Nintendo Switch OLED vs Nintendo Switch: Which should you buy?
The Nintendo Switch OLED was released in late 2021 with some brand new features, including a new and improved kickstand, upgraded audio and, of course, a bigger and better OLED screen. However, the Switch OLED model was not greeted with a completely warm welcome, as it was not the upgrade that some die-hard Nintendo fans were hoping for. So, is the Newer Nintendo Switch OLED worth a purchase over the original Nintendo Switch Consoles? Let’s have a look.
What kind of gamer are you?
Firstly, let's have a look into your gaming habits:
- Light Gamer
When was the last time you played a video game? Do you even know who Mario and Sonic are? You’re probably a light gamer. Maybe you play a couple of mobile games on the way to work whilst on public transport? Perhaps you play some games when you go over to your mate's house as it gives you some nostalgia from playing games when you were younger. You probably don’t have any of the newest consoles at home - if you do, it's likely they are mainly used for Netflix and Amazon Video.
- Medium Gamer
Now we’re talking! You’ve got the work/play balance all sorted! You probably have a favourite character and go-kart combo to use when you’re about to play some Mario Kart. You’re secretly super competitive, but you try to play it cool if you ever lose a game. You’ve got some consoles at your disposal already - perhaps even a PS5 or Xbox Series X if you were super lucky. Maybe every couple of weeks, you secretly have a cheeky 8-hour gaming session with your favourite game - don’t worry, we won’t tell anyone!
- SUPER Gamer
You are the chosen one! You are the Gamer we all hope and aspire to be. You’ve definitely got more than one gaming console in your household already, right? You’ve probably streamed the odd game on YouTube and Twitch too? You don’t remember what sunlight looks like. Perhaps you play games professionally at ESports levels. Do you have a Gaming PC? if you do, I bet you’ve also got the flashy rainbow RGB keyboards right? You definitely beat your friends at most competitive games without breaking a sweat. You are a CHAMPION!
Nintendo Switch OLED vs regular Switch - it’s battle time!
Now that you have become one with your gaming habits, let’s get to know the consoles themselves and discuss the main upgrades from the original Nintendo Switch to the newer Nintendo Switch OLED.
Since March 2017, Nintendo has given people the Nintendo Switch with a 6.2” inch LCD screen and everyone loved it. They even released a Nintendo Switch Lite with a smaller 5.5” LCD and everyone loved that too. However, not only have Nintendo upgraded the physical size of the Nintendo Switch OLED screen to 7”, but they have also upgraded the screen technology itself. They’ve also slimmed down the bezels too, which gives the console a more premium look.
OLED technology easily out-ranks LCD displays when it comes to picture quality. This is due to OLED screens having increased saturation and the ability to effectively turn off certain areas of their screens. In doing this, it effectively produces the deepest black colours possible on-screen, whilst also preserving the brightest highlights, resulting in an exceedingly high contrast ratio. When you also add the fact that the screen itself is physically bigger, and brighter than the original switch, it all comes together to produce a visually better handheld experience.
The only caveat here is that whilst the OLED switch has a bigger and brighter high-quality screen, Nintendo has kept the resolution at 720p. Now, in theory, this means the older Nintendo Switch should technically produce a sharper image as the pixels are closer together - in reality, it’s not that obvious at all unless you look at your Nintendo Switch OLED with a magnifying glass - I know you Pixel Peepers are out there!
When the original Nintendo Switch came out, the Kickstand was a JOKE. Honestly, every single review would bash the console for its flimsy kickstand as it was barely suitable to hold up the Nintendo Switch in anything except the most perfect conditions.
Nintendo have finally come to their senses and included a Kickstand on the OLED switch which covers the whole back area of the console - similar to that of the Microsoft Surface Pro devices. This was an extremely welcomed upgrade on the Switch OLED and definitely worth upgrading to if you play your Switch in table-top mode quite often. However, there are a few grumbles amongst early Nintendo Switch adopters as they feel that this is the type of Kickstand Nintendo should have included on their first-gen console. Better late than never I suppose.
The new dock
One of the fancier releases alongside the new Nintendo Switch OLED is the new dock that comes with the consoles (also available to be purchased separately). The Nintendo Switch Dock allows Nintendo Switch owners to play their consoles on an external TV or a monitor - allowing players to switch from a cheeky personal portable experience to a big-screen family gaming experience in seconds.
The new dock comes in standard black or a cool arctic white colour which matches the white OLED console. It also comes with a more convenient wire management system and an Ethernet port which enables the user to plug their console directly into their broadband router for a smoother online gaming experience - well, as smooth as Nintendo servers can be. This could be done on the regular switch console too, however, you have to buy a separate USB to ethernet adapter for the dock.
Bear in mind, this will not work whilst the Switch is outside the dock. If - for some reason - you would like to play your switch in handheld mode, but still be connected to an ethernet cable, you will have to buy a USB C - Ethernet adapter. The dock is also compatible with every Nintendo Switch console apart from the Nintendo Switch Lite.
