Nintendo Switch OLED reveal has left me cold – here's hoping it's a bad hot take

I can't help but feel disappointed with the Nintendo Switch OLED

Nintendo Switch OLED
(Image credit: Nintendo)

So, yesterday I reported on the surprise, out-of-left-field official unveiling of the new Nintendo Switch OLED console.

And, let me tell you, I was left pissed off.

I'd been reporting on rumors of an upgraded Nintendo Switch console for the past couple of years, with every fresh leak about what the media dubbed the "Nintendo Switch Pro" very firmly on my radar.

According to the rumors, the new Switch was going to come loaded with a larger OLED screen, new Joy-Con controllers, a redesigned dock and, crucially, upgraded internal hardware. Hardware that would allow the new console to keep pace with the PS5 and Xbox Series X with DLSS-driven 4K upscaling technology.

I was, to put it bluntly, very excited and had serious hype for the new system.

In reality what we got, though, was a system that only partly delivered on that rumored promise. We got a larger screen (7 inches instead of 6.2) and it's an OLED panel not LCD, meaning colours, contrast and vibrancy will be better, but aside from that, the other upgrades the Switch OLED delivers look underwhelming to me right now.

My hot take on the Nintendo Switch OLED is that it delivers only one major upgrade (the screen) and for that asks a lot of money in return.

And those upgrades look notably underwhelming considering that in terms of internal hardware performance, the Switch OLED looks identical to the original Switch. We've got a console that, at least from all the official information we've got so far, has the same GPU, CPU and battery as the original Switch, and will almost certainly deliver the same core performance.

So while I'm sure games will look a bit better thanks to that OLED panel upgrade, I just don't see how the new console delivers higher resolutions and framerates, as well as any sort of elongated battery life, with the same hardware under the new exterior.

And when you consider that, it suddenly becomes in my mind a lot harder to justify dropping $349.99 to bag the new Switch OLED this October when it releases.

Yes, sure, I welcome the upgraded kickstand, speakers and dock (the latter comes with a LAN port) that the Switch OLED delivers, and I also think its new white colorway looks lush, but a cent short of $350 to buy essentially the same console as I already have feels a bit much to me right now.

Hopefully the value of the Nintendo Switch OLED will become more apparent as we get closer to launch, and that my initial impressions are proven misguided. After all, Nintendo has been tearing up the market with its Switch console over the past couple of years so maybe its decided that if it isn't broke don't try to fix it. And, look, I totally get that.

But as a gamer, and one that is a huge fan of Nintendo, I was expecting a little more.

Robert Jones
Robert Jones

Deputy Editor for T3.com, Rob has been writing about computing, gaming, mobile, home entertainment technology and more for over 15 years. You can find Rob's work in magazines, bookazines and online, as well as on podcasts and videos, too. Outside of his work Rob is passionate about motorbikes, skiing/snowboarding and team sports, with football and cricket two favourites. Feel free to contact him with any related products, events, and announcements.