The long noise Nintendo Switch equipped OLED is finally real! But it’s not exactly the upgrade we were expecting. For months, reports have stated that a “Switch Pro” will also provide some sort of 4K upscaling capability and faster performance. But this new model, which will sell for $ 350 when it is released on October 8, doesn’t go nearly that far. However, it is more of a minor step forward that resolves some of the original flaws of the Switch, but does not dramatically change the system. And you know what? I’m fine.
If you’ve been following Nintendo for a fair amount of time, it should come as no surprise that the company isn’t really interested in getting into a spcs race. Let Sony and Microsoft duke it out for 4K dominance – Nintendo can show that there’s still a lot to love about games in 1080p and below. Joining the same hardware also means that developers won’t have to worry about sharing Switch’s user base, a problem that has plagued Nintendo systems in recent decades (it was the New 3DS worth it?).
U global chip shortage perhaps it will exploit Nintendo’s plans to implement better hardware in this Switch. The system currently uses a custom version of NVIDIA’s Tegra X1 system on one chip, which was updated quietly in 2019 to increase the battery life of the console. According to several reports, Nintendo was exploring the 4K upscaling dock using NVIDIA’s DLSS technology, which uses AI processing to handle low-resolution textures until something looks much cleaner. But this technology would need an upgraded Tegra chip that brought some hardware from NVIDIA’s recent RTX GPUs. It’s not an impossible task, but it’s one that may need more work than NVIDIA was able to accomplish during the hell of 2020 (at least, while keeping the final cost reasonable).
That doesn’t mean the dreams of a 4K capable Switch are dead, it’s just something we’ll have to wait a year or two to see. Nintendo would also need to add more RAM to the Switch in order to better handle the 1080p frames needed for DLSS upscaling. It’s not easy to do with the system’s meager 4GB of RAM, so a future console would need 6GB or 8GB. And don’t forget, Nintendo also needs to balance the delivery of a solid battery life with the Switch in handheld mode, so be careful to push in demanding new hardware.
For owners of the original Switch, or for beginners to the platform, this OLED model always looks like an attractive upgrade. The larger screen makes the system look more modern, with less of a chunky display lens. OLED will also make games look dramatically better, especially while playing outside in direct sunlight. There’s also a wider horsepower, similar to that of Microsoft Surface tablets, which should make the gaming laptop much more stable. There’s also 64GB of internal memory, instead of 32GB, and “enhanced audio,” which could only refer to better speakers – Nintendo hasn’t become very specific.
And if you’re really into online multiplayer, you’ll appreciate the Ethernet port built into the OLED Switch dock. (And if this is the main design for you, Nintendo says the dock is also compatible with older Switch models.) Because of the larger screen, though, Nintendo says the OLED Switch may have issues with some Lab kits and other games.
I understand, $ 350 is a lot to spend for a slightly better Switch. This is particularly true when you can get the PlayStation 5 without a disc for $ 399, or full PS5 and Xbox Series X for $ 499. But for Nintendo hard, the improvements are definitely tempting. Don’t be surprised if the company ends up abandoning the 4K-capable Switch during the 2022 holiday season.
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