The Nintendo Switch console is a favorite for many. I mean how many other consoles are as versatile? The Switch is a TV, handheld, and tabletop console all in one package. But, if you’re a proud owner of versions 1 or 2 of the Nintendo Switch, you’ll know that the Switch isn’t a great tabletop console nor a great TV console, nor a great handheld. The Switch is as the old phrase says “a jack of all trades, master of none.”
In 2021, the Switch turned 4 years old. In that time, I think Nintendo got a lot of messages (or complaints) that ultimately helped them improve the Nintendo Switch OLED much more for tabletop and handheld gaming. Still, as a console gamer, I have a lot to complain about. So, here are the reasons why the Switch OLED is worth it for some, and a totally pointless purchase for others.
Reasons to Get the Switch OLED
The main highlight of the Switch OLED is, of course, the new OLED screen. If you don’t know what OLED is, it’s essentially a display with the pixels illuminating itself, eliminating the need for a backlight that’s always on.
As a result, you get deeper blacks instead of the greyish black that most screens have. Let’s not forget that the Switch OLED’s screen is also larger at 7 inches compared to the regular Switch which had a 6.2-inch display. It might not sound like much, but it makes a difference.
Add that larger display to the brighter and more vibrant OLED image and you’ve got a console that’s great for handheld and tabletop gaming, even in outdoor conditions!
However, OLED panels are known to have burn-in problems. If you’ve experienced burn-in on a phone or a TV before, you know that it’s extremely frustrating. It’s a major concern for a game console since video games have a lot of static elements on-screen like health bars, maps, and other HUD elements.
So far, some tests have already proven that the Switch OLED didn’t burn-in images even if you left the screen on for a week. That doesn’t mean it won’t have this problem after a few years of regular usage but it seems that Nintendo’s burn-in prevention features are good enough to prevent the problem with normal use.
The OLED display on the Switch is now made of glass. I think that was a good upgrade because you get a clearer image with glass. However, the reason that the other versions of the Switch had a plastic display is that plastic won’t shatter like glass will.
If you’re an adult, I don’t think you should worry about the OLED display cracking. But if you’re gifting a Switch OLED for your kid or if you’re a clumsy person, just remember that glass shatters.
Let’s not forget that tabletop mode is one of the modes you can play a Nintendo Switch with. And frankly, I don’t think many people used the regular Switch for tabletop gaming since it had the flimsy and thin kickstand that was just crap. Those “kickstands” can’t even hold the weight of a Switch:
But now, the Switch OLED has a wide metal kickstand that’s widely adjustable, and not only that, it has a new hinge mechanism that won’t fall off even if you pull on it:
It might be a small upgrade but I’m sure it’ll make a lot of people happy, especially kids and those who love to play co-op games portably.
Built-in Ethernet on Dock
This is the feature that regular Switch owners were looking for. There are a ton of adapters and dongles made to remedy the lack of a built-in ethernet port. But now, the Switch OLED has one on the included dock.
There aren’t any more changes and improvements with the dock other than the ethernet port and clean white color. And even though you can buy the new dock for your regular Switch, it’s still nice to have that already included with the Switch OLED. I think that’s a win for everyone.
Reasons to Skip the Switch OLED
This Is Not the Switch Pro That We Were Anticipating
Based on rumors and leaks that floated around online, I think most of us thought that the new Switch was going to be a Switch Pro. After all, we just got new-gen PlayStations and Xbox consoles, so a significant Switch upgrade is a bit overdue?
We were wrong, though. There are no significant upgrades in terms of graphics and processing performance — which is nothing short of disappointing for people who were expecting a Switch Pro.
Seeing that the Switch OLED still struggles with some of the very same points as the regular Switch is a true disappointment. At the end of the day, the Switch OLED is just a cosmetic upgrade for people who already owned a regular Switch.
Don’t get me wrong. The Switch OLED is not utter trash. Nintendo just opted for a mid-cycle update rather than a full upgrade. But, if you were really hoping for 4k resolution with your Switchm you can get a 4K upscaling dongle like the Marseille mClassic (if you’re lucky you might get one while it’s on stock.)
It’s Tricky to Transfer Data to a Switch OLED (Or Any Switch)
Okay, let’s say you already have a regular Switch or even a Switch Lite, and you really want to experience what all the buzz is about with the Switch OLED, or you just want to upgrade for the sake of the new features or the new colors. Well, let me tell you, it’s a frustrating process.
First off, transferring your saved files is tricky, especially if you have multiple profiles on your switch. If you use the Direct System Transfer (which is the best way to transfer data) you have to transfer one profile at a time from the old Switch to the new one. And no, the games you had won’t download automatically, you either have to download it again from the eShop or reinstall them using the game cartridges.
If you have your games installed on an SD Card, you can’t just pop that card into your new Switch and call it a day, even if you had your new Switch already set up properly. Each SD Card you use with a Switch will be permanently linked to that Switch unless you wipe your card. So you still have to redownload everything.
If you won’t have access to your old Switch by the time you set up your new Switch OLED, you also have to keep in mind that you’ll lose all your save files unless you have an active Nintendo Online account that’ll enable cloud saving.
One last thing: If you’re getting the Switch OLED as a second Switch, you’ll have to pick a primary Switch. Any other Switch you have will be a secondary device. What does that mean? You’ll only be able to play your downloaded games offline on your Primary Switch. For your secondary device, you have to be connected to the internet to play. When transferring your saved data between your two devices, you can also delete all your saved files on your old Switch, so take extra care.
If you need more help, here’s a good instructional video on how to set up your new Switch OLED properly.
We all know by now that the Switch OLED’s Screen is larger, but why the heck would Nintendo make the Switch OLED ever so slightly wider? I mean, I get it the new OLED display might need a bit more room, but I’m sure they could at least keep the dimensions the same.
If you’re wondering why this is a bad thing, it’s because even though they made the Switch OLED a smidge wider, it’s already enough that you won’t be able to use existing accessories — like cases or pouches — that need a tight fit around the Switch.
I would understand it if they made the console significantly larger by adding a battery and more processing power, but considering that the console basically stayed the same performance-wise, this is mildly infuriating. And I’m not trying to spread conspiracy theories, but it seems like they did this so they could profit from first-party accessories.
Should You Get it?
We went through the biggest reasons to get or avoid the new Switch OLED, but what’s the best move for you?
You Should Get the Switch OLED If…
- The Switch OLED will be your first Nintendo Switch.
- You’re upgrading from a Switch Lite, especially if you want a better handheld experience.
- You love playing games on handheld mode, tabletop mode, and outdoors.
- You have a non-Red box or V1 Switch from 2017-2019 (those things are prone to hacking and have a poor battery life).
You Should Skip the Switch OLED If…
- You just bought a Switch recently
- You have a Red Box or V2 Switch
- You expected 4k resolution on docked mode
- You only play on docked mode
If you play exclusively on handheld mode, it’s up to you if you want to get the Switch Lite or Switch OLED.
Have you made your mind up? If you want to support us, you can get your preferred Nintendo Switch with the links below. Thank you for reading!