Nintendo Switch OLED tried with hand: our impressions

Nintendo Switch OLED tried with hand: our impressions

Nintendo Switch OLED tried with hand

From the prehistoric times of the Game Boy to the lively period of the DS and 3DS, Nintendo has always grown accustomed to multiple models and revisions of its consoles. Between larger screens, sleeker designs and added features, inevitably a better model ends up picking up the baton of the previous one and replacing it in shop windows. But Nintendo Switch OLED carries a cross, and it's not the directional one. Indiscretions, reports and a succession of rumors have created false expectations towards more modern and powerful hardware. Although Nintendo has never made any official statements, it was firmly established that the next revision of the console would allow it to play at higher resolutions and framerates.

The Nintendo Switch OLED is scheduled for release. 8 October at the price of € 349.99, The new model to enter the Switch family instead presents a few but essential innovations: a larger and more vibrant screen, better speakers for audio, an expanded internal memory, a rear stand that finally has sense of existing and a base to connect the console to the TV equipped with an integrated LAN input. A couple of months after the official launch, I had the opportunity to experience Switch OLED in an extremely controlled environment. No photos or videos were allowed, and Nintendo reps gave me a glare when I asked if I could take the console outdoors. I had a screwdriver in my backpack, but at that point I avoided asking. At launch there will be a way to scrutinize the Switch OLED inside and out, but the occasion has mostly allowed us to get an idea of ​​the "look" and "feel" of the console, and how much the experience is actually superior to that of the Switch. and Switch Lite.

OLED display, you can see the difference

The Nintendo Switch OLED frame is not completely gone, but it is enough to make the image clearly wider Let's start with the biggest novelty (literally ) and the one that gives the name to Nintendo Switch OLED. Unlike the LCD screen of the Switch (6.2 '') and Switch Lite (5.5 ''), it is known that the new model is equipped with a 7 '' OLED display, a size obtained by significantly reducing the frame surrounding the screen. , while keeping the dimensions of the console intact. For a direct comparison, I paired the Switch OLED with both a PlayStation Vita (also equipped with OLED technology) and the original Switch model, and the difference between the screens can be seen.

The new Switch model is unequivocally brighter, the colors are more vibrant and the image better contrasted. Trying Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on both consoles and with maximum brightness, the difference is perceived: the colors in motion, the neon lights and the fireworks of the Mario Kart Stadium stand out more decisively; when hit by a Calamako, the ink stains that dirty the screen are a decidedly more intense black, just as the blue of the sky above the Airport of the Sun is brighter.

We do not see time to play the sequel to Zelda: Breath of the Wild on the Nintendo Switch OLED. Indeed, we can't wait to play the sequel to Zelda: Breath of the Wild, period Even in Zelda: Breath of the Wild the first moments of the adventure are appreciated more, passing from the darkness of the initial cave to the panache and the splendor of the Plateau of Origins. And in addition to being brighter, the image is also wider, while still remaining extremely sharp and fluid. The fear was that by keeping the 720p resolution in portability, switching to a larger OLED screen would lead to a slight loss of sharpness, especially on the smallest details.

Pausing to look at the screen very carefully and very closely, if a softening of the image can be vaguely perceived in the texts of the menus, while you play everything appears larger, more pleasant and brighter. Not having been able to test the console outside, the performance of the display in strong natural light conditions remains in doubt: like the original, even the Switch OLED does not have an anti-reflective screen and probably playing in direct sunlight will remain a less than ideal situation. , but the higher screen brightness should still compensate and ensure a better experience.

Both Mario Kart and Super Mario Odyssey were great titles to test the new improved audio with. The speakers, now much wider, at maximum volume offer a more powerful sound (but not too much to be excessive) and above all sharper, in which the collected coins, Mario's exclamations and musical notes stand out better without getting mixed up. It will not be a total revolution, it will probably be of little interest to those who play using headphones and earphones, but the difference is there and you can hear it.

What is an OLED screen?

OLED stands for Organic Light Emitting Diode. It is a technology that differs from classic LCD displays in a very precise way: instead of having the entire surface of the display constantly backlit, OLED screens use organic diodes that can emit light independently. This means that only the useful parts of the screen "light up", leading to pure blacks, better contrasted images and generally energy savings. In addition to more vibrant colors than traditional LCDs, the advantages of OLED screens are also lower image latency and a wider viewing angle. Depending on the arrangement of the sub-pixels, OLED screens use a PenTile or RGB matrix, a detail that has not been officially clarified by the test.

