Nintendo has has finally announced its latest hardware overhaul of the Switch console: the OLED Switch model. The original Switch was launched in March 2017, and if you’re a Nintendo fan it’s very likely that you already own a Nintendo Switch or Switch Lite, which begs the question: Do I need to upgrade to Switch OLED?
In this guide, we offer tips to help you decide whether to buy the new Switch or stick with the one you have.
Change the OLED buyer’s advice – Should I buy the Nintendo Switch OLED model?
If you are looking for an in-depth comparison between each Switch model, check out ours Nintendo Switch OLED vs Comparison of standard Switch technical specifications for more technical information – here we will offer tips on whether you should upgrade according to your specific circumstances rather than pure numbers.
Below we list several cases and offer our advice accordingly based on personal experience.
Is the OLED Switch a valid upgrade from the standard Switch?
In short, yes, but only if you are interested in a slightly larger screen, significantly better.
As writers for a site called Nintendo Life, we are always interested in any new Nintendo hardware, but whether you should spend your much-earned money on the OLED Switch model will depend on the attractiveness of its improved screen. In addition to the OLED screen itself (and associated components), Nintendo has confirmed that the technology in the console is identical to the standard model – as are the Joy-Con controls. OLED switches won’t offer performance improvements over the base model, then.
Of course, other factors such as your circumstances and your budget will come into play when deciding if the new console is right for you, but if you’re not interested in the OLED screen, you don’t need an OLED Switch in your life now and you can stop reading here.
Still here? Lovely! We’ll look at some specific use cases to help you decide if Switch OLED is right for you, but first here’s a quick rundown of the improvements that Switch OLED offers over the base console …
Change Overview of the Best OLEDs
Here are the essential improvements that the new console offers over the standard Nintendo Switch:
- A bigger screen, the better
- A bigger horse, the better
- ‘Reinforced audio’, hence a ‘bigger, better’ sound in hand mode, presumably
- 64 GB of internal memory (twice the 32 GB of the standard Switch)
- A new dock with an integrated LAN port for an ethernet cable (better than a wireless connection for online gaming)
In general, if you spend (or can spend) a significant amount of your time playing your Switch in hand or tablet mode, the 7-inch screen of the OLED Model Switch is for sure it’s worth considering on the Switch’s standard 6.2-inch screen.
The above article goes into more detail, but the long and short is that the new screen offers brighter and more accurate colors, richer and deeper black levels, and a more vibrant and vivid picture overall.
There’s no doubt as to which console has the best screen – the question is whether it’s worth skipping, especially if you already have the base model.
Hopefully, you will find some answers below that will help you make an informed decision.
Should I Buy an OLED Switch Model? – Use cases
I don’t even have a Switch – should I buy an OLED Switch?
Long answer: If you’ve managed to resist the temptations of Nintendo’s hybrid handheld console so far, there’s never been a better time to jump on board. With a huge and growing library of brilliant games, and the convention of being both a home and handheld console, is one of the best products Nintendo has ever produced.
There’s a reason why it’s been so successful since its launch in 2017, so we strongly recommend participating in Switch, and specifically the new OLED version. The price difference between the standard and OLED models is small enough to make it worth splashing a bit more on the new model, in our opinion.
Short answer: There has never been a better time to buy a Switch, or a better Switch to buy. If you’re interested, let’s go for it. Of course we would – you’re on a site called Nintendo Life, remember that?
I bought a Switch in 2017 – should I buy an OLED Switch?
Long answer: We’re more than four years into the life of the Switch and if you’ve purchased a launch model, chances are it looks like a few dog ears today. Like a hybrid console, your Switch will probably support bumps and drops over the years when you plugged it in and about – happens to the best of us.
If so far you have resisted the temptation to get the newer standard model (with better battery life) or Switch Lite only on hand, we would probably recommend upgrading to the OLED Switch. We can’t promise that Nintendo won’t have the famous ‘Pro’ Switch waiting in the wings to launch next. Zelda: Lament of the Wild 2 in 2022 (or 2023), but switching from a tired old Switch to a new slashed OLED switch again will feel like a substantial upgrade.
Short answer: Yes, we will for sure.
I’m a Switch Lite – should I buy an OLED Switch?
Long answer: This really depends on how you feel about your Switch Lite. While the Lite’s screen isn’t as vivid as the next OLED variant, its smaller size (5.5 inches versus 7 inches) means that the pixel density is increased and the image will be naturally sharper. ” sharper ”- remember, the resolution of the two screens is identical: 1280 x 720.
