– So I have basically had the past week of messing around with the Nintendo Switch OLED swapping between that and my red box Switch, trying out different things, playing different games, and I’ve kind of fully collected my thoughts on what is different about these systems, what really stands out and how I really feel about grabbing an OLED if you already have a Switch or if you don’t have either system yet, is it worth spending the extra 50 bucks to grab it. As I’m sure a lot of you guys are aware, there’s been a lot of Switch coverage going on the channel lately. There’s actually a playlist I’ve made of all the Switch videos I’ve been doing. So make sure to check that out, which also includes this video. And if you’ve been really enjoying this content and looking forward to more of it, make sure to subscribe.
First off the OLED screen. I have talked about this a little bit already in my 24 hours of impressions video. And when I did the little kind of back and forth of comparing the displays on both of these and in general, I would say the OLED is a flat-out upgrade.
The vibrancy that you can achieve when having vivid mode on which is a default, the deep dark blacks that you get for any kind of shadowy parts of a game, it just ends up looking like a way better image on top of the fact that it is also a larger screen, which I know in written form 6.2 inches to seven inches, doesn’t sound like a very large increase, but when you really see them side by side, it’s significant.
It’s worth noting too that along with the difference in how it handles its colors and the size of the screen, the Nintendo Switch OLED display is also brighter than the regular Switch model.
Now, if you keep auto brightness on, or you are constantly adjusting the brightness, yeah, it can look about the same, but if you’re really pushing it with brightness at the max and turning off auto brightness, it does get noticeably brighter. Now, one thing I’ve had a couple people ask me is if the screen is brighter, does it show up better in direct sunlight? And yes, look, the Switch has never been super great to play in direct sun. I mean, you really using any device can be a bit of a problem.
And the Nintendo Switch OLED model does put up a better fight than the regular Switch, but it’s still not really that visible or that great of an experience. The one potential big problem with OLED though, and this has been a very major fear and definitely one of the biggest questions I’ve had from a lot of people is fear of burn-in.
I have not personally tried to force the system to burn in. I have been playing a lot of games. I’ve been putting a lot of time on it and have not experienced any burning personally, but it’s not something that I’ve been trying to force either.
I think it’s worth mentioning that there are some prevention methods put in place. The Nintendo Switch OLED screen does dim after five minutes of an activity. And of course the Switch does also have a setting where you can just have it go completely to sleep after so many minutes of inactivity as well. And while it’s certainly at its peak brightness, if you keep auto brightness off, leaving it on, will give you the right amount of brightness you need while reducing some of the strain on the display.
Honestly, based on my experience with using other OLED displays with say my Xbox and my PlayStation, and even with the Switch in docked mode, I feel like some of the fears with burn-in are a little over the top.
It absolutely is a thing you should be wary of and you don’t wanna necessarily leave a screen on a static image with auto sleep turned off, but at the same time, assuming regular usage where you’re playing different games, these games have loading screens, cutscenes, menus you open up, it really shouldn’t be an issue. Where you should maybe give it a little more thought though, is if you’re the type of person where you basically play one game.
Like if there is one game you really focus on and it has UI elements that are constantly on the screen, that is the kind of situation that could cause burn-in to develop. One particular example that I think is a little scary, retro games. There are a lot of retro titles that instead of trying to change how the game is displayed, maintain an older aspect ratio and then fill the rest of the screen space by adding a border.
And yeah, if you’re playing a retro game for 12 hours straight, and that border is the only thing showing the whole time and you never give the Switch time to rest, that is the kind of thing that might make you start to think twice a little bit.
So yes, burn-in is a thing that I think you should be aware of when purchasing the Nintendo Switch OLED model. But I think for most people’s regular use cases, it’s not something that’s just going to necessarily show up and happen a week after playing. Now the display is of course not the only difference that Nintendo advertised with this. One of the things that was maybe a little more kind of just vague that a lot of people weren’t sure about was enhanced speakers.
And this is one of the things that did kind of catch me off guard as well. Because when I first used the Nintendo Switch OLED, I really didn’t notice a difference. It sounded more or less the same to me. And the thing that I did to really try and figure it out was I actually set up Smash Brothers on both my red box Switch and on the Nintendo Switch OLED playing different tracks, back and forth, listening to the same little segments again, over and overand the OLED is better when you have them side by side.
