There are substantial changes that could redefine your gaming lifestyle
The Nintendo Switch released more than five years ago, but that won’t stop the company from releasing more versions down the road.
They already confirmed we’re just in the middle of the Switch’s lifecycle So It’s safe to assume that the console is here to stay and will expand its lifetime for many years to come with new versions like the Nintendo Switch OLED* released last year.
However, this model still raises questions to Switch owners of whether they should upgrade their old console or not.
Even non-owners could be confused as to which version should be the best for them.
I’m Leo S.
Luna, and after (actually more than) one year I replaced my good old standard version for a Switch OLED, I can definitely give you the answer you’re looking for.
To answer this question, I will first explain the new features this console has and expose different scenarios that might suit your current situation.
I’ll compare my current Nintendo Switch OLED with this standard Switch version that belongs to my girlfriend.
So, in general the Switch OLED doesn’t have a lot of changes like performance boost or graphic upgrades compared to the Standard model, that’s why there’s only a price difference of $50.
Nevertheless, there are substantial changes that could redefine your gaming lifestyle.
In terms of design, the OLED model is built with a more robust material with a metallic black finish.
It feels different by the touch and it actually weighs a bit more than the original model yet still delivering the same level of comfort.
It reduces the heat a bit better than the original as well thanks to a wider air intake and a redesigned air vent that will also prevent from breaking and dust buildup that some people experienced with the Standard model.
It’s also about 0.
12 inches longer than the original so It won’t fit to some cases and grips from the original model.
This original case still fits perfectly fine for instance.
The second most important redesign is the kickstand Now It’s a much more secure and wider version that could be adjusted in a more versatile way.
The original kickstand was much less secure.
In contrast, I had no issues over the past months with the Oled while camping and having local multiplayer sessions at someone else’s home.
The versatility of the kickstand is perfect.
You can avoid light from reflecting the screen, setting the Switch on the right angle from where you’re playing or trying to place it on uneven ground.
The micro SD card reader is located horizontally and hidden within the kickstand along with the technical aspects, keeping it more safe from accidents.
When it comes to accessories, HDMI cables and AC adapter are still the same as the original.
Except for the two JoyCon straps that have white lines stitched into each lace.
The dock received some quality of life redesign as well.
The notorious Nintendo Switch logo is changed over to a minimalist one that will look more discrete in your living room.
It’s round on the edges and the interior is now covered with glossy plastic that prevents the Switch from scratching.
It has a fully detachable cover this time with a round gap that it honestly has helped a bit on the cable management.
Output remains exactly the same with the previous dock, except now the USB 2.
0 in the back is replaced with a wired LAN port.
Software wise, the dock doesn’t improve the gameplay and visual experience at all.
If you’re interested, you can get one separately and it will work just fine on a Standard model as well.
If you sometimes like to play without headphones then you might notice an improvement on the speakers.
According to this interview, Nintendo decided to change the speakers due to the Oled screen being longer in size compared to the original.
This is key considering that for example, some devices like smartphones usually manufacture their speakers with another company.
Instead, Nintendo crafted them for gaming purposes in mind.
And if you get used to the standard model speakers, you might tell the difference.
Even technically speaking, the Switch Oled could be about 10 decibels louder than the Standard model, 12.
5% to be exact, which is just about right on the recommended environmental noises.
That means it mimics how the smartphones work where the last two bits of volume gives users some extra sound, useful while trying to combat environmental noises or well, if you’re planning a lan party or want to play music via Youtube.
trust me, as a latin american I got used to that, and and I also could see a lot of people playing sports games or Just Dance on tabletop mode now with a wider screen and louder speakers, although It is not recommended to listen more than 8 hours of full volume with the Switch OLED either.
Also, there are no noticeable changes in sound quality while using headphones or earbuds.
The Switch OLED also has the same old Bluetooth 4.
1 for wireless connectivity that could cause some lag issues, unless your device includes a built-in software like the Razer Hammerhead or a USB dongle-like the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless and the Sony Playstation Gold headset.
There are also a few hardware changes that could make the difference.
We got 64GB of internal storage, 32GB more than the previous models and a better battery life than the original model.
Oh yeah, I haven’t forgotten that specific detail.
So let’s talk a bit about battery life.
There are four different battery models in the market for the Nintendo Switch.
The standard Switch has two different battery models: the original Switch that released in March 2017 has a battery life between 2.
5 to 6.
5 hours depending on the game, while the newer and standard version released in August 2019 has a battery life between 4.
5 to 9 hours, and the OLED version has the exact same battery life with a different battery model.
