micro SD allowed me to download the bulk of my library while leaving room for upcoming games such as Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp and Pokémon Legends: Arceus. For those who already have SD cards and dongles, the extra storage and the LAN port are not worth it. However, I found these bells and whistles worth it as my old launch Switch began to age.
Simply put, the Nintendo Switch OLED has the best console available for people who don’t want to dock. It is a marvellous screen. The vibrant colors, larger playing area and large storage space have rekindled our love of the console just as we were losing interest. I am a proud owner of a launch Switch, but tend to play undocked. The additions of storage, battery life and stable kickstand are all reasons enough for me to make the purchase. Although all these features are great for Nintendo enthusiasts, they don’t offer meaningful processing upgrades and 4K support. This makes it difficult for Princess Peach fans to justify the $350 price.
#Switch #OLED Review #Playing #Portable Power