Finally a "Pro" stand

The Nintendo Switch OLED stand is finally large, stable and rigid. As it should have been from the beginning. The rear stand was also surprisingly positive, allowing you to keep the console resting on a flat surface. The original version of the Switch has so far had an absolutely terrible kickstand: small, unstable and impossible to adjust, it was so uncomfortable that people often preferred not to play in tabletop mode precisely to prevent the Switch from falling. It took little effort to do a better job, but Nintendo took the example of the Surface Pro and equipped the Switch OLED with a full-width, rigid stand that can be pulled to an extreme angle. And there is no comparison: there is no * click * and no chance of the console falling; adjusting the angle is finally immediate and convenient. It was about time.

The identification code and the production information of the Switch OLED are hidden behind the stand, making the console logo the only visible element on the back. On the body of the console there are many small details and attentions more than the original Switch model. The buttons related to the ignition and the volume are narrower and elongated, a solution that - at least at a very first impression - seems more aesthetic than actually linked to the user experience. Change the position of the micro-SD slot, always hidden by the stand but which is now more easily accessible regardless of whether you have large or small fingers. Two tiny rubber feet have also been added to the bottom of the console, probably to give additional stability in tabletop mode.

We are curious to try the Nintendo Switch OLED in strong natural light encodings Inside, the Switch OLED will remain instead identical to the previous model. Same CPU, same RAM, with the exception of the internal memory which rises to 64GB, a space sufficient to contain a good number of small games, but which, as Switch owners know well, will not be enough for those who intend to buy a large part digitally. of their games. According to Nintendo estimates, the battery life is the same as the first Switch revision, with a range of 4.5 hours to 9 hours depending on which games are being played.

Instead, it is perplexing that even Switch OLED does not provide support for bluetooth headphones. Nintendo has never stated this, but the suspicion is that the decision is linked to the fear that connecting other devices could create interference with the correct use of Joy-Con. Joy-Con which remain identical, at least officially: we have not had the opportunity to open them to understand if any silent changes have been made inside them.

Compatible peripherals

We will have to wait for the release of the console to actually clarify which peripherals will be compatible with the Nintendo Switch OLED, but the fact that the console maintains a form factor almost identical to that of the old model bodes well for those who own third-party accessories for Switch such as Joy-Con, covers and adapters Bluetooth. However, there will be some small exceptions that, due to tiny differences, will not be compatible or will be only partially: among these the Flip Grip, an accessory designed for scrolling shoot'em ups that allows you to play while holding the screen vertically. .

The base

Except for the integrated LAN input, Nintendo Switch OLED will not bring any improvement to the TV gaming experience As for the base to connect the console to the TV , the only noteworthy novelty concerns the addition of a LAN input, obviating the need to purchase an external adapter. The rounded corners and the console logo are a nice aesthetic touch, while the rear slot detaches completely and allows you to better organize the connected cables. The internal LAN input at the base takes the place of one of the three USB ports, which now drop to two: since that input was almost certainly occupied by the Ethernet adapter, you will hardly miss it. During the test, the base was not even connected to a TV, and the reason is clear: the novelties of the Switch OLED are almost entirely related to the gaming experience in portability, and those who currently play with the Switch almost only in TV mode will not find any concrete improvement.

In addition to the classic Blue / Neon Red color, Nintendo Switch OLED will arrive at launch with a white color, in line with the colors chosen for the enemies of Metroid Dread When it arrives in stores next October 8 at the price of 349, 99 €, Switch OLED will offer all the features of the standard Switch model together with the best gaming experience in portability. Does it make sense to buy it? The answer all depends on the type of use you will make of it and whether or not you have the old version of Switch. If you play almost exclusively with a monitor or TV, no, the Switch OLED certainly has very little to offer. But if you don't have Switch yet, or if you play very often in portability and are looking for the best gaming experience, here is the new Nintendo console model gains a whole other appeal.


Brighter, larger and more lively image, the difference with the old display is there and it shows The sound is a little more powerful and clearer The rear stand finally makes sense DOUBT The fact that a Bluetooth headphone support is still missing puzzling For those who play mainly in TV mode there is no tangible improvement Have you noticed any errors?

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