Nintendo Switch vs. Switch OLED: Is it worth the upgrade?

The Nintendo Switch OLED has been revealed, but is the console powerful enough to warrant an upgrade? The new hardware features a variety of differences and improvements, though with it not quite matching up to some of the speculation surrounding the Switch Pro, prospective buyers are left wondering if it’s worth parting with their hard-earned cash for the new system. Let’s take a look at the Nintendo Switch vs. the Switch OLED in closer detail.

Is the Switch OLED more powerful than the Switch?

In short, no. The Switch OLED is the base Nintendo Switch but with a larger, OLED screen. The Switch OLED has a 7-inch screen size compared to the original’s 6.2-inch and the Switch Lite’s 5.5-inch. The original Switch has an LCD screen compared to the OLED in the appropriately named Switch OLED.

OLED screens are preferred for vibrant colors, and given the Switch’s library of colorful games such as Super Mario Odyssey and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, this should help to improve its visuals on the Switch OLED even if it doesn’t do anything better technically. This is because the console still runs on the same NVIDIA Custom Tegra processor, and while it has 64 GB of storage compared to the regular Switch’s 32 GB, it isn’t taking advantage of the faster speeds accessed by the likes of the PS5 and the Xbox Series X with their SSDs.

Think of the Switch OLED as buying a better TV screen for your console; it’ll make your games look better, but they won’t actually run better on a different TV. This might be a bit disappointing for those expecting a full upgrade, but for only $50 more than the regular Switch, it’s arguably at the right price point for what it offers.

All Switch OLED differences and improvements

nintendo switch oled upgrade

Image: Nintendo

The Switch OLED features the following improvements, according to Nintendo:

  • 7-inch screen
  • 64 GB internal storage
  • Wider, adjustable flip stand for Tabletop mode
  • Wired LAN port
  • Enhanced audio with better onboard speakers

Is the Nintendo Switch OLED worth the upgrade?

The Switch OLED is just $50 cheaper, so for those who have been holding out for an upgraded version of the console, this new hardware is at a good price point. However, for those who already own a Switch or a Switch Lite, it’s not quite the major technological leap that many were expecting.

With it featuring the same CPU/GPU as its predecessor, the OLED isn’t going to be capable of an upscaled 4K resolution, which had been speculated in various leaks and rumors circulating over the past few months.

While an upgraded Switch was never going to compete with the likes of the PS5 and Xbox Series X, many thought that it was going to bring Switch games way more in-line with current-gen games and provide a technical boast to the console’s library, similar to the PS4 Pro or Xbox One X. However, it looks like this won’t be the case after all.

The Switch OLED is definitely worth the upgrade if you’re in the market for improved visuals via its OLED screen, or if you’ve yet to buy a Switch. However, if you’re looking for a big upgrade to the original Switch, then this one might not necessarily be worth the extra cash.

Take a look a closer look at the Nintendo Switch OLED’s PS5-esque white and black colors here. Buyers are also wondering if it will fix the Joy-Con drift issue.