The rumors have been swirling for over a year now about the next iteration of the Nintendo Switch system. Fans were utterly convinced that last month’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) would showcase the new and improved Switch Pro, but we were all left disappointed when it didn’t come. However, it was just a matter of time before Nintendo gave us what we all wanted and it’s finally here, the Nintendo Switch (OLED Model).
Let’s get through the facts first before we decide if this was worth the wait, starting with a release date and price point. The Switch OLED Model is due out October 8th and will cost $349.99, this is also the same day the newest Metroid Game, Metroid Dread releases so expected a bundle pack. It sports a vibrant 7-inch OLED screen and twice the internal storage space as the original Switch coming in at 64GB with up to 2TB in expandable storage.
Despite having a slightly bigger screen at 7.0 inches, that’s a .8 inch upgrade over the regular Switch and its LCD screen. It’s still the same size as the regular switch but does weigh half a pound more. The Joy-Cons remained unchanged, though it’s been given a wide adjusted stand. Despite what everyone was hoping for, what we were all convinced was coming…there is no 4k, the resolution remains the same though you can output to 1080p on your TV now, up from 720p.
The biggest addition is the LAN port which directly connects to the internet instead of relying on Wifi. This will be a big boon for any gamers playing competitively on their Switch, specifically in the Fighting Game Community for Nintendo Switch games such as Super Smash Brothers Ultimate.
So, with all that in mind the next big question for gamers to answer is whether or not it will be worth $349.99 to upgrade from their regular Switch or Switch Lite to the horrendously named Switch OLED Model. You’re getting .8 inches more screen room and though it has more internal storage than the previous switch, it’s still outpaced by most smartphones in terms of storage. The only clear upgrade it has over the Switch or Switch Lite you probably already own is that it can output 1080p on your TV over 720p and can directly connect to the internet.
Since the Switch is inherently designed and mostly used in handheld form, I don’t personally think $349.99 is worth the price of admission unless you’re just looking for the status that a new console brings. If you’re one of the few who somehow, don’t already own a Switch then waiting for the OLED Model and picking it up would be the smart choice, though maybe you could find a used Switch for half the price as others are looking to upgrade.
Regardless, Nintendo Fans are known to be some of the most loyal gamers on the planet and Nintendo will likely cash in big with this new upgrade. Some players don’t always see Nintendo as a direct competitor to PlayStation and Microsoft since Nintendo appeals to all demographics and age groups, looked at often as the family console. Nintendo has done themselves a big favor by waiting a year after the launch of the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X and S, both of which are now in extremely short supply with very high demand.
If Nintendo can keep up with their own demand, they could own the holiday season as parents who are eager to buy new consoles may only have the Nintendo Switch (OLED Model) to pick up in time to put under the tree. Whatever the reception to the OLED Model is, one thing is almost certain, Nintendo is positioning itself to have another record-breaking year of profits.
As for myself, I primarily play my Switch docked so the upgraded resolution is something I’d get value out of but I’m still not convinced that I’ll be getting the OLED model. Even with the wired LAN port, I’d rather keep saving my money in hopes one of the mythological PlayStation 5s gets added to my online cart, there’s value in that. Though arguably, not much more at this point.