The New Switch OLED Wasn’t What Anyone Was Hoping For

The New Switch OLED Wasn’t What Anyone Was Hoping For
Maybe it's iced coffee? Is that cream? These are the big questions. (Screenshot: Nintendo)

For the past couple of years, Nintendo fans have been eagerly awaiting news of a new, more powerful version of the Nintendo Switch. We’ve been expecting a more robust Switch, capable of running games at faster frame rates and higher resolutions than ever before. The Switch (OLED Model) Nintendo announced this morning? That ain’t it.

Have you ever been expecting to receive a certain gift for Christmas or your birthday? Something special, maybe an item you’ve been dropping hints about for months. The big day comes, you tear into the wrapped packages, hoping each one contains that one particular item, but when the colourful paper settles to the floor, the thing you want is nowhere to be found? That’s how this morning’s Switch OLED reveal felt this Tuesday morning. I keep wanting to poke around the back of the tree to see if I missed something.

Oh sure, we got the fancy new 7-inch OLED display we’ve been hearing about since March. That’s a marked improvement over the current console’s 6.2 inch LCD, crisper and sharper. Combined with the new kickstand, as wide as the core Switch unit and fully-adjustable, this new model is a huge upgrade for folks who like to play their Switch in tabletop mode, perhaps while drinking large glasses of refreshing iced tea. The enhanced built-in speakers should help as well.It’s also got 64GB of internal storage compared to the original Switch’s 32GB. That makes this the perfect model for people who want to squeeze in another week before caving and purchasing the highest capacity Micro SD card possible. Tabletop players and SD card hold-outs should be over-the-moon right about now.

And I’m not going to ignore what the enhanced display will do for folks who play their Switch in handheld mode. The things they are used to looking at on the smaller Switch or Switch Lite screens will be bigger and brighter than before. Will the novelty of the larger screen fade in a week or two after purchasing the new model this October? Yes, if not sooner. But for that one, shining moment, that new screen is going to be everything. Maybe even enough that you won’t mind the lack of upgraded battery life.

Because really, it is everything. It’s right there in the bad name Nintendo picked. Switch (OLED Model). Not New Nintendo Switch. Not Super Switch. Not Nintendo Switch Pro. Just a notation in parentheses, because that’s all this new model deserves. The upgraded console we’ve been dreaming of for a couple of years now can keep those fancy names we brainstormed. This is just the Switch (Somewhat Upgraded But Not By Much).

Hey, at least it comes out the same day as Metroid Dread. (Screenshot: Nintendo) Hey, at least it comes out the same day as Metroid Dread. (Screenshot: Nintendo)

Most disappointed of all by this modest update to the Switch hardware are players like me, who use the Switch nearly exclusively in docked mode. The new display means absolutely nothing in docked mode. Metroid Dread, launching alongside the new console version, will look exactly the same on my monitor no matter which Switch I use. The kickstand? Nothing. The enhanced speakers? Nothing. The extra storage? Well I guess that’s fine, but for the sake of consistency I am going to say nothing. The built-in wired network port in the new docking station is neat, but I’m pretty sure my older Switch is going to fit in that new docking station just fine, considering the new console’s dimensions are exactly the same.

Instead, my New Super Nintendo Switch Pro hopes and dreams all hinged on the promise of enhanced power. We dreamt of faster frame rates. We expected support for 4K docked resolutions. This is what all of the early reports and supposed leaks told us. From the early 2019 rumours up to this year’s E3, where the new model failed to surface, 4K was the one consistent expected feature. Hell, a 4K docked Switch could have meant a full HD undocked Switch. But no, we’ve got the same 720p undocked resolution and the same full HD docked.

I am not alone in my disappointment over this (OLED Model) either. A quick search of Twitter reveals a whole lot of underwhelmed people complaining about the lack of 4K support for this otherwise incremental hardware upgrade. Comparisons are being made to the PlayStation Vita, which launched in 2012 with an OLED screen. We even got a new version of my favourite Sailor Moon meme, which so far I consider the best thing to come of this morning’s announcement.

The Nintendo Switch is a great little console/handheld hybrid, absolutely packed with fun games to play and exciting new ways to play them. That’s not going to change with the Switch (OLED Model). That’s the problem, really. Not much is going to change at all, and I’m left dejectedly nosing about the pine needles on the floor beneath the Christmas tree, hoping I missed something better.

Comments

    • Yeah, at this point anyone who assumes Nintendo are going to do something sensible deserve what they get.

      I hope you said the same thing to people who complained about needing a phone to do voice chat back when that first launched as well.

      “Nintendo never promised you wouldnt need to hook up a phone to do voice chat, thats on you for expecting it something not completely stupid”

      • You sound stupid sheesh, it literally wasn’t a promise you being let down by your own expectations is on you.

