After months of rumors, Nintendo has surprise-announced a new Nintendo Switch model. The Nintendo Switch OLED sports a 7-inch screen and a wider adjustable stand. It’s coming on October 8 alongside Metroid Dread and will cost $350.
The announcement notes it includes 64 GB of internal storage, enhanced audio, and a wired LAN port built into the dock. Aside from the HD support in the dock, the debut trailer makes no mention of performance improvements or 4K support, and the technical specs from Nintendo confirm it maxes out at 1080p in TV mode. It will come in the white-and-black finish with a white dock, shown in the trailer, and a neon red/blue set with a black dock. All previous Joy-Con controllers will be compatible with the new unit.
Meet the newest entry to the #NintendoSwitch family! Nintendo Switch (OLED model) brings the versatility of the Nintendo Switch experience with a vibrant 7-inch OLED screen, a wide adjustable stand, and more. Nintendo Switch (OLED model) releases on 10/8.
Before the announcement, reports widely suggested the device would have a 7-inch OLED screen and a faster graphics element from Nvidia, capable of outputting at 4K in docked mode. The $200 Switch Lite will also remain in circulation as the lower-end model. You can check out the full technical specs below.
Nintendo tends to make hardware revisions for its most popular hardware, especially handheld systems like the Game Boy, DS, and 3DS families. The Switch is a cross between a console and handheld, and it already introduced one hardware revision with the Switch Lite.
Nintendo had previously claimed that it would not be announcing a Switch hardware revision this year. And of course, this announcement comes within the context of an ongoing semiconductor shortage that is impacting lots of high-tech industries, including game console production. Nintendo’s president says the company is no exception, and that the shortage has impacted Switch supply. That means that the remodeled Switch OLED could be difficult to find. President Joe Biden has launched an investigation into the problem.
Even without a hardware revision, though, the current Switch models have been selling very well. The system has sold almost 80 million units in total across both available models, which means it has now beaten the also-popular Nintendo 3DS. And its software has been no slouch either, as popular first-party game Animal Crossing: New Horizons has sold over 30 million units in total.
A surprise announcement has finally revealed that the Switch Pro does exist, although it’s actually called the Nintendo Switch OLED.
In a successful attempt to prove they can never be predicted, Nintendo has officially unveiled their much-rumored upgrade console and it’s called the Nintendo Switch OLED.
Previously known only by the fan name of Switch Pro, the new console was expected to be unveiled at E3 last month but for whatever reason Nintendo has waited till now to announce the October 8 release date and $350 (£253) price tag.
As the name suggests, the new version of the console features a new OLED screen, which is 7-inches instead of 6.2 inches of the original. The current Switch models only have LCD screens, so the new one should allow for much more realistic colors and higher contrast.
How much is the Nintendo Switch OLED in the UK?
There is no UK price yet, but the original US price of the Switch was $300, which worked out as £280 in the UK. That means you’re probably looking at around £320 for the price of the Nintendo Switch OLED here. The Switch OLED is almost the same size as the original Switch, just slightly thicker at 242mm to 239mm. The battery life is also the same at 4.5 to 9 hours and, despite the other changes to the screen, the resolution is still 720p.
It also has a wider kickstand and a dock with a physical LAN port, just like the rumors suggested. Plus, there’s 64GB of internal storage instead of 32GB and it’s slightly heavier at 420g to 398g. There’s also a promise of improved audio through the speakers, but the Joy-Cons are the same as the current models (although hopefully with less chance of drift).
The Nintendo Switch OLED comes in two colors – white and the traditional neon blue and neon red. Nintendo has literally dropped this news with no prior warning so more details may emerge later today, but at the moment there doesn’t seem to be any suggestion that it’s more powerful than the existing versions.
The official website makes no mention of any kind of power upgrade, so the Switch OLED is essentially just a remodel like the Switch Lite – with a bigger screen, more internal storage, and a slightly enhanced dock. It’s all very desirable but it’s going to immediately start rumors about whether there’s a ‘real’ Switch Pro or not.
Considering the innards of the OLED are now four years old, and were not state-of-the-art even in 2017, it does seem surprising that Nintendo has not tried to give it some kind of a boost – especially in light of the release of the Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5. But then it wouldn’t be a Nintendo announcement if it didn’t pose more questions than it answered…