Home Gaming Nintendo Switch OLED Review: Another Successful Nintendo Iteration

Nintendo Switch OLED Review: Another Successful Nintendo Iteration

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Nintendo handhelds have thrived on their iterations. The leap from the Sport Boy to the Sport Boy Coloration was immense. The backlit display and clamshell design made the Sport Boy Advance SP a big enchancment over the unique GBA. The DS Lite slimmed down the awkwardly formed DS, whereas the DSi XL and 3DS XL added some a lot desired display actual property to their respective fashions.

Even with the iterative nature of Nintendo’s handhelds, skepticism across the Nintendo Change OLED is comprehensible since it is a console that’s riffing on arguably the perfect piece of {hardware} Nintendo has ever made with seemingly minor enhancements. However the Nintendo Change OLED is a marked enchancment over the unique and Change Lite. In the event you play so much in handheld mode, the OLED mannequin is a surprisingly big improve. And when you do not play your Change in handheld mode typically, the Change OLED’s new display is spectacular sufficient that it might change that.

OLED, oh wow

Sure, the gone however by no means forgotten PS Vita beat Nintendo to the OLED punch almost a decade in the past, however the Change OLED has the perfect show on any devoted handheld gaming gadget… ever. It begins with the design itself. Although the system is barely a fraction of an inch bigger than the usual Change, it presents almost a complete further inch of display actual property at a good seven inches. With considerably slimmer bezels, the OLED’s display provides off the phantasm of being way more spacious than its predecessor.

This presentational trick, if you wish to name it that, is much more evident if you’re enjoying video games. I examined Metroid Dread, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Tremendous Mario Odyssey, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and a number of other different video games on the Change OLED, and each seemed good on the brand new show. Brighter, extra vivid colours make an enormous distinction, particularly when enjoying video games with harsher colour tones in spots. It is smart that Metroid Dread is releasing alongside the OLED, as a side-scrolling Metroid sport feels at house in handheld mode, and it appears completely beautiful on the OLED show.

Whereas testing the OLED mannequin, I typically in contrast the show to the unique Change, and the distinction was hanging. After enjoying for a number of hours in a row on the Change OLED, I converted to my launch Change console and located that it took a little bit of time for my eyes to regulate to the duller tones. I say this as somebody who would’ve put the launch model of the Change on the high of my record for the perfect gaming console ever made. The Change OLED, in a matter of hours, turned me right into a believer that this actually floor stage improve is a game-changer.

Essentially the most spectacular facet of the OLED show really is not the way it compares to the unique Change’s display; it is the way it appears in comparison with TVs. Until you will have a 4K OLED TV, chances are high that the Change OLED will boast a extra vibrant image on its show than your TV is able to. Granted, I’ve a mid-tier 4K LED TV, however the common individual is not more likely to have a high-end OLED TV. In impact, the Change OLED might encourage gamers to ditch docked mode for handheld mode extra typically, supplied that body fee and total efficiency is identical (which isn’t at all times the case on the unique Change). I enormously most well-liked enjoying Metroid Dread in handheld mode due to the display’s elevated readability and extra colourful image in comparison with my TV.

Different enhancements

The Change OLED’s largest enchancment is in its title, however Nintendo additionally made some welcome additions elsewhere. The dock is wider and extra aesthetically pleasing because of rounded edges on the highest. The again panel that homes the ports pops off as a substitute of getting a hinged flap. That is the place you may discover one other notable addition: an ethernet port. It is nonetheless relatively baffling that the unique Change did not ship with a LAN port, forcing customers to purchase third-party adapters as a substitute. The added port unsurprisingly makes an enormous distinction for obtain speeds and can seemingly present a extra steady on-line gaming connection for many customers. That mentioned, the Nintendo Change’s on-line efficiency troubles could stem from components that transcend particular person Wi-Fi connections.