        • I wasnt let down, I have no expectations from Nintendo.

          The Switch is my second biggest console regret of the last generation so I am not desperate to give Nintendo more money for a slightly faster one.

          I just really enjoy laughing at Nintendo when they fail to read the room.

  • And they seemingly still havent fixed stick drift. So i still wont buy any version untill they do.

    • They fix drift for free outside warranty, they also have something that recentres it and I’ve had a switch since V1 launch and a V2 and none have had drift issues.

      • The issue shouldn’t be occurring in the first place. Them fixing a widespread issue for free isn’t positive give the issue with happen again anyway. If a car had a chance to blow up while driving I still wouldn’t buy it if the company was offering to fix it temporarily for free.

        ” They also have something that recentres it ”
        The software updates don’t fix it, they just increase the deadzone so you dont notice it anymore. Nothing but a bandaid fix on a deep gushing wound.

        ” I’ve had a switch since V1 launch and a V2 and none have had drift issues.”
        Your anecdotal evidence does not cancel out the widely reported and proven issue.

      • I also haven’t had any issues, but plenty of people have so I do acknowledge it’s absolutely a thing – I think it isn’t something they can’t really fix though.

        As far as I’m aware there’s basically only one company making joysticks at the volumes recquired for consoles and controllers and all of their products work in a similar way and will eventually wear out and register false inputs for similar reasons. iirc every single joystick made in the way they are currently will eventually drift, it’s just a matter of when.

        The switch may be more susceptible with those smaller joysticks or because it’s portable, but if that’s the case I don’t imagine they have the option of larger joysticks in the size or form factor they’re going for.

    • This is an issue with every gamepad, not just the Nintendo ones. But the others won’t fix it, you just have to replace.

      You’re fighting the wrong battle.

    • While I haven’t experienced stick drift in the Switch (no-one in this house plays it enough) It has been a common problem with my Xbox controllers (not the PS4 ones though) maybe they should crib whatever set up Sony uses on the DualShock 4

  • I understand their frustration, but at the same time, people need to remember that Nintendo are successful because they decided not to compete with the other console makers and create a new group of customers for themselves with the Wii. This is what is called a ‘blue ocean strategy’. By opening up a new customer segment, they made their competitors irrelevant and reaped the profits by selling more Wii’s than ps3s and 360s combined.

    The Wii U failed because they didn’t realise that the customer segment that bought the Wii in droves is not the type of group to need the latest iteration of a console.

    The Switch has been successful because it has combined the group that bought the wii, finally ready to upgrade, with the previously Nintendo hand-held group.

    So as much as we might criticise Nintendo’s decisions not to make a beefier switch, we are really the ones being foolish: we want Nintendo to re-enter the red ocean of competition with Sony and Microsoft, when they have no intention to do any such thing, and based on console sales, their strategy has proven to be correct so far.

      • What percentage of games on the switch have frame rate issues? And are they the best selling games? Are they the games that Nintendo’s customer base (more casual gamers) are interested in playing?
        Nintendo are just doing what works for them. You and I may not like it, heck I bought Samurai Shodown and was a little appalled at how bad it looked while docked, but Nintendo’s sales figures don’t lie…

        • Which games have framerate issues? It’s not just downscaled high-horsepower titles like Witcher 3 and Doom. It’s ALL the new ones with graphics more demanding than pixel art, and yes, that includes relatively laid-back best-sellers like FUCKING ANIMAL CROSSING.

          Pokemon, Hyrule Warriors/Age of Calamity, Mario Golf, oh fuckit let’s save some keystrokes and say 90% of the approved games on the Nintendo Online voucher list have framerate issues in docked mode, let alone hand-held.

          Forget about NEW titles, like the Breath of the Wild sequel or Pokemon Legends. Those are going to be fucked for framerate drops.

          It really is a prevalent and annoying problem, and it’s galling that they are doing jack shit to fix it.

          • Even the pixel art or more artsy style games are having frame drops because there’s not enough RAM to load in assets properly. The better question would be what games do have a stable framerate on a Switch?

          • I asked because I don’t play that many games on the Switch. The ones I do play I have had no issues with, including Pokemon Sword. Had no issues with Fire Emblem Three Houses, Breath of the Wild or Super Smash Bros Ultimate either. Is it possible that some people are overstating the problem? If Pokemon Sword suffers a frame rate drop a few times across your plathrough, to then say that it has issues is to make a mountain out of a molehill.

      • I didn’t realise Sony and Microsoft let you play AAA games on the bus / train / in a car / school lunch, etc with no internet connection.

        This is an entirely different market. The adult gamers with 3 consoles and a gaming pc are the minority switch users.

