After months (years even) of speculation, Nintendo has finally unveiled its long rumored updated Switch console. Named the Nintendo Switch OLED Model (a much less exciting name than “Switch Pro”), this new version of Nintendo’s system is exactly what it says it is: a Switch with an OLED screen.
At least Nintendo has learned to not confuse consumers with names like “Wii U” and “NEW 3DS.”
Fans have been speculating for awhile now what this new iteration would consist of, hoping for everything from a more portable design, to redesigned joy cons, and everything in-between. Instead, Nintendo is providing a smallish upgrade that helps the console that debuted in 2017 stand up to newly released competition.
Launching October 8th at $349.99 USD, the new Switch will come equipped with an OLED screen that will provider sharper, more vibrant images than the standard model, and is roughly an inch larger as well. Storage capacity has also been doubled from 32 GB to 64 GB, though gamers can always easily expand using microSDHC or microSDXC cards. Battery life also promises to be a bit longer, allowing for longer gaming sessions in handheld mode. Along with these upgrades also comes a wired LAN port, enhanced audio, and a much wider adjustable stand.
The console also comes in a new color scheme as well, this time a kind of crisp white.
Although those are some nice enhancements, it’s a bit underwhelming considering the amount of anticipation that has been brewing leading up to this announcement. Many gamers have been wishing for 4K TV support, which appears to be absent. Improved CPU and RAM have also been on fans’ wishlists, but these too appear unchanged from previous models.
One major positive is that these smaller upgrades means that there won’t be new games releasing that will require the new model in order to play. With the Switch as hot as it is right now, Nintendo definitely does not need to fracture its consumerbase.
An upgraded CPU would also have reliance on semiconductor chips that are still suffering from global shortages that began last year. This would make it hard for Nintendo to fulfill all orders when both Sony and Microsoft are still struggling to meet demand today.
Are you disappointed with Nintendo’s new offering? Were you aiming for a major hardware upgrade, or perhaps more plentiful extras? Does releasing something so similar to the base model make good business sense? We’d love to hear your thoughts!