The highs come in a little cleaner. The older Switch model sounds just a little bit tenure in comparison, but it is very minute. So minute that you really do only notice when you’re going back and forth. There might be some people out there who are very into audio that might notice it more right away. But if it’s not a thing you’re constantly thinking about, it’s not gonna be something that immediately blows you away as being different.
It’s a little better, but it’s not exactly groundbreaking. The Nintendo Switch OLED model also offers the benefit of twice as much storage capacity with 64 gigabytes internal instead of 32. It’s a nice upgrade to have, although it’s still restrictive enough that if you’re buying a lot of games digitally, you’ll probably still need to buy an SD card down the line.
And then of course, there’s the redesigned body, which in terms of what Nintendo has actually talked about is really just the kickstand, which I love, but truth be told, tabletop mode is definitely the least used of the three modes. I’m obviously doing handheld or docked game play a lot more.
But for those very rare occasions where I wanna actually use the kickstand, and to be honest for what I do in videos, it actually does come up a decent bit. I mean, right now I love that has been changed. Aside from that though, the materials the main body’s made out of is actually a little different. The plastic in general feels harder. It feels colder to the touch.
The kickstand in particular, I think actually might be metal.
I still haven’t really confirmed. I’m not an expert on that, but it does feel like a firmer stronger material that is colder to the touch. And because it is an OLED display, the front screen is glass, which just feels a lot nicer and more premium than the plastic screen on the older Switch models. This overall just ends up leading to a system that feels more solidly better built and of higher quality.
Even to the point where one of the little things that bothers me about older Switch models is that when you’re holding them the joy cons in their rails jiggle a little bit.
It still happens in the OLED, but it feels a little more uniform. It’s just a little less give, it stays in place a little better. The overall body just feels a lot nicer. One downside of this that I’ve talked about a couple of times, the new Nintendo Switch OLED model is slightly wider than the older Switch model.
So if you own certain accessories for the past Switch that rely on a tight snug fit lengthwise, for instance, grips, protective cases, that kind of stuff, they’re probably not gonna work with the Nintendo Switch OLED. They might, but it’s probably gonna be a very uncomfortable fit that you’re better off buying new purposely designed accessories for it. So that’s what’s all going on with the body and build of the system. And one thing that a lot of people have been curious about is, does it into performing any different than the older model? Which based on these sort of specs we’ve seen at advance and what they’ve talked about, it really shouldn’t.
And that’s mostly the case.
When it comes to things like performance in games, any games that struggled on the regular Switch are still gonna struggle the same way on the Nintendo Switch OLED. You’re gonna see a little bit of stuttering in games like Link’s Awakening or High Road Warriors and games that rely on things like dynamic resolution scaling are gonna end up going just as low as they did on the previous model. Load times, everything across the board is more or less the same. The one aspect of performance though that is a little better is the battery life.
Nintendo’s own estimation is that the Nintendo Switch OLED should have the same battery life range as the previous Switch models, which is four to nine hours. And based on my own experience playing a bunch of different games, testing it on both of them, that mostly holds true. However, there have been a few times where while it still falls in that same general range, there’s some specific games that end up performing just a little bit longer on the OLED.
Now part of this makes a certain sense because given the fact that it’s an OLED screen, games that are darker should generally consume less battery because it’s not having to light up as many pixels. But what’s really interesting for me is I actually had some games where even though they are completely bright and colorful across, they actually drained a little bit more slowly on the Nintendo Switch OLED, in particular, Breath of The Wild.
Nintendo lists Breath of The Wild as running for the same average playtime on both systems, which is five and a half hours. And that is probably true if you’re just using auto brightness and keeping stuff in the middle. But I ran it on both systems with brightness at max to auto brightness off and the Nintendo Switch OLED actually was able to get about an extra 40 minutes of battery life out of it. Now it’s worth noting that the red box Switch I used in comparison is one that has been opened and used a little longer.
It’s my Mario red edition one, which has not gotten nearly as much use as my primary Nintendo Switch, or at least formerly primary one.
