The Nintendo Switch hit shelves back in 2017, and since then there have been constant rumours of revisions or more advanced model that would bring the underpowered system more in line with the Xbox and PlayStations of the time.
These rumours aren’t always unfounded, as mid-generation revisions are something Nintendo practically invented, with the follow-ups to the original Game Boy, with the Pocket and Colour and later with the many incremental changes to the DS lineup.
Nonetheless, rumours of a handheld only model back in 2019 turned out to be completely true, with the release of the Nintendo Switch Lite.
Murmurs of a newer more powerful model with 4K capability and a better screen have been alleged and weren’t completely unfounded.
The Nintendo Switch OLED Model was announced July 7 seemingly out of nowhere and shocked, delighted but also disappointed some fans.
Many have been hoping for a more powerful update that could allow newer games to be ported to the system and much more impressive graphical capability.
Firstly, very little has changed under the hood. Featuring most of the exact same hardware including the same NVIDIA Custom Tegra processor that was in the Switch model 1.1 that was released in 2019.
But if like me, you own the original "mark 1" system, the newer processor in the OLED Model will give you improved battery life giving you around 4.5 to 9 hours compared to the originals 2.5 to 6.5 hours.
The internal storage of all previous models was a lacklustre 32Gb but the new model doubles this to a respectable 64Gb, making you slightly less reliant on owning a Micro SD card straight away.
I was incredibly lucky to get some “hands-on” time with the Nintendo Switch OLED Model, and in the 45 mins I had with the system, I got to play some classic first-party titles like Mario Odyssey, Mario Kart 8 and The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild.
All the games looked great on the 7 inch OLED display, although, The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild looked the most impressive due to its beautiful world, although I’m very excited to see Astral Chain, Luigi’s Mansion and Octopath traveller on this new .
The first thing that smacks you in the face, or should I say the eyes is that new, shiny screen. I knew it would look different and even a little better, but I didn’t realise how much I’d love that glossy new screen until I had it in front of me.
The Samsung made OLED screen is a 7-inch 720p, compared to the 6-inch, LED screen on the original model.
While the resolution is the same, that is where the similarities end. OLED or Organic Light Emitting Diode has much better contrast with brighter whites and darker blacks as well as colours looking richer, images look sharper, and it looked twice as bright as my OG Switch.
The extra inch on the screen looks great, as the reduction of the bezels give the screen more real estate and looking much neater and like a much more modern device.
The new screen also affords the New Switch better-viewing angles, meaning you can see the screen clearer from angles other than flat on, making it much better for tabletop play with friends or when you’re out and about.
I was surprised that the build quality feels much improved on the new model, feeling slightly heavier, but that weight feels a lot better distributed compared to previous models. The system felt like a much more premium build and more durable.
The quality of the inbuilt speakers has also been improved and it did seem louder and slightly clearer while also directed slightly more downwards allowing sound to travel better on a tabletop.
It must be said that the kickstand on the original Switch wasn’t the most secure way to prop up the system and could even break off. But Nintendo has addressed this with an improved, much more versatile wide, adjustable stand.
The new stand covers the entire width of the back of the system, and it has a surprising amount of flexibility allowing you to place the Switch at some crazy angles.
The white paint job on the joy-cons is also extended to the dock and looks so slick and futuristic, and I only wish it included the Switch device itself.
I didn’t get a chance to play it docked but as the internals haven’t really changed much it was much better to focus on tabletop and handheld.
The dock has, however, seen a slight redesign too most notably the addition of an ethernet port has been added. This improves the systems download speeds as well as stability for online play.
Instead of having the back panel fold down like on the older dock, the new one is entirely removable. I also noticed a vent which, looks good but I’m not sure what practical purpose it served.
The most important difference was inside the dock. which was smoother, with a glossier, more curved interior that should address some of the issues with the previous dock sometimes scratching the previous model.
After comparing the Nintendo Switch OLED to the original model and the Lite editions I was shocked at what a dramatic difference the new screen made, making my two older models look dull by comparison.
Despite some initial scepticism and already owning the Switch and Switch Lite, after having felt the OLED Model and seen the gorgeous display in action I'm very tempted to upgrade my Switch.
On paper, The Nintendo Switch OLED Model doesn’t sound like much of an upgrade, especially if you only play the system docked you might not get a lot out of it.
However, the sensational new screen along with all the other small improvements add up to a much more enjoyable handheld experience that Nintendo Switch fans owe it to themselves to pick up… at least until the fabled 4k model materialises.
The new Nintendo Switch OLED Model will be available from October 8th for £350.