Reviews - Updated on April 6, 2022

Already today, sales of the Nintendo Switch OLED, an updated version of the popular hybrid console, will start in Russian stores. We spent several days with the novelty, tested games on it and evaluated all its features.

Is this what we expected?

Probably everyone has already understood that the Nintendo Switch OLED is not Switch Pro, not Switch 2 and not Switch 4K. Rumors about a powerful “switch” appear approximately every three months, and it is no longer clear whether insiders are inventing it, or because of the pandemic, the plans of the Japanese corporation are constantly changing.

Therefore, you should not expect improved performance from the new console. Although its “innards” look different from the original version of 2017 (you can see the comparison in the video from iFixit), they themselves have not changed much. The processor is the same, the battery is identical, and so on. Is that the internal memory of the console has doubled – from 32 to 64 GB. Now you don’t have to delete everything from the console to install some NBA 2K, which weighs about 30 GB. Although in any case it is easier to buy a memory card.

You notice much more changes from the outside, and the main one is placed in the name of the console. Now here is a glass OLED display from Samsung, on which a barely noticeable film is already pasted to protect against scratches. The difference between the old and new screens is obvious, even when the consoles are in sleep mode – if the regular Switch has a dark gray screen, then the updated one has it perfectly black.

Played on Nintendo Switch OLED

The black and white color of the console looks very nice.

At the same time, the screen bezels have narrowed, due to which its working area has increased – from 6.2 to 7 inches. At the same time, the dimensions of the console have not changed much – the height and thickness are the same, and three millimeters have been added to the width. This can be a disadvantage for those who actively use accessories from third-party manufacturers, especially exotic docking stations – the new “switch” will not fit into any YesOJO. But in the usual old docking station from Nintendo, everything fits perfectly.

Also, there will be no problems with the joycons and their analogues (including the Hori Split Pad Pro), there are no noticeable changes here – you can use the new joycons on the old console and vice versa. Although the controllers remain the same, when assembled, the Switch OLED feels like a sturdier thing that feels nicer to hold. Including because the attached joycons sit more firmly and almost do not hang out compared to a regular Switch. It is understandably impossible to check whether they will start drifting soon, but Nintendo assures that they have worked on fixing the problem.

A trifle, but nice

Continuing to examine the console from the front, you notice the updated speakers, which have become a little narrower and much longer. They are located lower than on a regular Switch and will get less dust and dirt in them. This time they were made closed, thanks to which the sound becomes better and more voluminous.

Played on Nintendo Switch OLED

The volume buttons take a bit of getting used to if you’ve been using the old version of the console for a long time.

At the top of the Switch OLED, the changes are mostly cosmetic: the power button is slightly extended, there is no more empty space between the volume control buttons, the headphone jack looks different, as does the lid on the cartridge slot. The cooling system looks much nicer and feels like it works better. In games like Luigi’s Mansion 3, where the original switch is a little noisy in portable mode, the new version is not audible at all. In Fortnite, the 2017 console was literally suffocating for me, but here there is no desire to turn everything off as soon as possible out of harm’s way.

One of the main innovations is related to the back side of the console, or rather, to the stand. For a regular Switch, the stand is an infamous 2 cm wide leg that is only able to support the console in commercials. In reality, a “switch” with attached “joycons” will not stand idle for a second. Now everything is different: the stand has increased several times and is stretched along the entire length of the console. It can even be adjusted! Of course, not everyone needs such a “feature” in principle, but Nintendo clearly decided to ennoble the appearance of the Switch from all sides – even some of the bolts visible on the original console are now hidden.

Played on Nintendo Switch OLED

The limiting angle of inclination is quite large, so that the stand is now suitable in all situations.


But it’s time to talk about the OLED display, for which this version of the console was basically created. While the screen is larger, games don’t get “pixelated” compared to a regular Switch, although their resolution remains the same. Now it’s more comfortable to play games with small subtitles, platformers with small protagonists, and in general everything – although from the outside the difference in size does not seem significant, after long sessions for Switch OLED you have to get used to, returning to the old version.

Played on Nintendo Switch OLED

Now there are two portable consoles with an OLED display in the world. But Vita colors, of course, are far from being as deep and contrasting.

Colors are the most important thing here, and the possibilities of OLED are used brilliantly by the console. What should be black is now really black instead of dark gray due to the light backlight. This is especially evident in “pixel” games like Axiom Verge and Baba Is You, where there is a lot of black. The palette becomes more contrasty and warmer, from upbeat games like Super Mario 3D World and Pokemon Shield to darker ones like Luigi’s Mansion 3.

In some games, this interferes a little – Fortnite, for example, becomes too colorful. But this can always be fixed in the system settings – in the “System” section there is an item “Console screen saturation”, where “High” is initially selected. It makes sense to experiment and turn on “Standard” – it makes the colors look like what the regular Switch offers. But in most cases, “High” makes the picture nicer and juicier – so much so that there is a desire to download abandoned games and spend several evenings in them.

Played on Nintendo Switch OLED

Saves are easily transferred from the old console to the new via the “cloud”, but in games like Pokemon Shield you have to transfer them manually.

All these innovations lead to the fact that on the Nintendo Switch I again want to play in handheld mode. A year later, I increasingly used the old console in a stationary one – both because of the “drifting” sticks, and because it feels too toy because of the dangling “joycons” and not the best build quality. Here, everything is much more solid: nothing crunches, and outwardly the console does not cease to please the eye. Well, it’s a sin not to use the stand – at least for the sake of a pleasant click with which it slams shut.

But for those who use the Switch as a home console, standing in a docking station, there is no need to purchase the Switch OLED. Yes, the station has changed externally – the back cover is now removed rather than swinging open, plus now there is a LAN port for avid multiplayer players. But that’s all – no bonus features and additional settings. The “Console Screen Saturation” mentioned above does not work when connected to a TV, as it says right in the menu. Sometime later, it will be possible to buy a white dock separately if you want to put the console next to the same white PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S.

Played on Nintendo Switch OLED

The case back has also been redesigned, although you only get to see it a couple of times.

Deciding whether you need a Switch OLED is very simple, and many of you have probably already decided on the answer. You only play on TV – it’s better to continue to believe in the existence of Switch Pro. Still haven’t joined Nintendo – it’s better to overpay and choose this version instead of the regular or Lite one (OLED costs 30,499 rubles versus 23,499 rubles for a regular one), but only if you prefer portable mode. They took Switch quite recently – there is no need to regret the purchase and run to the store.

But if you have a console for more than two or three years and want something new, Switch OLED will satisfy this hunger. With a larger screen, improved build quality, and a pleasing color palette on the display, it gives you the same vivid emotions that arose when you bought the first Switch – you want to “install all the games”, wrap yourself in a blanket and go through everything until you fall asleep. It will be a shame if Switch Pro really exists and will be released next year, but even insiders fail to predict anything – maybe it will never appear.

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