  • Well, looks like a few of us were right on the money in the comments of ‘why wasn’t it at e3?’ post. It was never a thing, and media outlets were fooling themselves every time they wrote about it.

    Hell, the specs that people were gushing about could have been the remnants of an April Fools’ joke about Nintendo and their aversion to powerful hardware.

    So in this case ‘we’ knew it was never going to happen. ‘We’ are not surprised. We are highly amused at the ‘well, we never needed 4K anyway!’ damage control piece since that was what they were pushing as evidence of the awesomeness of the Switch ‘Pro’.

    Given how much the SOLED is going to retail for, I could easily see Nintendo selling the mythical white whale edition with 4K for $1k or so.

    • Yep.

      I blame all of the journos and media, and stories just like this one, that were totally convinced a 4K “Switch Pro” was coming and were reporting about it a number of times a week to try to convince everyone else. I never bought the rumours, and nobody else should have either. Have you seen the size of the PS5 and XSX? You really think something the size of a Switch can do 4K? Not a chance.

      A 4K Switch was never going to happen.

      • Facepalm.
        It was never about AAA 3D games running natively in 4k, it was about the system supporting a 4k display (either internally or externally) – two very different things.
        DLSS allows for 4k output using non 4k resolutions, and the new NVIDIA chips are capable of using it.
        There are plenty of phones that have 4k displays and they are much smaller than the switch. These devices also support HDMI out in 4k.
        1080p output on the switch to a 4k TV looks like absolute garbage, and allowing for 4k display ouput would of helped immensely.

  • Switch oled! Why not just go back to full portable at this point, clearly not designed for modern TVs anyway. The speaker upgrade must have the guys at Nintendo rolling on the floor.

    “And we upgraded the speakers” bahahaha

    • Speaker upgrade could of just been a side effect of changing to a new supplier, probably didn’t cost them anything.

  • Until they fix the drift, I’m not getting it. I don’t wanna still be paying $110 every year or every two years.

  • Saves me $540 at least, or a $299 upgrade. I only ever play it docked and it’s got nothing at all for me.

  • I feel for the people who were holding out for this, but it’s important to set your expectations appropriately, especially when youlook at the recent history of insider reports pretty much confirming things like the N64 and Gameboy mini, only for these projects to amount to nothing.

    I personally hate this new concept of releasing wildly upgraded versions halfway through a console’s lifecycle (I basically haven’t touched my PS4 ever since I would read that newer games struggled on the base PS4). I just want to play through a generation without the expectation that I should throw another $500 to have an experience on par with others.

    I personally don’t understand why people are so excited to throw more money for crumbs, but here we are.

  • I’ve preordered. I have a launch model, and the majority of my time with it is playing in handheld mode so the bigger brighter screen will be an improvement for me, as well as the extra battery life.

      • From the launch model it should be better, there was a soft refresh that changed the internals of the regular Switch to be more efficient and use less battery. It’s assumed that the OLED model wouldn’t go back to those older internals and the screen wouldn’t take significantly more or less battery life so, yeah – more battery life from the launch model is very likely if not outright certain.

    • If you have a launch model, it would be better to keep it for jailbreaking (awesome emulation machine)

  • Wasn’t what anyone was hoping for or literally not what you’re hoping for? It’s great for the people who don’t play docked, I have a PS4/xBoxOneX if I want the “Docking” experience with better graphics, even my PC, but I want the handheld experience and that’s what I get with the Switch.

  • Comparing the Gameboy and DS lineup and the innovation and changes they made should they like to improve hand held gaming power.

    Look at the Switch and its all “Its good enough, make it lighter and cheaper” and now it’s “Its good enough just put in a newer screen and speakers and make it pricier”.

    This isn’t going to appease investors or fans who been asking Nintendo to be more aggressive and innovative in console updates.

  • Expecting 4K output on a Nvidia Tegra, or even newer hardware to suit the form factor is more than optimistic. Solid 60fps 1080p would have been nice though.

  • This is not the Nintendo Switch Pro and instead all we get is a load of this bullshit which is a Nintendo Switch OLED model with a 7-inch OLED screen 64GB of internal storage enhanced audio a wide adjustable stand and a built-in wired LAN port to connect to Nintendo Switch Online while you’re in TV mode.
    Fuck off with this bullshit already.

  • I’ve pre-ordered to replace my aging launch switch which doesn’t even have the extra battery life from the silent upgrade. An OLED screen slightly bigger will make a huge difference in handheld… or chestheld as I often use my switch – lying on my back in bed, a thin book or ipad with a stand on it on my chest, the switch mounted on the stand, and then joycons in each hand and hands stretched out – it is glorious.