I can depend the variety of occasions on one hand that I’ve ever used the unique Change’s flimsy kickstand for tabletop mode. The small piece of plastic that propped up the unique Change to play multiplayer with no TV wasn’t ideally suited, however the OLED fixes this with a wide-hinged stand that spans your entire again panel of the console. It is sturdy and will be positioned at a number of angles; critically, it does not really feel as if it can snap simply from messing with it. Although a smaller element, the again panel has a barely tough end to it, and to date it appears much less susceptible to these “scratch” marks that popped up on my authentic Change not lengthy after getting it.

The OLED additionally doubles the onboard storage from 32GB to 64GB. It is a good enchancment, however those that sport on Change so much will nonetheless must increase their space for storing through microSD. Since microSD playing cards are so low-cost anyway, there is not any motive to contemplate the elevated space for storing as an actual promoting level; it is extra of a bit of bonus.

No Caption Provided

Whereas the OLED mannequin sticks with stereo audio system, audio is sharper and louder than earlier than. It isn’t a large enchancment, nevertheless it’s actually noticeable when enjoying with the quantity cranked up. For transportable play, you are still higher off utilizing a pair of good headphones, nevertheless it’s a noteworthy improve for tabletop mode.

The place it is the identical

It is essential to emphasize that the internals of the system are precisely the identical as the usual Change. It has the identical chipset, so total efficiency between Change fashions does not differ. I in contrast load occasions to verify, however nothing runs sooner or smoother on the OLED. The console has the identical port structure on high with the ability button, quantity controls, headphone jack, and sport card slot positioned from left to proper, respectively, and the microSD card slot continues to be positioned beneath the kickstand.

The Change OLED’s battery is identical because the upgraded mannequin that launched in 2019. It is graded to final for 4.5 to 9 hours on a single cost. I performed Metroid Dread for over 5 hours between costs, however battery life continues to be depending on the video games and apps you are utilizing in your Change. In the event you nonetheless have a launch mannequin Change or Change Lite, the elevated battery life is one other welcome improve to contemplate.

It is value noting that Nintendo hasn’t up to date the Pleasure-Cons for the OLED mannequin, so they’re nonetheless vulnerable to Pleasure-Con drift. I’ve solely examined the console for round 25 hours, so I have not skilled any drift (and surprisingly by no means have with any Pleasure-Cons). This additionally signifies that the OLED is appropriate with all present Pleasure-Con controllers, together with third-party attachments just like the Hori Cut up Pad Professional, which I personally examined with the OLED mannequin.

Hidden prices

The Change OLED is pretty expensive at $350, particularly when you already personal a Change console that works simply high-quality. There are some hidden prices right here, too. For starters, you may most likely wish to seize a set of display protectors to guard your shiny new show. Whereas many Nintendo Change circumstances will match the OLED mannequin, form-fitting designs will seemingly should be changed. In the event you use a grip to make the Change extra ergonomic in handheld mode, you may seemingly want a brand new one in some unspecified time in the future. Inflexible plastic grips will not match the OLED in any respect (not a shock), and versatile silicone fashions (just like the one I’ve) are a decent squeeze and make the ports on high of the console inaccessible.

The Backside Line

The Nintendo Change OLED is a extra spectacular redesign than you’d most likely anticipate. The enormously improved show makes enjoying the Change in handheld mode much more of a pleasure, and the opposite quality-of-life upgrades, significantly the retooling of the dock and the kickstand, provide good options that will probably be appreciated by many. In the event you’re seeking to purchase a Nintendo Change for the primary time, it is best to completely go for the OLED mannequin when you can. And for Nintendo followers who’re questioning if the show is value shelling out $350, it relies upon how a lot you worth handheld mode. The Change OLED is one other iteration on a chunk of Nintendo {hardware} that I did not know I wanted till I received it in my arms for the primary time.


Concerning the creator: Steven Petite examined the Change OLED, primarily in handheld mode, for about 25 hours. He’s now making an attempt to persuade his spouse that he wants an OLED TV. Nintendo supplied a pattern of the Change OLED for evaluate.

