Nintendo announces new OLED Switch hardware

Switch OLED

The long-rumoured “Switch Pro” turned out to be real — kind of. Nintendo calls it the Nintendo Switch (OLED Model), complete with parentheses right there in the name because who would Ninty be without a little idiosyncrasy.

Handheld clarity

The OLED screen itself measures 7 inches (or 17.78cm) across. For those hoping the system would upgrade its base 720p resolution to something a little crisper, we regret to inform you that 4K is off the table. 720p is sticking around for the foreseeable future.

Despite increasing the screen size, Nintendo hasn’t actually changed the physical dimensions of the Switch system a jot. Removing the bezels around the screen opens up a ton of real estate without having to make the unit larger. This is important because, if the dimensions changed at all, the Joy-Con controllers would have been redesigned too. Then you’d have two different sets of Joy-Cons for different models and that’s a headache for consumers. So, a tidy solution from Ninty here, you love to see it.

Upgrade complete

Another major upgrade is to the rear kickstand. No longer a thin, flimsy, easily broken stick on the back, the kickstand is now a wide wedge that runs along the lower rear face of the screen. It can sit in three different orientations to suit your play situation. It’s similar to the kickstand used on Microsoft Surface tablets.

Internal storage has been upgraded from 32GB on the launch model to a full 64GB onboard. You’ll still be able to expand this with a microSD card.

Elsewhere, the TV dock has been updated with a dedicated LAN port meaning you no longer need to rely on the Switch’s hit-and-miss Wi-Fi. The speakers on the screen’s underside have been upgraded for better audio in tabletop and handheld configurations.

Lingering questions

There are still a number of unanswered questions here. Will the Switch OLED have an upgraded processor? How about an upgraded or longer battery life? Will Nintendo finally add Bluetooth audio so we can use our wireless headphones without a proprietary dongle? That Nintendo isn’t talking about any of these things would seem to indicate that they aren’t changing. We’ll keep you posted though.

The Nintendo Switch (OLED Model) will launch on October 8, 2021 (conveniently the same day as Metroid Dread). It will retail for AU$539.95.

David Smith

David Smith is the former games and technology editor at The AU Review. He has previously written for PC World Australia. You can find him on Twitter at @RhunWords.