With its upgraded display, improved kickstand, and wired internet capabilities, Nintendo’s new Switch (OLED Model) is a compelling alternative to the original Switch. But at $350, is it worth the extra money? And if you already own a Switch or Switch Lite, should you even bother upgrading to an OLED Switch when it launches this October?
Looking for some straight-up info on the Nintendo Switch (OLED Model)? Check out our detailed writeup on Nintendo’s latest console (we’ll cover detailed information throughout this article, too).
Nintendo’s new Switch (OLED Model) costs $350, just $50 more than the standard Nintendo Switch and $150 more than the Switch Lite. For that extra money, you get a larger 7-inch display (up from 6.2 inches in the original model), which uses OLED technology to deliver more accurate colors and deeper contrast. It also packs a adjustable kickstand (a major upgrade from the OG Switch’s crappy kickstand), improved speakers, 64GB of built-in storage (up from 32GB), and wired internet capabilities when docked.
Unless you’re tight on cash, these improvements are absolutely worth an extra $50. Not only will you enjoy a flashier portable gaming experience, but the larger screen and upgraded kickstand make portable multiplayer, a rarely used feature on the original Switch, much more compelling.
That said, the new Switch (OLED Model) runs the same processor as previous models, has the same 9-hour battery life, and does not offer improved graphics while in docked mode. If you only plan on playing your Switch at a TV, then you won’t really benefit from the OLED Switch’s upgraded features—that is, unless you plan on playing a lot of online multiplayer. In that case, the Switch (OLED Model)’s Ethernet-equipped dock may be worth the extra money on its own.
Those who don’t really want a big screen or don’t want to pay an additional $150 for a console may want to stick with a $200 Switch Lite. Just bear in mind that the Switch Lite cannot connect to a TV, and its 5.5-inch display isn’t always comfortable when playing games with lots of text or detailed graphics (such as Monster Hunter, Skyrim, or Witcher 3).
If You Already Own a Switch
While the Switch (OLED Model) may be an obvious choice for newcomers, those who already own a Switch may find it hard to justify the upgrade. Several exciting OLED Switch rumors didn’t come true, and in the grand scheme of things, the new Switch is a minor upgrade from the original model—it doesn’t have an upgraded processor, its video resolution remains unchanged, and as far as we know, there aren’t any exclusive software features.
That said, the OLED Switch solves a lot of problems that you might have with your current Switch. The display is larger and better looking, the kickstand is actually usable, and Ethernet support in docked mode could give you a leg up in Splatoon 3.
It’s also worth mentioning that the Switch (OLED Model) works with existing Joy-Cons, so you don’t need to buy new controllers. That said, the OLED Switch is too big for Nintendo Labo toys and some third-party accessories, and Nintendo hasn’t clarified if it works with existing Switch docks or not (although this is only a problem if you’ve purchased multiple docks for your home).
If these upgrades are worth $350 to you, go for it. You could always sell your original Switch to help ease the upgrade cost—in good condition, they sell for around $250 on eBay (although that price may go down as other people try to upgrade this October). And if you’re feeling generous, you could always give your old Switch to a friend, family member, or significant other.
If You Already Own a Switch Lite
So you already own a cute, ultra-portable Nintendo Switch Lite. Upgrading to a new Switch (OLED Edition) will be a bit expensive, even if you sell your old console—Switch Lites currently go for about $130 on eBay. But this upgrade may be worth the cost, especially if you’re tired of the Switch Lite’s shortcomings.
If you’re wondering what shortcomings I’m talking about, then you’re probably happy with your Switch Lite and don’t need to upgrade. But for many people, the Switch Lite’s small display makes some games, especially those that are text-heavy like Skyrim, a bit difficult to play. The lack of dock support is also a major shortcoming, especially if you want to play games like Mario Party Superstars or Smash Bros with friends.
Maybe you’re sick of dealing with these problems, and in that case, upgrading to the Switch (OLED Model) is probably worth it. Just keep in mind that you could always buy an original Nintendo Switch instead—it solves all of the aforementioned Switch Lite problems but costs less than the new OLED model.
Nintendo plans to launch the Switch (OLED Model) on October 3rd, the same day that it releases Metroid Dread. If you want the new console and can afford the upgrade, then you should keep your eyes peeled for pre-orders. We’re in the middle of a semiconductor shortage, so it may be hard to get your hands on a Switch (OLED Model) when it finally hits store shelves.