Over the past two years, we’ve seen plenty of rumors related to a “Pro” model of the popular Nintendo Switch hybrid console. Rumors ramped up enough this year that we became confident we would see it launch before the end of 2021. Well, it turns out we were both right and wrong with our expectations because now we have the Nintendo Switch OLED model.
While this is an upgraded version of the original Switch console, it falls far shy of being the Pro-level model we were expecting. That being said, there’s still a lot to love about this upgraded version of the Switch.
Below, you’ll find everything you need to know about this new console!
Nintendo Switch OLED model: What is it?
The Nintendo Switch OLED model — which launched on July 6, 2021 — is just like the regular Nintendo Switch that launched in March 2017. It is a hybrid console that swaps easily from handheld mode to television mode. There are Joy-Con on either side of the console, which are the same as the ones on the regular Switch. It plays all the usual Switch games, has the same processor, battery, RAM, and most other specs.
However, Nintendo upgraded and enhanced a selection of features of the console to make it better (more on that in the next section). This makes the console superior to the regular Switch and the handheld-only Switch Lite. It does not make it a Switch Pro or Switch 2, though, as it’s not changed that much.
This is actually the second time Nintendo has tweaked the Switch. The first time was in August 2019. At that point, the company updated the system-on-chip from the Nvidia Tegra X1 to the Tegra X1 Plus. This had the nice side effect of increasing battery efficiency. Nintendo didn’t feel this change was significant enough for a new name, though, so that new model is still just sold as a Nintendo Switch.
It is very possible Nintendo could still have a true “Pro” model of the Switch in the works. However, it is likely most rumors related to that were actually for the Nintendo Switch OLED model, so we don’t recommend holding your breath for a Switch Pro anytime soon.
Nintendo Switch vs OLED model: What’s changed?
The most obvious upgrade for this model of the Switch is the inclusion of an OLED panel. The original Switch has an LCD display, which produces objectively inferior images. This OLED panel is also physically larger than the original Switch at 7 inches (the original display is 6.2 inches).
Unfortunately, that larger display does not carry with it an upgrade in resolution. The new Switch’s display outputs at 720p on its own and 1080p when docked, just like the regular Switch.
There are a few other notable upgrades, though. The internal storage capacity is now 64GB, twice as much as in the original Switch. It also has a much-improved kickstand that spans the entire back of the console and has adjustable stopping points, which will solve a huge pain point for gamers on the go. Nintendo is also claiming that the audio from the undocked console is superior, but it doesn’t really explain what’s making that possible.
Finally, the included dock also includes a built-in Ethernet port. Previously, you needed to buy an accessory for this functionality, so that’s a nice touch.
When you can buy and how much
The Nintendo Switch OLED model will launch on October 8, 2021. It will have a suggested retail price of $349. That’s just $50 more than the regular Switch and $150 more than the Switch Lite. pre-orders for the console opened on July 15, 2021.
This new model will come with a new color option with white Joy-Con and a matching white dock. There will also be a model with the classic Neon Blue and Neon Red Joy-Con and black dock.
All current Nintendo Switch games and official accessories (including Joy-Con) are compatible with the Nintendo Switch OLED model.
Be warned, though: it will most likely be incredibly difficult to get this when it does launch. The ongoing global chip shortage as well as the incredible popularity of the Switch console will make this the must-have holiday gift.
That’s everything we know about the Nintendo Switch OLED model. Be sure to keep this page bookmarked as we will update it with pre-order information and other details as they come to light.