Fans have spent much of the last few years debating whether Nintendo’s next Switch console would be called the Switch Pro or the Switch 2, and of course the Kyoto company has managed to surprised us with the Switch (OLED model).
That’s to give the new console its slightly clunky official name, brackets included. That does at least give away the core new feature – a larger, 7in OLED screen – but Nintendo has packed a few other upgrades in, not to mention a swanky white colourway.
Those hoping for performance upgrades beyond the display might be disappointed though, with no mention of a new CPU or GPU, and no sign of the much-rumoured 4K graphics support.
Here’s everything we know about the Nintendo Switch OLED.
When will the Nintendo Switch OLED be released?
Nintendo has confirmed that the new OLED version of the Switch will release on 8 October – the same day the company launches Metroid Dread, the new 2D installment in the fan-favourite sci-fi series.
That means the new release comes a little over four years after the original Switch, and almost exactly two years after the Switch Lite – both of which will remain on sale for now, giving fans three Switches to choose from.
How much does the new Switch cost?
The Switch OLED model will cost $349.99, though we’re still waiting to find out how much it will cost in the rest of the world.
That’s a $50 increase from the $299 regular model – which remains at that price officially – suggesting that in the UK the Switch OLED might cost £329, which would be £50 more than the £279 of the standard Switch.
In Europe, €349 seems likely, as the regular Switch matches the US here at €299.
What’s new in the OLED Switch?
While fans had hoped for a serious upgrade to the Switch – to justify that rumoured Pro name – instead the Switch (OLED) is a more conservative step forward.
Most notably, it doesn’t appear to include any actual core performance upgrades, and won’t support 4K video output – two key expectations from gamers.
Still, there’s plenty that is new, so here’s what’s changed.
7in OLED display
The first big change is in the name.
The Switch (OLED) features – you guessed it – an OLED screen. Nintendo says that the new screen is more vibrant, with “vivid colours and high contrast.”
It’s also larger, at 7in – compared to a 6.2in display on the original Switch. The console itself is only fractionally larger – it’s about 0.1in longer – so the larger screen has instead been achieved by shrinking the bezel, so there are much smaller black bars around the console’s display.
Nintendo hasn’t mentioned any change in resolution, so it seems likely that the handheld display is still capped at 720p, with TV output limited to 1080p – if you want 4K you’ll have to keep on waiting.
White colour scheme
Before you spot the OLED screen, you might spot the slick new white finish of the Switch OLED.
Not only are the console’s two Joy-Con now white, but so is the new dock – more on that in a bit.
If you prefer the classic colourway, the Switch OLED will also be available with a black dock and Neon Red and Neon Blue Joy-Cons – just like the original Switch.
Thanks to Nintendo keeping the size consistent, any existing Switch Joy-Con will work with the new hardware, so you won’t be limited to the default colours if you’re not a fan.
Another small hardware tweak is an improvement to the plastic kickstand on the rear of the console.
Firstly, it’s now much wider – almost the full length of the console. This should make it much more stable than the smaller kickstand on the original, which sat on one side and left the console a little unbalanced.
Just as importantly, the kickstand is now adjustable, letting you pick from a few specific angles to sit the console at for tabletop play – a welcome bit of extra flexibility.
We’ve already mentioned the new white version of the dock. but that’s not its only surprise. Whichever colour you opt for, the new Switch OLED comes with a dock that includes a LAN port, allowing you to hook the console up to wired internet for faster speeds and improved stability.
It’s worth noting that you can still use the OLED Switch with existing docks, and you can use the regular Switch in the new dock – and the LAN port will work with the older hardware too.
Nintendo hasn’t given the Switch’s core specs a big upgrade, but there is one enhancement: internal storage has doubled from 32GB to 64GB.
Since much of that 32GB was actually reserved for the console operating system, this is actually more than a doubling of available storage space.
The OLED Switch will remain compatible with microSD cards too, which will likely still be necessary for most people with serious digital game collections.
The final hardware upgrade is what Nintendo calls “enhanced audio” from the onboard speakers, though the company hasn’t gone into the specifics on what’s changed.
There is one notable omission though: Nintendo hasn’t mentioned the addition of support for Bluetooth headphones, one of the most requested upgrades from the original hardware. So it sounds like you’ll still need to use wired headphones to listen to game audio on the go.