Since the Nintendo Switch OLED was revealed back in July 2021, I've been a bit dubious about the upgrade. Like many, I picked up my Switch on launch day in March 2017 and had eagerly been awaiting a reason to upgrade. That didn't really happen.
Then in October 2021, the Nintendo Switch OLED was released to little fanfare. I still stood by my decision, although had to admit... the temptation was growing. I held off from playing Metroid Dread on my regular Switch because this was the game that Nintendo used to promote the new model and I'm one of those people that can't get the most enjoyment out of something if I know there's a better way to experience it. So I waited. I waited until I couldn't know more and finally, I made the jump.
While I've yet had a chance to dive into Metroid Dread, and Pokémon Legends: Arceus did little to change my mind on the machine's benefits, it was actually during my Kirby and the Forgotten Land review that I found the most reasons to justify a purchase. I usually spend as much time as I can playing games on a big widescreen TV so that I can immerse myself in that world as much as possible. Not with Kirby, though.
Having found myself travelling while conducting the game's review, I quickly became obsessed with playing in handheld mode. This continued once I returned home, as it became abundantly clear that the colours just didn't pop as well as on a TV as they did on the seven-inch OLED screen. The brightness from the OLED technology helped the grassy greens and bluey depths of the ocean splash with vibrancy. The mystical waves of Treasure Road sparkled, while the carnival lights of Wondaria Remains lit up like fireworks. I was enamoured with the difference.
It reminded me of my first Game Boy Color. How I was amazed by going from black and white to full colour. Literally day and night. The same has happened again (though, obviously not to the same extent) and consequently, I'm finding it hard to go back to playing in docked mode. It's that Nintendo magic people always speak of. Maybe it's the delightful art style? Or just how the OLED screen gives it enough of a kick to make something small feel significant? But it's most certainly an upgrade.
There are still a lot of ways Nintendo can take advantage of today's technology and with no Switch Pro on the horizon, it's unlikely to make another significant leap in graphics for quite some time. But that's fine. What's great about Nintendo is its charmless styles that ages better than Mario's moustache.
Super Mario World on the SNES is now more than 30 years old – and it's a beautiful game. Breath of the Wild launched the same day as the Switch and remains one of the best looking games this generation, with Breath of the Wild 2 set to replicate that very same art style five years on because of its timeless approach.
Under the hood, there isn't a lot of mechanics that justify a purchase. But the added brightness and OLED screen have made me question whether I will stick to the big TV or now opt for handheld mode in future. Something I never thought was possible upon reveal.
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