The Nintendo Switch OLED is the newest iteration of Nintendo's premiere console/handheld hybrid. As the name implies, the bump-up in screen quality is the standout new inclusion here, replacing the 6.2-inch LCD panel of the original with a larger 7-inch OLED display.
While not quite as elusive to find as Xbox Series X restocks or PS5 restocks, If you want to get your hands on one, you'll have to do a fair amount of looking around as pre-orders are rarely available now, especially in the US. Still, store pages are up with limited availability. The most likely retailers to have pre-orders open:
- Pre-order Nintendo Switch OLED US: Amazon | Best Buy | Walmart | Gamestop
- Pre-order Nintendo Switch OLED UK: Amazon | Game | Argos | Very | Smyths
Be sure to check out our guide on the latest Nintendo Switch OLED pre-orders for the latest on the stock situation near you. The initial batch sold out pretty fast, but we expect many more to appear soon.
It's not quite the fabled Nintendo Switch Pro that was rumored for what felt like years; the resolution has not changed, it still stands at 1280 x 720 as with the first edition of the console. This is still technically HD, but for anyone expecting Full HD (1080p) or 4K, it's possible that this revision is likely to feel a little underwhelming in that regard.
Nintendo Switch OLED: price and release date
Nintendo Switch OLED will be available worldwide on October 8 2021. It will retail upon release for $349.99/£309 - which is a touch more expensive than the standard Nintendo Switch at $299.99/£279.99 - and significantly pricier than the $199.99/£199.99 handheld-only Nintendo Switch Lite model.
Nintendo Switch OLED: screen
As the name would imply, the OLED screen is the star of the show with this new version of the Nintendo Switch. The biggest difference between LCD and OLED is that the former relies on a backlight to illuminate the screen whereas the latter utilizes organic pixels which generate their own light for more vivid colors and a deeper contrast at the cost of a picture that's slightly less bright.
Of course, the Nintendo Switch OLED isn't the first handheld system to use such a display-type. It was found on the original version of the PS Vita all the way back in 2011, and - if you've used the system - you'll note that this decision made for games looking significantly better than they would have on LCD; especially when indoors.
Nintendo Switch OLED: other new features
More focus has been spent on improving the handheld's stereo sound quality, but the majority of the new features, screen aside, are relegated to the dock itself. For a start, there's now a LAN-port built into the dock directly - eliminating the need for an adapter - something that's essential for twitch-based online games such as Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Splatoon 2 and Arms.
The amount of internal storage has been doubled over its predecessor with 64GB. This is still far from the amount needed to download several weighty titles from the Nintendo eShop, but it's definitely less limiting on the whole. What's more, the kickstand is now much wider and has a little more flex in its step, able to recline to a few new angles to make table-top play more enjoyable with better viewing angles.
Nintendo Switch OLED: specs
- Size: 4-inch (H) x 9.5-inch (L) x 0.55-inch deep
- Weight: 322g / 0.71lbs (console only); 421g / 0.93lbs (Joy-Cons attached)
- Screen: 7-inch 1280 x 720p OLED multi-touch capacitive touch screen
- CPU/GPU: Custom Nvidia Tegra processor
- Storage: 64GB (expandable up to 2TB Micro SD)
- Wireless: Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac compliant) / Bluetooth 4.1
- Video output: Up to 1080p (TV mode); Up to 720p (handheld)
- USB connection: USB-C
- Micro SD slot: Compatible with microSD, microSDHC, and microSDXC
- Battery life: 4.5-9 hours (depending on game intensity)
- Charging time: approximately 3 hours
Nintendo Switch OLED: Why now?
The Nintendo Switch OLED is a new hardware revision in the console generation, which is something that the company has been doing with its hardware (primarily on the handheld side) for decades. Take a look at the Nintendo 3DS line, for instance, which saw four major revisions in its 7-year lifespan: Nintendo 3DS XL, Nintendo 2DS, New Nintendo 3DS (and XL) and New Nintendo 2DS XL.
Given that the Nintendo Switch is a handheld/home console hybrid, that same approach to revising hardware can, and is, being taken. It wouldn't be the first time that Nintendo has made changes to its consoles later in life; the Nintendo Wii featured subtle redesigns towards the end of the 7th generation with the Wii Mini, a landscape-orientated smaller version of the system without internet, USB or LAN support targeted towards children and families.
Now that you're armed with everything there is to know about the upcoming Nintendo Switch OLED, ensure you've got the best Nintendo Switch accessories and one of the best Nintendo Switch headsets so you can make the most of that shiny new handheld/home console hybrid.