When the orignal Nintendo Switch first came out, there were hardly any games to download from the Nintendo E-Shop at all. This meant the 32GB internal storage was more than enough to get started with. However, a few years down the line, the Nintendo E-Shop is bursting with titles and 32GB simply won’t get you very far. Especially when considering the fact that some AAA Nintendo Switch Games can reach up to 20GB…before the DLC is included.
The Nintendo Switch OLED upgrades this with a 64GB internal memory which is a nice added touch - however, 64GB of storage is still not much with all the games available on the Nintendo E-Shop, and many users may find themselves reaching for an extra MicroSD card a lot sooner than expected. At least MicroSD cards are quite cheap, 128GB - 256GB should be more than sufficient for most gamers.
This one is a bit of a strange one. In the Nintendo Switch OLED reveal, Nintendo explained that the speakers on the Nintendo Switch OLED have been completely redesigned, upgraded and optimised for handheld mode.
Now, these speakers do sound good. They produce a well-balanced sound and enough clarity to give you a slight competitive edge in E-Sports titles such as Rogue Company - where it is necessary to hear which directions your opponents footsteps are coming from. However, my issue is that I do not feel these speakers are much of an upgrade over the original Nintendo Switch.
They’re not bad by any means - they’re just not as good as they were hyped up to be in my honest opinion.
A quick Nintendo Switch OLED specs comparison
|Display||6.2 inch LCD screen||6.2 inch LCD screen|
10.2cm x 23.9cm x 1.4cm (with
10.2cm x 23.9cm x 1.4cm (with
|Resolution||Up to 720p in handheld /up to 1080p docked||Up to 720p in handheld /up to 1080p docked|
|Battery life||4.5 - 9 hours||4.5 - 9 hours|
|KickStand||Yes - worst kickstand ever||Yes - worst kickstand ever|
|LAN Port||No (You can use Ethernet to USB adapter)||No (You can use Ethernet to USB adapter)|
|Internal storage||32GB internal storage/microSD cards||32GB internal storage/microSD cards|
|GPU/CPU||Custom Tegra X mobile processor.||Custom Tegra X mobile processor.|
|Amiibo NFC||On Joycons||On Joycons|
|Play Styles||TV / Handheld / Table Top Mode||TV / Handheld / Table Top Mode|
Should you upgrade to the New Nintendo Switch OLED?
Other than the above, every other feature between the Nintendo Switch OLED and the regular Nintendo switch are basically the same. The software is the same - the only difference is that you have the additional option to turn down the saturation levels in the settings in the OLED consoles. Even the internet connection (through Wi-Fi or ethernet) and download speeds are the same amongst both consoles.
They each have access to the same games and have similar gameplay performance due to the built-in CPU and GPU being identical. The same charging accessories which work on the Original Nintendo Switch will also work on the New Nintendo Switch too. However, the size of the Nintendo Switch OLED is slightly longer to accommodate the screen, which means cases that fit the original Switch may be too small for the OLED Switch.
If you’re a light gamer, I don’t think there is enough here to entice you to upgrade to the new OLED switch. A bigger screen, increased storage and a cool new dock may not seem worth it for you all. If you’ve already got a switch, you may as well stick with it until something much better hits the market.
If you’re a medium gamer, there’s quite a lot of stuff here which you may want to sink your teeth into. The new OLED screen is really nice and the colours are vivid and punchy. The switch OLED is definitely not a Necessity for you, but let’s not lie to ourselves, you like new stuff and you know you deserve it!
If you’re a SUPER Gamer, you already know the answer. You see a new games console and you buy it without a second thought. You’ll love the extra 32GB storage, you’ll also love the ethernet cable port for your online gaming domination. This is the perfect iteration of the Nintendo Switch available to you right now...Unless, perhaps you are holding out on the hope that Nintendo will release another new Switch with upgraded CPU/ GPU performance…
Nintendo Switch OLED FAQs
Is the Nintendo Switch OLED touch screen?
Yes, Of course! All Nintendo Switch Consoles have a Multi-touch capacitive touch screen. The screen on the OLED Switch is the biggest touch screen at 7-inches.
Is the Nintendo Switch OLED bigger?
The OLED Nintendo Switch is 0.1” longer than an original Nintendo Switch. You won’t notice this when holding it, however you will notice if you try to fit an OLED switch into a carry case made for the original Nintendo Switch.
How to connect a Nintendo Switch OLED to a tv?
You can do this via the dock using an HDMI cable.
Is the Nintendo Switch OLED better than the Nintendo Switch?
The Switch OLED has a plethora of upgrades over the original and Lite consoles - which clearly makes it an outright better purchase. However, it is slightly more expensive than the original switch console too, so you are essentially paying for the upgrades.
Where to buy a Nintendo Switch OLED in the UK?
Since all the chip shortages, it has been very tricky to find an OLED Nintendo Switch, but the usual suspects GAME, Argos, Currys and Amazon are usually the safest ways to find the elusive console. I would suggest signing up for email stock alerts. If you're feeling brave you could try eBay - however I would suggest you first read our Fake Shops buyers guide to make sure you have a safe purchase experience.