    If you’re counting your pennies right now though I cannot recommend the Xbox Series S more – it’s just fantastic how many old games have been upgraded to 60fps. And incredibly it’s cheaper than this new switch!

  • Should have just announced a Switch Refresh, as that is all this is about, still waiting on an actual Switch (Pro/2.0)upgrade as the console has had the same issues since day one. (Lag/freezes/dropouts)

  • I find it hilarious that the Nintendo Pro rumor was kicked off by the same article that leaked the purchase of Samsung OLED screens… only to find out that was it, just new screens.

    Feels rather anti-climactic, and a waste of potential to innovate and improve an aging product.

    Will it hurt sales, of Switches, no.

    But it cost them “Pro” sales…
    That will hurt their share price in the long run cause their investors have been wanting smart phone like innovations every 18 months.

    So what is the future of Nintendo in 2022?

  • Man, a lot of angry neck-beards on the internet today, getting mad about a console getting a very slight upgrade, because it’s not the ‘pro’ that they made up in their own imaginations.

    Meanwhile, PS and Xbox have been doing this shit for years – mid-cycle console redesigns with only tiny improvements, mostly cosmetic – and everyone’s fine with that…?

  • Guys you know what on second thought if this isn’t the Nintendo Switch Pro we were hoping for then fuck it I’m going to preorder the Nintendo Switch OLED anyways so I can transfer my games save data from my current Nintendo Switch over to the Nintendo Switch OLED model but a 7-inch OLED screen yes please enhanced audio for better sound yes wide adjustable stand yes and built-in LAN port yes please.
    But now it’s up to you guys do you want to stick with the current Nintendo Switch you own or do you want to upgrade to the Nintendo Switch OLED model with a much bigger screen?

  • Does anyone know if the display will be glass this time?
    The plastic screen on the switch is bloody terrible.

    • Pretty sure its the same plastic. If they made it glass they would of promoted it, boasted about its durability, named dropped Corning.

      Given the bigger screen it’s only 13 grams heavier.

  • I mean I’m both shocked but not shocked at all. Nintendo pretty much let down its fan base consistently riding on the good will of it’s nostalgia and loyalty to keep fans. I REALLY hope this is a flop and makes them realise they can’t just slap on a new hat and we’ll lap it up.

  • I understand your concern and frustration guys and that this isn’t the Nintendo Switch Pro we were hoping for.
    But guys you should know that the Nintendo Switch OLED console model has a 7-inch OLED screen compared to the original model which has a 6.2 inch screen.
    If you don’t want to preorder the Nintendo Switch OLED console model that’s coming out on October 8 this year then that’s fine by me but you should know that the Nintendo Switch OLED console has a 7-inch OLED screen a wide angled kickstand enhanced audio f0r better s0und and a built-in wired LAN Ethernet port for you to connect to Nintendo Switch Online.
    I’m preordering the Nintendo Switch OLED console anyway but whether you want to upgrade to the Nintendo Switch OLED console or not it’s entirely up to you to decide.

  • Good news is won’t have to worry about scalpers.

    They should just the the unit no dock no joy cons

    • Yep, EB Games had very good stock this morning and by all accounts still do. If anything, I’m glad that they didn’t give a massive upgrade because I mainly wanted the brighter screen (+ battery life) and now don’t have to deal with scalpers. I just wish it wasn’t so pricey.

      • I missed the “sell” there you got my point tho 🙂

        Im still betting on botw2 upgrade, even if it’s only cosmetic. Sad this abusive relationship with N.

        I walked into a door!!!

        • Yeah, but if they do that, how can they gouge even more people for broken controllers they don’t actually want? /s Then again, I was planning on getting one for my mum for Christmas, so the timing is at least roughly close enough.

          BotW 2 I’m kind of iffy on if there’ll be an upgrade. Nintendo’s making enough money from existing Switch purchases for them to not bother as their board meetings keep pointing out. Which leaves us in this terrible state of garbage controllers and poor framerate stability. Why did Sony have to kill the Vita with their mismanagement?

    • If anything scalpers maybe worse, Nintendo did have supply and stock issues last year for a fair while.

      Strongly recommend only buying it from brick and morters or reputable dealers after launch, will see scammers buy the OLED, reuse the box to put an outdated or broken launch switch and try to resell it or get refunds.

  • And here i am thinking “sweet. Bigger and better screen, exactly what i wanted!”

    Do wish they’d include Bluetooth though but it’s Nintendo, they’re weird.

  • Hopefully they at least unlock some performance from the updated SoC that came in a few years ago.

  • *sees everyone crack the shits and complaining like nintendo kicked them in the shin and took their lollipop because its not a switch pro*
    And here i am kinda relieved that i dont need to upgrade my switch when i still havent got a PS5 or new Xbox yet.

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