Is the New Nintendo Switch Worth It?

What is the New Nintendo Switch?

Back in July, I wrote about the announcement of the rumored “New Nintendo Switch”. While it wasn’t the upgrade many people were hoping for, the console does have some key features that differentiate it from the original system.

New Nintendo Switch Unboxing

I was lucky enough to get my hands on one at launch and have been playing with it over the last few weeks. Like most people, I wasn’t sure if the new features were worth the $350 price tag. So I broke down each category to get to a final verdict.

Keep reading to find out whether the New Nintendo Switch OLED model is worth a purchase (if you can find one)!

Switch screen size comparison

New Switch Screen

I’ll start out with the biggest selling point – a 7” OLED screen. Size-wise, this is only 0.8” longer in the diagonal direction so I didn’t think it’d make a difference. I’m pleased to say that I was wrong here!

This increase in screen size, achieved by a reduction in the bezel around the screen, actually makes the handheld experience feel more immersive. Not only is the area of the screen 13% bigger, but the OLED technology makes the image look much cleaner than the OG Switch.

While playing Breath of the Wild on the go, the environment was more vivid than ever. The screen is a major upgrade over what I had become accustomed to with the original console.

New kickstand for Nintendo Switch

Kickstand

Everyone knows that the original Nintendo Switch has a terribly small, flimsy kickstand. The OLED version kicks things up a notch (see what I did there) with a wider, more sturdy stand to keep the console upright.

Honestly, it feels like this kickstand should have been on the original Switch, but I’m glad it made its way onto the upgraded version. Nice upgrade here.

New Nintendo Switch

OG Nintendo Switch

Sound

We were supposed to get “enhanced audio” on the OLED model, but who is really out there playing the Switch without headphones? I took out my headset for a minute just to test this out vs the original speakers and I was again pleasantly surprised.

The audio on the new Nintendo Switch was noticeably more crisp than the original speakers. The max volume is a little louder too, but I don’t think this is a huge selling point.

New Nintendo Switch Dock

Dock

Nintendo’s new dock is a complete overhaul from the older version. The design is sleeker and the colors match the OLED white/black scheme.

Most importantly, this dock has a LAN port so that you can use a wired connection instead of WiFi. This is great for downloading games, but I don’t play online that often. For those that do and utilize the dock, this would be a big deal for minimizing latency. 

What We Didn’t Get in the New Nintendo Switch

Many things were unchanged from v1 to v2 of the Switch:

  • Same joy-cons, same potential for drift
  • No upgrade to resolution in docked mode
  • Same overall form factor – I recommend picking up an ergonomic case for those playing in handheld mode
  • From what I can tell, the battery life is exactly the same

Nintendo boosted the internal storage to 64 gb, but most gamers will have an external micro SD for the majority of their storage needs. At a high level, Nintendo missed out on an opportunity to build off the initial success of the Switch with a more innovative “pro version”.

Is the New Nintendo Switch Worth It?

The short answer is no.

The longer answer is, “it depends”.

If you find yourself playing in handheld mode for some non-zero percentage of your gaming time, the OLED model is a worthy upgrade over the first Switch. The screen looks incredible, the kickstand leveled up a few times, and the improved audio is a nice cherry on top.

However, if you are like me and play with your Switch primarily in docked mode, the new Nintendo Switch is not worth the upgrade. Even for hardcore gamers who are playing Super Smash Bros competitively, you can buy a LAN adapter for the original Switch dock for about $15.

I feel incredibly blessed that I was able to obtain the latest model (and sell my older console), but I don’t see a strong reason for people to go out of their way right now for the OLED version. If I’m missing out on something here, please tell me!

What do you think about the New Nintendo Switch OLED model? Do you think it’s worth the upgrade? Join the conversation in the comments section, below!

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