I was scrolling through my list of blog post ideas and realized that I never posted my review of the Nintendo Switch OLED model. It has been out since October 8th of 2021 so this review will only be a year late haha!
My history with Nintendo & the Nintendo Switch
I am a huge Nintendo fan. I was born in the same year that the NES was widely released in America and I have owned every Nintendo system released in the US to date (yes, even the Virtual Boy & Wii U). When Nintendo unveiled the Switch, the company was not doing great. The Wii U was pretty much a disaster right out of the gate and the 3DS, while doing much better than the Wii U, was really showing its age.
Enter the Nintendo Switch. Ever since it was revealed, I was super hyped for it. One of my buddies and I planned a trip to PAX South (R.I.P.) to play the system before it was released. We fell in love with it once we had some hands on time with it and we found ourselves at the midnight launch for the system at our local Best Buy. Fast forward three and a half years and the Switch is a runaway success. Nintendo has completely turned their fortunes around with the Switch. The have not only sold a ton of hardware, but they have also sold a ton of software too. So when Nintendo announced the next model in the lineup, The Switch OLED, you can bet that I preordered it and received it on launch day.
The Switch OLED, while not the Switch Pro that everyone wanted it to be, is a substantial update to the original Switch. I want to hit on all of the improvements in this section.
- The Display: The main selling point of the Switch OLED is obviously the new screen. Gone is the original 6.2″ LCD and it has been replaced with an absolutely gorgeous 7″ OLED panel. This is a massive upgrade for the system. Nintendo makes some of the most colorful games in the industry (Mario, Pokemon, Smash Bros., Splatoon) and the colors are just stunning on the OLED display. The panel can get super bright and I also really appreciate the bigger screen size. It is very noticeable. Even nearly a year later, every time I play my Switch in handheld mode, I am blown away by the screen.
- The Kickstand: The original Switch came with a kickstand, which is a great idea. The problem was that it was a horrible kickstand! It was extremely flimsy and I got to where I didn’t even trust it enough to use it. Nintendo completely overhauled the kick stand on the OLED model and it is so much better than the original one. The kickstand now runs across the whole rear of the system & it is super adjustable. I would compare it to the Microsoft Surface Pro kickstands if you have ever used one of those.
- Built In Storage: While the original Switch came with 32gb of internal storage, the OLED model doubles it to 64gb. While serious players will still need to expand their storage with a microSD card, it is a nice addition nonetheless.
- Sound: The sound quality of the built in speakers on the OLED is considerably better then the built in speakers on the original model. Again, some may use headphones most of the time they are on their Switch but it is a nice upgrade.
- The Dock: The Dock that comes with each system has been redesigned as well. It has two benefits over the old dock. First is that the dock now includes a LAN port for wired internet. The old dock does not and requires you to purchase an adapter for wired internet. The second is that, at least to me, the dock is more aesthetically pleasing. As something that sirts on top of my entertainment center, I like the look and shape of the new dock more.
- Color Options: While the Switch OLED model is still available with the same red and blue joy-cons as the original system, it also come in a new white colorway, complete with a white dock. This is the color that I opted for. I am very into white electronics so this was just perfect for me. I love the clean look of the dock and joy-cons!
In conclusion, the Switch OLED is in my opinion, the version of the Switch to buy if you are in the market for a Switch. It is also a decent upgrade if you are coming from an original model. It is by no means a necessary upgrade and it runs all of the games the exact same as the original Switch and the Switch lite. But if you are really into the Switch and would appreciate all of the little upgrades over the original model, I see no reason not to go for it! Thanks for reading.
I very much think that, if in the market, the SWOLED is definitely worth the extra $50 for all those upgrades. For me, though, since I already have 2 Switches (me and my wife, and we share with the kids), I couldn’t bring myself to buy the SWOLED. I want to hold out for a Switch Pro 4K whatever. I think it should be named, “Master Switch” BTW. Reminds me the Sega Master System…so maybe Ninty won’t go for that.
You had a Virtual Boy! That’s dedication. I remember trying it in a store display and was like, “How is this 3D? Why’s it all red? No thanks.” But maybe I missed out. I had just bought a black gameboy so was content with that. It was circa 1995/6.
Yeah, if you already have a couple of Switches, it is a tougher sell for sure. I too hope that Nintendo eventually releases a Switch Pro. I would like it to have enough hardware to run most games at 60fps and to also include an OLED screen.
I picked up the Virtual Boy at my local Walmart when they were clearing them out for I believe $50. I loved that stupid thing, even though it would give you a headache if you played more than about a hour straight haha. It was a rare and pretty large miss for Nintendo.
Hey, at least the big N tried, right? They’re creative and kind of innovative that way. Funny how often their misses whiff big, and their hits win big. Feast or famine.