At long last, Nintendo has announced the next iteration of its Nintendo Switch console. We know it isn’t exactly the “Switch Pro” everyone was expecting, but it is a Nintendo Switch console with an OLED screen instead of an LCD. What does this mean? Well… It means it’s going to look snazzier. However, the new Nintendo Switch console is actually a major step backwards for Nintendo.
Here’s everything you need to know about the new Nintendo Switch console (with a fancy OLED screen) and why it isn’t exactly the good thing Nintendo want you to think it is.
Nintendo Announce Switch Console With OLED Screen
It’s time to welcome the newest entry into the Nintendo Switch family, according to Nintendo. Creatively titled the Nintendo Switch (OLED model), the newest console to be announced by Nintendo features a lot of flashy new features.
There’s a “vibrant 7-inch OLED screen”, a “wide adjustable stand”, and a “dock with a LAN port”. That’s not all though, there’s also an increased base internal storage and enhanced audio. Much like the standard Nintendo Switch console, it does all the things you’d expect a Nintendo Switch to do.
You can play it docked, with the newly-added LAN Port. You can also play it in Tabletop Mode with the new wide adjustable stand. Or, you can sit back and play it in handheld mode with a slightly bigger screen!
All in all, it sounds like a good deal, right? It’s going to cost $349.99 at launch and comes in a few different exciting colours like… White. Wow.
Why Is It A Step Backwards?
We know this sounds controversial, but it’s true. The Nintendo Switch (OLED model) is in no way a bad improvement on the base Nintendo Switch, but it just feels like a bit of a mash-up of ideas that won’t actually make a better Nintendo Switch. Especially when you consider the fact that Nintendo is going to charge an extra $50 for the luxury.
Firstly, there isn’t going to be an improved battery inside.
The new Nintendo Switch console’s USP is the OLED screen it comes with. It’s literally being referred to as the Nintendo Switch (OLED model), after all. It’s a bigger screen so that immediately means that it’s going to require more battery power. Then, when you consider the fact that the new screen is an OLED screen… Its power consumption is directly related to brightness and according to CNET, a basic LCD screen (which the Nintendo Switch has) will draw less power than an OLED.
This means that the Nintendo Switch (OLED model) is less viable as a handheld console like the Nintendo Switch or (obviously) the Nintendo Switch Lite. Logically speaking, this means that it would be better suited to being a “home console” and thus make having an OLED screen a bit less of a priority.
Then, you find out the new Nintendo Switch console has a LAN Port.
When you’re playing a multiplayer game, having a stable connection is important. We all know that. Everyone has been hit with a “lag spike” at the worst time and lost a gunfight. It’s painful. Having a LAN Port in the Nintendo Switch Dock is undoubtedly a great feature for any platform with multiplayer capabilities.
However, when you look at what this Nintendo Switch console is trying to do… It seems like a strange contradiction. The OLED screen makes it seem like the new Nintendo Switch console is going to introduce a new age of clarity in handheld gaming, but the LAN Port makes it seem that the new Nintendo Switch console is going to be better suited as a TV console.
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It doesn’t look like the new Nintendo Switch, with an OLED screen, has 4K support. When you combine this with the fact that it’s just not as powerful, it puts it on the backfoot against the PS5 and Xbox Series X. We know Nintendo has IPs with multiplayer, but they don’t really need OLED displays. Generally speaking, Nintendo’s IPs are all brightly coloured with stylised graphics. The new Nintendo Switch console has an OLED screen, but it doesn’t look like the actual graphics are going to be improved.
It’s hard to see the Nintendo Switch as the primary multiplayer console for a household and that’s why the LAN Port just seems a bit pointless in the grand scheme of things.
There is increased internal storage… But, it comes at a price that shouldn’t be increased.
Of course, the increased internal storage is a fantastic feature. However, all you need to do to increase the storage for your Nintendo Switch at the moment is buy a Memory Card. This does seem a little bit outdated, but it works.
At the moment, you can buy a 64GB Memory Card for well under $20. Of course, there are also Memory Cards with more storage on the market. Either way, it isn’t too expensive to increase your Nintendo Switch console’s storage space and the fact that the new Nintendo Switch console only has an increase of 32GB seems like an insult when titles like Apex Legends are pushing 25GB at the moment.
64GB is still going to run out a lot quicker than you want it to on a Nintendo Switch and you’ll still need a Memory Card going forwards. It’s a nice addition to the console’s features, but something you feel should’ve been available at launch when you consider other consoles offer at least 500GB and often opt for 1TB of internal storage.
On the whole, it doesn’t seem like Nintendo know what sort of console the Switch needs to be.
We know that (aside from Nintendo’s IPs) the Nintendo Switch’s biggest selling point is its “hybrid” nature. It can seamlessly switch between TV Mode, Handheld Mode, and Tabletop Mode and offers an insane versatility other platforms don’t. However, this leaves it a mishmash of different features all working to push the Switch in different directions without fully elevating it to the next level.
It’s being improved for Handheld Mode and Tabletop Mode, but at a cost. It’s being improved for TV Mode, but rendering the other improvements almost obsolete. Cloud Gaming is growing in popularity and both Xbox and PlayStation offer services that allow players to use their mobile devices to stream games. When looking at a third-party title, it doesn’t make sense to pick a Nintendo Switch already and buying a new console isn’t going to change that.
The Nintendo Switch, with an OLED screen, is a nice improvement. However, if Nintendo wants to keep up with the next-gen consoles… It needs to be the new standard and not a pricier “Pro” model. The new Nintendo Switch console just doesn’t seem like it knows what it wants to be and it shouldn’t be charging people more because of that.