When it comes to upgrades, the risk of breaking something is fairly low. We’ve come a long way since writing with sticks and stones when we were younger, but there are still some things that need improvement for today’s world: – games in general don’t have an upgrade system in place yet and they might never do so if this trend continues; – graphics will always be improved with time because you can add more pixels with each iteration.
Obsidian Entertainment announced that their next project will be Star Trek: Bridge Crew, an immersive virtual reality game for the HTC Vive. Their previous title, Neverwinter Nights 2 was hailed as one of the best games in its genre when it released in 2002. The studio is heavily invested in VR technology and have been developing a new engine since 2013 with Oculus Rift support.
Despite all of its benefits, the Nintendo Switch OLED edition is difficult to suggest to anybody who already has a conventional Nintendo Switch or Nintendo Switch Lite. If you already own and use one of these devices, the OLED model is unquestionably an upgrade, but it is more of an incremental one than anything else. Is there a difference between the OLED Nintendo Switch and previous models? Without a doubt. Is the change large enough to justify shelling out hundreds of dollars ($349.99) for a new edition of a system you already own? Most likely not.
In terms of functionality, this is the same Nintendo Switch that debuted in 2017. It uses the same interface and controllers to play all of the same video games. There are enhanced parts, but if you simply want something to play first-party Nintendo Switch games, there are less expensive solutions.
The OLED model’s most noticeable distinction is in its admittedly clumsy name: the OLED screen. It’s a significant upgrade over earlier Nintendo Switch displays, both in terms of size and brightness, yet it’s utterly irrelevant if you’re the kind who just plugs the system into its dock to play on a television. When docked, there’s no visible functional change after years with my prior launch model Nintendo Switch and a few weeks with the OLED.
(Photo courtesy of Nintendo)
When you play the game on a portable, though, everything changes. The colors on the OLED panel are more brilliant and the screen is brighter. It’s simply simpler to use in general, since a better screen enhances the whole experience, and the fact that it’s really larger in terms of total size than the other Nintendo Switch models helps. While the overall dimension is just slightly larger in terms of length, the screen is 7 inches rather than the 6.2-inch LCD screen on the basic model. If you have the original to compare it to, the difference is much more evident, especially when compared to the smaller, less expensive Nintendo Switch Lite.
A radically revamped dock is one of the other main improvements with the Nintendo Switch OLED variant. The Nintendo Switch sits somewhat deeper into its groove in the OLED dock than in the original, and the rear cover actually pulls off rather than opening and shutting on a hinge. The OLED dock also has a LAN port, which eliminates one of the model’s USB connections, as well as a stylish semicircle aperture on the rear cover for cable passage.
The redesigned stand, rather than the screen, is the most enticing feature of the OLED variant. Instead of the weak kickstand seen on the original Nintendo Switch, the OLED variant has a full-length stand that spans the whole bottom half of the console and is simple to open while still supporting the console’s weight. The promise of dropping your Switch on a table to play with a bunch of friends at, say, the park was one of the constant references in promotional ads for the original Nintendo Switch launch, but the reality was that the kickstand never seemed to be able to effectively hold the thing up, and even if it did, it was only at one angle.
(Photo courtesy of Nintendo)
The new stand fixes all of the previous stand’s issues. It’s broad enough that it’s never fallen over or been picky about where it’s put, and the way it opens out and supports itself allows for a number of various angles with no trouble. I’d changed the kickstand of the basic model Nintendo Switch with a third-party one that never worked well but was still better than the original, and the OLED’s stand is much better. The microSD slot is still located on the bottom left, however it has been significantly altered to allow it to be inserted horizontally.
On the OLED variant, a lot of the buttons and accents have been updated as well, but it’s tough to discern if they are enhancements or merely different. The top-mounted power and volume buttons have been somewhat modified, with the power button taking on a more oval form than the previous versions, and the vents have been redesigned as well. Regrettably, the Joy-Con controllers look to be the same as they were previously, i.e., prone to wandering. I haven’t personally encountered any of these, but Nintendo previously said that there was no substantial upgrade to them.
The Nintendo Switch OLED model is a great example of a little step forward. It’s an improvement over the previous model, but not by enough to make it a must-have for anybody who already has one of the prior versions. If customers are primarily interested in using a Nintendo Switch docked and connected to a television, the basic model is $50 less expensive and well worth considering. There is, however, no better version whether they want to play primarily as a portable or merely dip their toe into the newest generation of Nintendo systems for the first time.
Nintendo supplied a review unit for the sake of this review at launch.