And finally the Nintendo Switch Lite has between 3 to 7 hours of battery life.
If you want to locate the battery model, just look at the back of your Switch or the serial number located on the box.
Please feel free to use this comparison chart for reference.
I feel a notorious difference in battery life with the Switch OLED where in very rare instances I encountered the infamous low battery warning and in comparison to the original 2017 model, it happened more often for me while playing for long hours.
I’m a mixed type of player where I like to play on handheld, tabletop and on TV mode.
And when the battery starts depleting I immediately leave the Switch on the dock as soon as I can, and again it happened more often with the original Switch than with the OLED.
Now let’s talk about the biggest change: the OLED Screen With 7 inches wide, 0.
8 inches larger than the standard LCD model It offers a larger screen with much more visibility on games, which could be handy for local lan parties if you don’t have any TV available for instance.
But the OLED technology is what shines the most.
You see, LCD panels are a thing of the past and even many smartphone companies have shifted over better technologies like LED and OLED.
To put it in simple words, LCD screens, the one used on standard Switch and Switch Lite could compromise image quality because of the way the screen projects colors.
It uses a type of fluorescent backlight behind the screen that will eventually shift to different colors similar to how rainbows can be seen in the real world.
The problem is that most of these colors, particularly black, could look a bit washed out due to the white backlight exposure.
Also similar to a rainbow colors can only be seen the brightest in a particular angle although I’ll say the standard Switch version and Switch Lite do a great job at disguising it.
Maybe some of you are probably wondering why you don’t notice that, but trust me, once you try an Oled panel, you will start to notice the difference.
Oled screens work the opposite way.
They use organic and transparent molecules to produce light on a pitch black screen without the need of a backlight or diodes like the LED.
That means the colors are more vibrant and realistic.
Without any backlight washing out the colors, you can truly see pitch black on the screen and the color palette will remain the same wherever you look into it.
So here’s a quick comparison between the two devices captured in 4k with my phone.
I probably won’t do more justice than watching it in person, but maybe you might notice a difference, If you want to see more of these comparisons, feel free to watch the end of this video and also let me know in the comments if you want more comparisons like this in the future.
Games like Metroid Dread and old retro games where they tend to use a lot of black background do look incredible on an OLED screen.
Blurriness is reduced on the Switch OLED as well, which is perfect for retro titles that were meant to be played on a CRT TV, meaning that sixth gen game games and below might look a bit better, more like back in the day.
And Nintendo truly did their best effort considering that is the only current handheld console using an OLED panel, not even Steam Deck and most smartphones has this, meaning that many of the multiplatform games could even look better on the Switch OLED.
Yes, I know some of you are screaming: Boy! You forgot to mention the Playstation Vita.
But in fact I actually remember the entire PS Vita to be ditched by Sony and honestly I don’t see Nintendo doing that with the OLED model.
And so far I know the brightness levels of the Playstation Vita were not that high compared to today’s technology, but I’ll leave you this article in the description if you want to read more about it.
Also, the OLED technology is eco friendly and energy saving, meaning it uses much less space and consumes much less for providing such vibrant colors in picture.
Now here’s the only and minor caveat.
Perhaps you’ve heard before of the infamous OLED screen burn.
This happens when you leave a static image for too long, causing burning on the OLED screen.
It’s the same logic when you get sunburn for resting your arm while driving on sunny days for too long.
As a short answer, It’s very difficult to see this happening on modern OLED displays, you have to stay way too long to see any evidence of screen burning.
If you want more proof, there are multiple videos of Youtuber Wulff Den where he sacrificed a whole Switch Oled being turned on for more than 10 thousand hours.
It’s a pretty interesting experiment and if you see his timeline you might notice no substantial changes overall, not even on battery life which is quite impressive.
So I wouldn’t worry too much about Oled burn-in.
Okay, so, now that you know everything about this new piece of hardware, let’s jump on conclusions based on different scenarios.
Scenario 1: “I don’t own a Switch at all, which version should I get?” Honestly, it’s not too late to get a Nintendo Switch thanks to its fascinating exclusive catalog, the robust multi platform lineup and how great and versatile the console is.
As to which console would I recommend, well it’s simple.
If you want the full experience of playing games on your TV handheld and in tabletop mode, I completely recommend jumping directly on the Nintendo Switch OLED version.
It’s only $50 (USD) more expensive and the price difference is very reasonable considering the amount of improvements compared to the standard version.
But if you play solely on handheld mode and want to save money then the Switch Lite should be a good fit for you.
Plus, its small size is perfect for light traveling and for people with a more social life while gaming, especially Pokémon fans.
