In 2021, Nintendo released an upgraded version of the standard Switch with a beautiful OLED screen. But is the fancy display and handful of other minor improvements worth shelling out for a new console?
In this 3000 word guide, we’ll dive into everything you need to know to decide if upgrading to the OLED Switch is right for you.
An Overview of the OLED Switch
The OLED Switch is the latest iteration of the popular Nintendo Switch console. It comes with several upgrades and improvements over its predecessor, making it an enticing option for both existing Switch owners and newcomers to the console.
The OLED Screen
One of the standout features of the OLED Switch is its upgraded screen. The console now boasts a vibrant and crisp OLED display, offering deeper blacks and more vivid colors compared to the previous LCD screen.
This enhanced visual experience provides a more immersive gaming experience, especially for games with rich graphics and detailed environments.
The kickstand on the OLED Switch has also received a much-needed upgrade. It is now wider and more stable, allowing for a better tabletop gaming experience. Whether you’re playing multiplayer games with friends or enjoying a solo gaming session, the improved kickstand ensures that the console stays securely in place.
In addition to the screen and kickstand upgrades, the OLED Switch also features improved speakers. The new speakers deliver richer and more dynamic audio, enhancing the overall gaming experience. Whether you’re listening to in-game dialogue, immersive sound effects, or your favorite gaming soundtrack, the upgraded speakers on the OLED Switch make everything sound better.
64GB Internal Storage
Storage space is always a concern for gamers, and the OLED Switch addresses this by doubling the internal storage capacity. With 64GB of built-in storage, players have more room to download and store their favorite games, downloadable content, and save files.
This means less reliance on external storage options and more convenience for players to have their entire game library readily available.
New White Color Option
For those who appreciate a fresh and sleek look, the OLED Switch offers a new white color option. This adds to the existing lineup of color choices and allows players to personalize their gaming console to match their style and preferences.
Same Performance and Battery Life
While the OLED Switch brings several notable improvements, it’s important to note that it retains the same performance and battery life as the previous model. This means that you can expect the same smooth gameplay and extended gaming sessions without worrying about frequent recharging.
Higher Price Point
With all these upgrades and enhancements, it’s no surprise that the OLED Switch comes with a slightly higher price point compared to the original Switch. However, for those who value the improved screen, kickstand, speakers, and storage capacity, the added cost may be well worth it.
OLED vs. LCD – What’s the Difference?
When it comes to choosing a display for your electronic devices, understanding the difference between OLED and LCD technology is essential. Both have their own set of advantages and drawbacks, so let’s dive into the details to help you make an informed decision.
OLED Displays Have Perfect Blacks
One of the standout features of OLED displays is their ability to produce perfect blacks. Unlike LCD screens, which require a backlight, OLEDs can individually control each pixel’s brightness. This means that when a pixel is turned off, it emits no light, resulting in true black.
The contrast between the darkest and brightest areas of an OLED display is simply stunning.
OLEDs Offer Better Contrast
Thanks to their ability to produce perfect blacks, OLED displays also offer superior contrast compared to LCD screens. The deep blacks create a more immersive viewing experience, as colors appear more vibrant and lifelike.
Whether you’re watching a movie or playing a game, the enhanced contrast of an OLED display enhances the overall visual quality.
OLEDs Are More Power Efficient
Contrary to what some may believe, OLED displays are actually more power efficient than LCD screens. Since each pixel in an OLED display can be turned off individually, power is only consumed by the pixels that are active.
In contrast, LCD screens require a constant backlight, which consumes power regardless of the content being displayed. This energy-saving feature of OLED displays can lead to longer battery life for portable devices like smartphones and tablets.
OLEDs Don’t Suffer From Backlight Bleeding
One common issue with LCD displays is backlight bleeding, where light from the backlight leaks around the edges of the screen, causing uneven brightness and distracting patches. OLED displays, on the other hand, do not require a backlight, eliminating the problem of backlight bleeding entirely.
This ensures a more uniform display with consistent brightness levels across the entire screen.
OLEDs Can Experience Image Retention
While OLED displays offer exceptional image quality, they can be susceptible to image retention or burn-in. This phenomenon occurs when static images are displayed for an extended period, causing certain pixels to age faster than others, resulting in a faint ghosting effect.
However, it’s important to note that modern OLED panels have implemented various measures to reduce the likelihood of burn-in, and with normal usage patterns, this issue is unlikely to occur for most users.
LCDs Typically Have Higher Peak Brightness
Although OLED displays excel in many areas, LCD screens generally have higher peak brightness levels. This can be advantageous in bright outdoor environments or well-lit rooms, where LCD screens can provide better visibility.
However, it’s worth noting that OLED displays still offer sufficient brightness for most everyday usage scenarios.
How the OLED Screen Impacts the Gaming Experience
The introduction of the OLED screen in the Nintendo Switch has undoubtedly transformed the gaming experience for users. The OLED technology brings a range of improvements that enhance visual quality and make gameplay more immersive and enjoyable.
More Vibrant Colors and Sharpness
One of the standout features of the OLED screen is its ability to display more vibrant colors and sharper images. The OLED technology allows for deeper blacks and brighter whites, resulting in a more dynamic and visually stunning gaming experience.