But it is still not quite as fresh as this brandly new opened Nintendo Switch OLED so that could have some impact, but considering how many other games did end up performing the same and it was just these few audits just here and there that the OLED outperformed, I think it’s just the kind of situation where some games are gonna last a little longer. The general range is still about the same, but some games are gonna do a little better. Now the Switch itself is not the only thing that’s new about the OLED model, coming with it is of course also the newly designed Nintendo Switch dock, which looks a little bit different from the previous design, especially if you’ve got the white model one, but it does feature a couple of physical differences as well.
The one major noticeable difference being that where the older dock had a USB port on the backside, the newer dock instead has a built-in ethernet port. One question I did get from a lot of people is does this new ethernet port perform better than using the ethernet adapter on the previous dock design? And based on my own personal experience, no.
I used the ethernet adapter on an old dock using the same Switch, going back and forth, doing different connection tests, downloading games. And the experience was basically the same.
There are a couple other little changes that I think are worth pointing out. The opening in the new dock now has a gloss interior, which looks fancier, I guess, but more importantly, the opening is also slightly larger compared to the previous dock design. I think this might’ve been a choice made in order to try and reduce the chance of scratching the screen, because that was a very common fear on the previous dock design, and one of the main reasons why you should invest in a screen protector.
Despite that fact, I still think a screen protector is a really good idea. There are still the little grooves that are gonna be very close to the system when you’re placing it in.
It is also worth pointing out that by making that opening a little larger, the Switch doesn’t really feel as secure in the dock either. It is definitely noticeably a little more Gigli Walt sitting inside. Lastly, one other change is that the back flap on this new dock is now completely removable instead of being one on hinges, which I think a lot of people are gonna prefer. I know some people personally who are already planning on just pulling that thing off and never using it again. In my personal case, it’s probably gonna bother me because I’m really bad about misplacing stuff.
So I’m probably gonna take that flap off at some point, and it might just not show up in videos anymore, cause I’ll have no idea where it went.
It’s like that we flop all over again that breaks off. Ultimately my really big takeaway with my experience on the Nintendo Switch OLED is, in my opinion, this is the best version of the Switch. Not just simply because of the OLED display, I think that does make a significant difference and games look absolutely beautiful on it, but even more than that, the larger screen size, the more premium material feel of the system itself and as minute as it is, having better speakers is also nice.
While I am not personally worried about the potential of burn-in with the way I play games in my system, I do think it’s something that people should be aware of. And the more likely you are to be focused on very specific games that have the same UI showing up all the time, those are the times that you should maybe just think a little more about it. The two big questions are ultimately this. If you already own a Switch, is it worth spending the money to upgrade to an Nintendo Switch OLED or if you haven’t bought a Switch yet, is it worth spending the extra 50 bucks? The latter case in my mind is a no brainer.
Yes, it is worth the extra $50, no problem. The whole burn-in conversation aside, it’s just a more premium feeling system. And ultimately for that price difference, I think is absolutely worth it. As for whether or not it’s worth upgrading to anNintendo Switch OLED if you have a regular Switch, if it’s a launch model one that has the worst battery life, and maybe it’s starting to look a little worse for wear after multiple years of use, maybe if it’s a red box model from just two years ago, it just doesn’t feel that worth it.
Maybe if you can get a really great resale price on your Switch and you’re looking to upgrade and you only ended up spending 100, 150 bucks, that’d be pretty nice, but anything more than that, it just doesn’t feel like a ton of return for spending that much more money to get a system that plays the same games you can already play.
If you’ve got the money to burn and you really just want the best version of the Switch, then yeah, go for it. But as far as just getting the most for your dollar goes, if you have a regular red box one right now, honestly, I think you’re fine. Truth be told, knowing everything I do now, if I weren’t doing what I do for work, I’m traditionally very stingy actually with system upgrades.
And if I had a red box Switch, I probably wouldn’t upgrade to an Nintendo Switch OLED. Maybe if I had a launch one.
That being said doing what I do and having access to this one, along with all the others, this is my new main Switch. Hands down, like not even a question. This is the way I’m playing Switch games moving forward. And I love it.
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