I purchased Nintendo Switch along with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on launch day in 2017. For four years now, Switch has proven to be one of Nintendo’s strongest consoles, offering a wide array of great games. Some have been hankering for an upgrade though, especially after being spurred on by reports of a so-called “Switch Pro,” so when Nintendo revealed the Nintendo Switch OLED model instead, it solicited mixed reactions. However, even though the OLED model may not be what some wanted, it remains an excellent purchase for those who enjoy the portability of Nintendo Switch.
The brand new OLED screen is the main selling point, and the differences between the OLED model and its predecessors are immediately noticeable. Even at setup, the menus are a lot more vibrant, providing a mind-boggling experience during a normally mundane process. Over the past few days, I have been playing a variety of Switch games, including Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Tetris Effect: Connected, and of course Metroid Dread. These games all looked phenomenal on Switch OLED, providing the definitive way to play in handheld mode.
Nintendo Switch OLED makes it hard to imagine playing Metroid Dread in particular on anything else. Samus’ latest adventure has a lot of different environments to explore and is not coincidentally probably the perfect introduction to the capabilities of the OLED model. While exploring the planet ZDR, the OLED screen manages to bring the best out of the gameplay with colors that pop and blacks that are much blacker, especially when you’re in high-intensity combat scenarios.
Beyond the OLED screen, there are also improvements to the overall Nintendo Switch experience. For instance, the refined Nintendo Switch Dock has a slicker design, featuring a built-in ethernet port to improve the online capabilities of the system. Playing online matches of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a lot better while taking advantage of this feature; however, the servers could still do with a few more adjustments. Personally, I decided to go for the white version of the Nintendo Switch OLED, meaning that both the Joy-Con and dock are themed around this color palette, which makes for a nice complement with PlayStation 5 if you can find one.
Then there’s the Nintendo Switch OLED kickstand, which is a vast improvement over the flimsy piece of plastic featured on the original model. Being able to adjust the kickstand more freely is brilliant, especially when you’re on an airplane or are traveling long distances. This came in handy when I was playing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate with one of my friends, as we were able to properly adjust the angle of the screen to fit our needs. There have also been some improvements to the audio quality, as the Nintendo Switch OLED uses closed-type speakers, resulting in better sounds.
Finally, there is the extra bit of storage space. Instead of 32 GB, you have 64 GB, which is a palpable difference if you buy a lot of digital games, though you will likely end up investing in a micro SD card anyway if that’s the case. Speaking of which, the SD card slot has been moved slightly and is located at the bottom left corner of the system, and it looks more secure.
Overall, the Nintendo Switch OLED masterfully creates a portable gaming experience like no other. If you are playing your console docked, then this upgrade probably isn’t worth your hard-earned cash. However, those of you looking for better visual fidelity while playing in handheld mode will absolutely love your time with the OLED model. I’m excited to continue playing my backlog of games on this new beauty. This may not be a “Switch Pro,” but it sure as hell is the definitive way to play games on the go.