Colors appear more saturated and lifelike, adding depth and realism to the game graphics.
According to a study conducted by DisplayMate, the OLED screen on the Nintendo Switch offers a 20% wider color gamut compared to the previous LCD model. This means that games appear more vibrant and visually appealing, bringing out every detail and enhancing the overall gameplay.
Inky Blacks Make Dark Scenes Excel
Another significant advantage of the OLED screen is its ability to produce inky blacks. This feature is particularly beneficial for games with dark scenes or atmospheric settings. The deep blacks create a higher contrast ratio, making shadows and dark areas of the game world more pronounced and immersive.
With an OLED screen, players can truly appreciate the intricate details and atmospheric elements in games.
Improved Color Accuracy
With OLED technology, color accuracy is greatly improved, allowing for more precise and realistic color representation. This means that the visuals in games are more true to life, and players can enjoy a more immersive and engaging gaming experience.
The OLED screen delivers accurate color reproduction, ensuring that every shade and hue is displayed as intended by the game developers.
No Backlight Bleeding Issues
Backlight bleeding, a common issue with LCD screens, is virtually eliminated with an OLED display. LCD screens rely on a backlight to illuminate the pixels, which can sometimes cause light leakage and uneven lighting.
However, OLED screens do not require a backlight, as each pixel emits its own light. This eliminates the problem of backlight bleeding, resulting in a more uniform and seamless display.
The absence of backlight bleeding ensures that players can enjoy games without any distracting light leakage or unevenness in the screen. This contributes to a more immersive gaming experience, where every detail is clear and free from any visual disturbances.
Examining the Other Hardware Upgrades
The Wider, Sturdier Kickstand is Handy
The OLED Switch comes with a wider and sturdier kickstand, which is a welcome improvement. The original Switch had a small kickstand that was prone to tipping over, making it difficult to enjoy games in tabletop mode.
With the new kickstand, gamers can now confidently prop up their console and play without the fear of it falling over. This is especially useful when playing multiplayer games or watching movies on the go.
Sound Quality Gets a Welcome Boost
One of the notable hardware upgrades in the OLED Switch is the improved sound quality. The new console features enhanced audio capabilities, providing a more immersive gaming experience. Whether you’re playing action-packed games or listening to your favorite music, the improved sound quality on the OLED Switch ensures that every sound effect and musical note is crystal clear and enjoyable.
64GB Storage is Nice But Easy to Expand
The OLED Switch comes with 64GB of internal storage, which is a notable upgrade from the original Switch’s 32GB. This means more space to store your games, save files, and downloaded content. While the increased storage is a welcome addition, it’s important to note that the OLED Switch also supports expandable storage.
With the use of a microSD card, you can easily expand the storage capacity of your console, giving you even more room to store your favorite games and media.
New White Colorway is Sleek But Limited
One of the visual upgrades in the OLED Switch is the introduction of a sleek white colorway. The white console, paired with the black accents, gives the OLED Switch a modern and stylish look. However, it’s worth mentioning that the white color option is limited and may not be everyone’s preference.
If you’re a fan of the classic black design, fear not, as the OLED Switch is also available in the traditional black colorway.
Is the OLED Switch Worth the Higher Price?
When considering whether the OLED Switch is worth the higher price, there are a few factors to take into account. It ultimately depends on how you primarily use your Switch and what you value most in a gaming experience.
It Depends on How You Primarily Use Your Switch
If you primarily use your Switch in docked mode, connecting it to your TV and playing games on the big screen, then the standard model may be the better option for you. The OLED screen on the new Switch is undoubtedly impressive, but if you’re not utilizing it in handheld mode often, you may not fully appreciate the enhanced visuals.
For Docked Play, Stick With the Standard Model
The standard model of the Switch still offers great performance and graphics when connected to a TV. Plus, it comes at a more affordable price point compared to the OLED version. If you’re mainly interested in playing games on a larger screen, saving some money by sticking with the standard model is a sensible choice.
For Portable Play, the OLED is Probably Worth It
On the other hand, if you frequently play your Switch on the go or in handheld mode, the OLED version may be worth the higher price. The improved screen quality, with richer colors and deeper blacks, can enhance your gaming experience, especially for visually stunning games.
The OLED Switch also boasts a larger internal storage capacity, which can be beneficial if you tend to download many games.
Consider Waiting for a Price Drop or Sale
If the higher price of the OLED Switch is a concern for you, it may be worth considering waiting for a price drop or a sale. Nintendo has been known to offer discounts on their consoles during holiday seasons or special events.
Patience can save you some money and make the OLED Switch a more enticing option.
Upgrading is Worth It if You Don’t Already Own a Switch
If you don’t already own a Switch and are looking to purchase one, the OLED model is definitely worth considering. With its improved screen and storage capacity, it offers an enhanced gaming experience right out of the box.
However, if you already own a Switch and are satisfied with its performance, the upgrade may not be necessary unless you highly value the OLED screen.
While the OLED Switch is not a monumental leap over the original, the gorgeous display and handful of other improvements make it the superior handheld option. If you primarily play your Switch on the go, the OLED model delivers a meaningfully enhanced experience that could be worth spending extra.
But more stationary players will be just as well off saving money and sticking with the standard Switch.