After what has felt like years of rumors that a new, more powerful, Nintendo Switch was on the way we woke up on Tuesday morning to the exciting news that those rumors were true…sort of. The Nintendo Switch (OLED model) is indeed here and it will be coming this October. Nintendo made the announcement via a tweet, YouTube video, and with surprisingly little fanfare. Why they chose to announce this now instead of during last month’s E3 presentation is anyone’s guess, but at least we finally have a Switch with information we can dive into.
Unfortunately, most of the information we’ve been given is kind of underwhelming considering all of the hype that came from those rumors. What everyone wanted was a new Switch that was going to run games at smoother framerates, allow for ports of more modern games, and increase the general power of the tiny device. Instead, this model is going to be more focused on making the portability of the Switch more viable. The OLED model improves the way games appear on the Switch itself and is going to have improved audio when portable. The kickstand on the back of the Switch, for anyone that wants to stand up the small device on a table, can now be adjusted and has been made wider so players can worry less about it possibly falling over. Players who like to take their Switch on the go are definitely going to see an upgrade.
There were some other additions to this new Switch as well such as a LAN port and an internal storage increase of 64 GB, but for an “upgrade” this feels extremely underwhelming. Yes, the Switch is a device that is meant to be played on the go and this does make that experience a little easier. They wouldn’t be able to advertise it as a home console that can be taken everywhere if the portability mode didn’t also receive upgrades but is that enough of an upgrade to justify calling this a “new” Switch. Well, that depends on if we consider this a new console or not.
Personally, this just seems like a new purchase option for anyone that is looking to buy their first Switch. Current Switch owners aren’t going to have much reason to own this unless they religiously play their Switch in portable mode. This “new” console does not feel like the kind of mid-life console upgrade that we saw out of, to use a recent example, the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X. Will games look prettier, and maybe run slightly better in portable mode, yes and that’s awesome. However, as for the kinds of games the Switch itself can run, it’s going to be business as usual. That’s fine, but for those of us that want to see games run better on the Switch itself, it’s admittedly a little disappointing.