Skip to main content

Nintendo Switch OLED vs Nintendo Switch vs Nintendo Switch Lite: which console should you buy this Black Friday?

Nintendo Switch OLED vs Nintendo Switch vs Nintendo Switch Lite: which console should you buy this Black Friday?
(Image credit: Nintendo)

With the arrival of the OLED this year, what would win in a fight between Nintendo Switch OLED vs Nintendo Switch vs Nintendo Switch Lite? Wait, no. That's not it. What we actually need to establish is which console you should pick up for the Black Friday Nintendo Switch deals this November.

Because many of us will be hoping to put one of these consoles under the Christmas tree this Holiday season, getting to the bottom of the Nintendo Switch OLED vs Nintendo Switch vs Nintendo Switch Lite kerfuffle before Black Friday isn't a bad idea. Let's break it down, shall we?

Nintendo Switch OLED vs Nintendo Switch vs Nintendo Switch Lite

Nintendo Switch OLED vs Nintendo Switch vs Nintendo Switch Lite: which console should you buy this Black Friday?

(Image credit: Nintendo)

1. Nintendo Switch

The best Nintendo Switch for most people

Specifications
Price: $299 / £259
Uses: TV or handheld mode
Resolution: 1080p (TV) / 720p (handheld)
Controllers: Detachable
Reasons to buy
+Can be used on TV and in handheld mode+Great for big-screen multiplayer+Middle-of-the-road price
Reasons to avoid
-Screen isn't as nice as the OLED

The 'standard' Nintendo Switch will be the best fit for the majority of people. Besides being somewhere in the middle in terms of price, it's enjoys the best of all worlds - it can be connected to the TV for big-screen action or taken on the go in handheld mode. 

Because playing on your TV is perfect for multiplayer sessions, this version of the console is the best all-rounder for families this Holiday season. It's also the most versatile. Namely, the Lite seen below can only be used in handheld mode.

Nintendo Switch OLED vs Nintendo Switch vs Nintendo Switch Lite: which console should you buy this Black Friday?

(Image credit: Nintendo)

2. Nintendo Switch Lite

The best Nintendo Switch for kids or those on a budget

Specifications
Price: $199 / £199
Uses: Handheld mode only
Resolution: 720p
Controllers: Built-in
Reasons to buy
+More affordable+Sturdier design
Reasons to avoid
-Handheld mode only-Not great for local multiplayer

This cheaper, smaller version of the Switch is ideal if you just want to dabble in Nintendo's game library without breaking the bank, or if you're looking for a console that'll suit your kids. Sturdier than its counterparts and featuring built-in controllers, this console is perfect for taking with you when out and about. 

However, note that it can't connect to the TV and can only be used in handheld mode. This means it's not great for local multiplayer sessions; crowding around its little display for split-screen action isn't much fun.

Nintendo Switch OLED vs Nintendo Switch vs Nintendo Switch Lite: which console should you buy this Black Friday?

(Image credit: Nintendo)

3. Nintendo Switch OLED

The best Nintendo Switch for handheld play

Specifications
Price: $349 / £309
Uses: TV or handheld mode
Resolution: 1080p (TV) / 720p (handheld)
Controllers: Detachable
Reasons to buy
+Gorgeous screen+Excellent in handheld mode+Small quality-of-life changes
Reasons to avoid
-Not a huge upgrade

Hoping to clock some hours playing in handheld mode? The new Switch OLED will be your jam. While it isn't the 4K Nintendo Switch Pro we were originally hoping for (and it doesn't offer much of a reason to upgrade from older models, as discussed in our Nintendo Switch OLED review), it does have a new and improved screen that features a gorgeous OLED display for brighter, more vibrant color. The console itself also has an improved kickstand, so it's ideal if you want to play in tabletop mode as well.

Happily, it'll connect to your TV too. This allows you to get in on some split-screen multiplayer gaming, adding to the OLED's versatility. Speaking of which, small quality-of-life improvements such as an Ethernet port on the dock (ideal for those looking to play online multiplayer more reliably) have been added.

Which Nintendo Switch should you buy?

When discussing which Switch to buy, the long and short of it comes down to how you'll use the console. Do you want it to be a multiplayer machine where everyone plays together on the TV? Is it for your kids, or will you use it on the go? Your answer will point you in a very specific direction. 

I want to play games with family and friends:
If you fall into this category, buy the 'standard' Nintendo Switch. It costs $299 in the USA or £259 in the UK and can do a bit of everything. To be precise, it can be played on the TV if you want multiplayer fun or big-screen gameplay, and it can be used on the go in handheld mode. If in doubt, get this one. It's the most flexible of the three and is arguably the best value for money.

I want a console for my kids:
Shopping for a child? don't hesitate to get the Nintendo Switch Lite. That version of the console is sturdier, cheaper, and has its controls built in to sidestep any controllers being lost. It can still play all the same games as well, albeit not on the TV (the Lite can only be used in handheld mode, which means it isn't much good for multiplayer - unless each child has a console, that is).

I want a cheap console for my commute:
Anyone wanting a console to brighten up their commute should opt for the Nintendo Switch Lite. While it's normally a good idea to get the standard Switch because it can be used on the TV as well as in handheld mode (the Lite is handheld only), that's less of an issue if you're mainly playing on the train or bus. 

I want the best of everything:
Stepping into the Switch ecosystem for the first time? So long as you don't mind spending a little more, the Nintendo Switch OLED ticks all the boxes. Besides a larger, more vibrant, screen in handheld mode, it has all the same functionality as the standard Switch as well as an improved kickstand and audio

Today's best Nintendo Switch deals

Nintendo Switch OLED vs Nintendo Switch vs Nintendo Switch Lite: which console should you buy this Black Friday?

(Image credit: Future)

Want to see what's on offer right now? Once you've made your decision, you can browse the latest deals and discounts on every kind of Nintendo Switch (including the best Nintendo Switch bundles that are currently available) below. More are sure to appear in the Black Friday gaming deals, so keep an eye out as we approach the end of November.

As for other consoles, don't forget to drop in on our guide to the upcoming Black Friday PS5 deals and Black Friday Xbox Series X deals.


Want to get ahead of your Christmas shopping and track down some gifts? Be sure to check out these Black Friday board game deals and Black Friday Lego deals.

Benjamin Abbott

As the site's Tabletop & Merch Editor, you'll find my grubby paws on everything from board game reviews to Lego buying guides. I've been writing about games in one form or another for almost a decade (with bylines ranging from Metro.co.uk to TechRadar) and joined the GamesRadar+ team in 2018. I can normally be found cackling over some evil plan I've cooked up for my group's next Dungeons & Dragons campaign.