It’s also a good recommendation for kids, you can get the Switch OLED for yourself! Scenario 2: “What If I currently own a Switch Lite or Standard?” Again, the Switch Oled is the best premium value you could get in terms of visual quality.
Colors will look more vibrant.
The pitch black screen will accentuate dark places on exploration adventures, retro games, survival horrors, and so on.
So, if you have the money and do enjoy handheld gaming then I truly recommend upgrading since you will notice the difference.
Another good reason to upgrade is the battery life.
If you currently own a 2017 model your battery will last much less than other models.
Reselling your Nintendo Switch and including some of your savings could make the cut for a better Switch such as the OLED version I truly suggest making the jump over the OLED rather than the 2019 Standard one if you’re already investing in quality of service*.
The other reason is more personal but it could resonate with collectors and resellers in general.
It’s about balancing between best value and savings in the long term, a topic that I could discuss later on another video, but, it basically goes this way.
In theory, none objects are valuable and nobody actually needs anything in terms of owning products, yes that’s right nothing we ever buy has any value, unless someone else put enough interest into it and unfortunately, less desired products will end up costing much less than the original price.
probably pawn shop sellers or an economist will explain it with more eloquently but to put it simple and related to the Nintendo Switch, the original 2017 version will cost much much less and it will be difficult to get a return in value for years to come whereas newer versions will return its value much more, even more considering how easy is to replace the standard version in terms of quality.
Meaning, I’d suggest selling your old console as fast as you can and buy a Switch OLED.
I have already seen many people paying much less than the expected only because of the battery life.
I mean I sold my old 2017 version last year for about 30% less of the price I paid back in the day.
But, if you only care about the gameplay experience, I don’t think it is that necessary to jump in since the hardware doesn’t change it that much.
Again, it would have been nice for the Switch dock to have some kind of an expansion card that might have improved the graphical and technical aspects or at least upscaling the image like the mClassic plug and play, which I think is somewhat possible.
And lastly, Scenario 3: “Should I get a Switch Oled or a Steam Deck?” That if you have the chance to get one of course.
I’m pretty sure many people have asked this question before, especially gamers who own more than one console and even more that Steam Deck has been a success in sales and with critics alike.
And my simple answer is: both consoles shouldn’t compete but rather co-exist in your gaming life.
I’m pretty sure there are a lot of handheld gamers that don’t care about having a TV screen and prefer to play on the go so, why not having both? One for the excellent Steam library from the PC realm and a Switch with a better battery life and screen with an excellent and exclusive catalog.
The problem of trying to decide from one or the other is that they offer different libraries and experiences in general while suffering from totally different issues.
Yes, both offer a huge amount of smaller and giant video games but Nintendo Switch is the only place where you can enjoy Nintendo bestsellers like Splatoon 3, Super Smash Bros.
Ultimate and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe You can make it work with Steam via non legal methods that I don’t support honestly, but it will never have the versatility and comfort of the Nintendo Switch.
However, It’s clear that a Nintendo Switch will not have the same visual capabilities as a Steam Deck to properly run games like Cyberpunk 2077 that if you don’t have other choice to play those giant games on a smaller screen.
But if you do, you could be playing them on a TV or monitor for a better visual experience so, Why bother on buying a Steam Deck anyways? And what about the battery life of the Steam Deck? I currently don’t own one but it appears it lasts much less than the Switch, and what about some offline games from the library that require constant connectivity from Steam? My gaming sessions during flights might get screwed because of that And why does the Steam Deck, a much more capable machine in terms of power, have an LCD screen? Why in 2022? You, you get my point, it makes no sense to decide on one but I hope I helped on this one.
One small update in regards to the Steam Deck.
So it turns out Valve is committed to releasing an updated version with better battery life and screen.
Price and date are still unknown.
And many people suggested better performance and image quality but designers have opted for quality of life updates, and we so they’re pretty much adopting the Nintendo formula, and we may have a Steam Deck OLED in some future with a more decent battery life.
So this is not a video focused on Steam Deck but if you’re looking to get one of those I suggest you wait for another iteration, and yes I still recommend you jump over a Switch Oled or to get both if you have the money.
Bye! So those are the three scenarios I can think of for those who want to upgrade to a Switch OLED.
In general, it has a lot of great features that are missable depending on the type or types of player you are.
Again, don’t forget to like, subscribe and comment about your current scenario, if you’re planning to upgrade to a Switch OLED or if you want to give suggestions about what type of content should I work on my channel.
I’m Leo S.
Luna, signing off and take care!