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Nintendo has given its flagship console its biggest upgrade yet with the release of the Nintendo Switch OLED Model.
The versatile games console has been flying off the shelves since it was first released in 2017, and it was followed by a handheld-focussed version — the Nintendo Switch Lite — in 2019. The new OLED model takes what made the original console such a hit with gamers and families, and refines into a force to be reckoned with.
A quick recap for the unfamiliar: The Nintendo Switch follows in the footsteps of the Japanese company's other best-selling consoles including the NES, SNES, N64, Gamecube, Wii, and Wii U, and features the familiar roster of addictive games including Mario, Donkey Kong, Zelda, Pokemon and Animal Crossing.
Where it differs though, is that it’s the first to converge with Nintendo’s equally popular handheld console family that began with the Gameboy, and was continually updated right up to 2011’s 3DS.
Buy it: Nintendo Switch OLED | £309.99 from Very
The Switch is both: It’s a handheld gaming console that you can take with you anywhere you go, but pop into the dock at home, and it becomes a traditional console on your TV too. A third way to play is to detach the mini gaming controllers (the Joy-Cons) and use the screen for local multiplayer games too.
It’s this flexibility that has made it one of Nintendo’s most popular consoles ever, outselling the SNES, N64, 3DS and many more of its hit consoles.
What’s new with the Nintendo Switch OLED Model?
The headline feature upgrade on the revised Switch is the addition of a 7-inch OLED screen to the handheld console. Where the original had a 6.2-inch LCD display, the OLED (organic light-emitting diode) delivers an incredibly bright, crisp image that brings games like new release Metroid Dread (released the same day as the new console) to life with a stunning clarity of image.
Although by design a dark game, the added depth of the colour offered by the OLED screen really adds menace to the gloomy corridors, murky elevator shafts, and shadowy caves, while making the zaps of the laser blasts really pop.
Like the console itself the atmospheric, side-scrolling, sci-fi shooter is an update to a classic Nintendo property that feels vital and timely, and keeps the console up to pace with its more powerful console rivals the PS4 and Xbox One.
As well as the improved screen (which delivers 720p in handheld mode), Nintendo has also beefed up the audio on the handheld console, adding to the creepy, oppressive atmosphere of the alien worlds you explore in Metroid Dread.
Buy it: Metroid Dread | £39.99 from Currys
The touchscreen also has a much improved, wide adjustable stand for tabletop mode, a new dock with a wired LAN port for online gamers who suffer with wonky wifi, double the internal storage of the baseline model (64gb up from 32gb, giving you more space for downloaded games), and comes in a snazzy white that invokes memories of the Wii and Wii U.
Is the Nintendo Switch OLED worth an upgrade?
While the improvements made to the Switch feel incremental rather than revolutionary, they also feel necessary, addressing many of the complaints levelled against the original.
Where the OLED version really comes into its own is in the handheld mode. The improved screen bigger, brighter, and more clear, making reading text on the screen easier. It also makes playing in direct sunlight, not just possible, but enjoyable.
The console upgrade also feels a lot better in a tactile way. The console is more sturdy with the detachable Joy-Cons more tightly locked into the console than its predecessor. The improved kickstand is also a welcome addition, offering even more flexibility and sturdiness when in tabletop mode, making playing party games on the move so much more enjoyable.
If you’re already on board with the Switch, then the OLED offers enough to consider a trade-in, but if you’ve been on the fence about getting one, this console upgrade should be enough to switch your opinion.
See what we did there?
Out of stock? Here are all the places the Nintendo Switch OLED is stocked:
Watch a trailer for Metroid Dread