Nintendo handhelds have thrived on their iterations. The leap from the Sport Boy to the Sport Boy Coloration was immense. The backlit display and clamshell design made the Sport Boy Advance SP a big enchancment over the unique GBA. The DS Lite slimmed down the awkwardly formed DS, whereas the DSi XL and 3DS XL added some a lot desired display actual property to their respective fashions.

Even with the iterative nature of Nintendo’s handhelds, skepticism across the Nintendo Change OLED is comprehensible since it is a console that’s riffing on arguably the perfect piece of {hardware} Nintendo has ever made with seemingly minor enhancements. However the Nintendo Change OLED is a marked enchancment over the unique and Change Lite. In the event you play so much in handheld mode, the OLED mannequin is a surprisingly big improve. And when you do not play your Change in handheld mode typically, the Change OLED’s new display is spectacular sufficient that it might change that.

OLED, oh wow

Sure, the gone however by no means forgotten PS Vita beat Nintendo to the OLED punch almost a decade in the past, however the Change OLED has the perfect show on any devoted handheld gaming gadget… ever. It begins with the design itself. Although the system is barely a fraction of an inch bigger than the usual Change, it presents almost a complete further inch of display actual property at a good seven inches. With considerably slimmer bezels, the OLED’s display provides off the phantasm of being way more spacious than its predecessor.

This presentational trick, if you wish to name it that, is much more evident if you’re enjoying video games. I examined Metroid Dread, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Tremendous Mario Odyssey, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and a number of other different video games on the Change OLED, and each seemed good on the brand new show. Brighter, extra vivid colours make an enormous distinction, particularly when enjoying video games with harsher colour tones in spots. It is smart that Metroid Dread is releasing alongside the OLED, as a side-scrolling Metroid sport feels at house in handheld mode, and it appears completely beautiful on the OLED show.

Whereas testing the OLED mannequin, I typically in contrast the show to the unique Change, and the distinction was hanging. After enjoying for a number of hours in a row on the Change OLED, I converted to my launch Change console and located that it took a little bit of time for my eyes to regulate to the duller tones. I say this as somebody who would’ve put the launch model of the Change on the high of my record for the perfect gaming console ever made. The Change OLED, in a matter of hours, turned me right into a believer that this actually floor stage improve is a game-changer.

Essentially the most spectacular facet of the OLED show really is not the way it compares to the unique Change’s display; it is the way it appears in comparison with TVs. Until you will have a 4K OLED TV, chances are high that the Change OLED will boast a extra vibrant image on its show than your TV is able to. Granted, I’ve a mid-tier 4K LED TV, however the common individual is not more likely to have a high-end OLED TV. In impact, the Change OLED might encourage gamers to ditch docked mode for handheld mode extra typically, supplied that body fee and total efficiency is identical (which isn’t at all times the case on the unique Change). I enormously most well-liked enjoying Metroid Dread in handheld mode due to the display’s elevated readability and extra colourful image in comparison with my TV.

No Caption Provided

Different enhancements

The Change OLED’s largest enchancment is in its title, however Nintendo additionally made some welcome additions elsewhere. The dock is wider and extra aesthetically pleasing because of rounded edges on the highest. The again panel that homes the ports pops off as a substitute of getting a hinged flap. That is the place you may discover one other notable addition: an ethernet port. It is nonetheless relatively baffling that the unique Change did not ship with a LAN port, forcing customers to purchase third-party adapters as a substitute. The added port unsurprisingly makes an enormous distinction for obtain speeds and can seemingly present a extra steady on-line gaming connection for many customers. That mentioned, the Nintendo Change’s on-line efficiency troubles could stem from components that transcend particular person Wi-Fi connections.