Personally, as much as Switch Lite is a small smart device, we love having the ability to anchor the Switch to a TV; it is the central trick of the console and part of the reason for its success. The larger brighter screen of the OLED Switch model will see cracking in handheld mode, so if you have the best (if not the for the most part portable) hand experience, you should check out the new console.
However, if you’re happy with the smaller size and screen size of your Switch Lite, you’re not interested in playing it on TV, you’re probably better off sticking with what you have.
Short answer: It depends. If you play by hand alone and like the smaller dimensions of the Lite, stick with it. If you’re interested in the extra bells and whistles offered by the OLED Switch, we’d say it’s worth investigating.
I own the Switch with a better battery life – should I buy an OLED Switch?
Long answer: Ah, we feel your pain. Even we, we weren’t able to resist the siren call of the new hardware and “upgraded” it from our Lance Switch model to the marginally improved “silent” overhaul that offered improved battery life.
Nintendo has confirmed that the new OLED model has no internal upgrades or differences other than the screen – same chips, same battery, same everything. The screen is the only real improvement in terms of your gaming experience; you won’t get any performance boost here.
Ultimately, if you’re not absolutely desperate to see the new screen, you’re probably better off sticking with what you have and waiting for the next console. If you’re a Switch gamer who mainly plays on TV, the choice is even easier – follow along with the standard model.
Short answer: If you’re not bothered about the more vibrant, slightly larger screen, we’ll probably be sitting until the next inevitable Switch hardware review.
I recently bought a standard Switch – should I have an OLED Switch?
Long answer: If you’ve purchased a new Switch in the last two months, you’d probably be advised to keep it. The games coming for the new system are fully compatible, so unless money is an object, you will probably be very happy with the current model.
Short answer: No, the standard Switch is still a great system, so stick with it if you only have one and the bigger screen doesn’t make you jealous.
I only play it anchored on my TV – should I buy an OLED Switch?
Long answer: As we’ve detailed more on the page, the new Switch model offers no improvement when it comes to anchored gaming. If that beautiful OLED screen is going to spend its life nestled in it (certainly good looking) dock, there is really little point in the upgrade.
The new basin do have an integrated LAN port to connect an ethernet cable directly to the dock (rather than having to use an adapter). Now, I’m not going to recommend buying an entire new console just for that – and Nintendo will selling the basin separately however, if you buy directly – but if you play with a wired internet connection, the new dock makes things a little cleaner around your television.
Short answer: No. And if you can’t live without the integrated LAN port, buy the new dock separately.
I only play by hand – should I buy an OLED Switch?
Long answer: Well, assuming you haven’t had a Switch Lite, we’ll definitely go for the OLED model over the standard Switch if you’re a portable gamer. For us, the increased size on the Lite variant is actually a positive because of our big hands (r), but the screen is the real reason why we take the newer model over any other if its primary function it’s like a portable system.
Short answer: We’ll see, but if smaller is better in your books (or in your hands or bags), you may want to check out the smaller, cheaper, hand-held Switch Lite.
I’m an older gamer – should I buy the OLED Switch?
Long answer: For the more experienced player, it’s even more important take care of yourself while you play, Whether it’s meant to use a more comfortable grip in hand mode, or play on the larger screen available avoid squinting at the tiny text. The screen of the OLED Switch could be a great help for anyone whose view is not what it was, not only in terms of larger dimensions, but also of its vivid image.
Then again, if only every game is anchored, you won’t see any benefit from the new Switch, other than having a slightly nicer dock next to your TV.
Short answer: If you play in hand mode and struggle to read text, the increased size and image quality of the OLED Switch will likely improve your gaming experience. If you only play on TV, though, there will be no difference between your new console and your current one – stick to what you have.
Money is not an object – should I buy the OLED Switch model?
Short answer: Why read this guide too if money is not an issue? Yes, of course you have to be the latest and greatest version of the Switch! Off to per pre-order page Change OLED with you.
If you are looking for detailed information on the technical specifications of the OLED model, check it out our OLED Switch vs Standard Switch vs. Switch Lite comparison guide spec. You can also find some nice photos of the new model in it to our OLED Switch gallery. Let us know below if you have any questions on the new Switch screen and we will make an effort to answer them above.