I can depend the variety of occasions on one hand that I’ve ever used the unique Change’s flimsy kickstand for tabletop mode. The small piece of plastic that propped up the unique Change to play multiplayer with no TV wasn’t ideally suited, however the OLED fixes this with a wide-hinged stand that spans your entire again panel of the console. It is sturdy and will be positioned at a number of angles; critically, it does not really feel as if it can snap simply from messing with it. Although a smaller element, the again panel has a barely tough end to it, and to date it appears much less susceptible to these “scratch” marks that popped up on my authentic Change not lengthy after getting it.

The OLED additionally doubles the onboard storage from 32GB to 64GB. It is a good enchancment, however those that sport on Change so much will nonetheless must increase their space for storing through microSD. Since microSD playing cards are so low-cost anyway, there is not any motive to contemplate the elevated space for storing as an actual promoting level; it is extra of a bit of bonus.

No Caption Provided

Whereas the OLED mannequin sticks with stereo audio system, audio is sharper and louder than earlier than. It isn’t a large enchancment, nevertheless it’s actually noticeable when enjoying with the quantity cranked up. For transportable play, you are still higher off utilizing a pair of good headphones, nevertheless it’s a noteworthy improve for tabletop mode.

The place it is the identical

It is essential to emphasize that the internals of the system are precisely the identical as the usual Change. It has the identical chipset, so total efficiency between Change fashions does not differ. I in contrast load occasions to verify, however nothing runs sooner or smoother on the OLED. The console has the identical port structure on high with the ability button, quantity controls, headphone jack, and sport card slot positioned from left to proper, respectively, and the microSD card slot continues to be positioned beneath the kickstand.

The Change OLED’s battery is identical because the upgraded mannequin that launched in 2019. It is graded to final for 4.5 to 9 hours on a single cost. I performed Metroid Dread for over 5 hours between costs, however battery life continues to be depending on the video games and apps you are utilizing in your Change. In the event you nonetheless have a launch mannequin Change or Change Lite, the elevated battery life is one other welcome improve to contemplate.

It is value noting that Nintendo hasn’t up to date the Pleasure-Cons for the OLED mannequin, so they’re nonetheless vulnerable to Pleasure-Con drift. I’ve solely examined the console for round 25 hours, so I have not skilled any drift (and surprisingly by no means have with any Pleasure-Cons). This additionally signifies that the OLED is appropriate with all present Pleasure-Con controllers, together with third-party attachments just like the Hori Cut up Pad Professional, which I personally examined with the OLED mannequin.

Hidden prices

The Change OLED is pretty expensive at $350, particularly when you already personal a Change console that works simply high-quality. There are some hidden prices right here, too. For starters, you may most likely wish to seize a set of display protectors to guard your shiny new show. Whereas many Nintendo Change circumstances will match the OLED mannequin, form-fitting designs will seemingly should be changed. In the event you use a grip to make the Change extra ergonomic in handheld mode, you may seemingly want a brand new one in some unspecified time in the future. Inflexible plastic grips will not match the OLED in any respect (not a shock), and versatile silicone fashions (just like the one I’ve) are a decent squeeze and make the ports on high of the console inaccessible.

The Backside Line

The Nintendo Change OLED is a extra spectacular redesign than you’d most likely anticipate. The enormously improved show makes enjoying the Change in handheld mode much more of a pleasure, and the opposite quality-of-life upgrades, significantly the retooling of the dock and the kickstand, provide good options that will probably be appreciated by many. In the event you’re seeking to purchase a Nintendo Change for the primary time, it is best to completely go for the OLED mannequin when you can. And for Nintendo followers who’re questioning if the show is value shelling out $350, it relies upon how a lot you worth handheld mode. The Change OLED is one other iteration on a chunk of Nintendo {hardware} that I did not know I wanted till I received it in my arms for the primary time.


Concerning the creator: Steven Petite examined the Change OLED, primarily in handheld mode, for about 25 hours. He’s now making an attempt to persuade his spouse that he wants an OLED TV. Nintendo supplied a pattern of the Change OLED for evaluate.

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