The difference between the Nintendo Switch And Nintendo Switch OLED


After much speculation, Nintendo finally, and rather unceremoniously on Twitter, announced the next Nintendo Switch.

Though the world waited with bated breath for an updated and upgraded 4k “Pro” Switch. We were instead greeted by what can only be described as an incremental and underwhelming upgrade over the base Nintendo Switch.

Like you, I was eager to see what the New Nintendo Switch “Pro”, or OLED had to offer. But now Nintendo has pulled back the curtain and unleashed the Nintendo Switch OLED, or Pro, to the world, I came away with one question tickling the tip of my tongue:

What is the difference between the normal Nintendo Switch and the new Nintendo Switch OLED edition?

Determined to find both you and myself an answer, I started an investigation.

This is what I found:

What is the difference between the normal Nintendo Switch and the Nintendo Switch OLED? The main difference between the Nintendo Switch and the Nintendo Switch OLED is that the OLED edition comes with a 7 inch OLED screen compared to a 6.2-inch LCD screen. Additionally, the New OLED model has an improved kickstand, and the bundled dock has an Ethernet port. The OLED Switch is also slightly bigger and heavier and has 64GBs of game storage space.

Ok, so that’s the basic differences out of the way. Read on to see a full in-depth comparison between the New Nintendo Switch OLED and the normal Nintendo Switch.

Price

The New Nintendo Switch OLED is seen by Nintendo as a premium console with premium features, so it carries a premium price tag.

The Nintendo Switch OLED had a recommended retail price of $349.99. That’s $50 more than the normal Nintendo Switch which retails for $299.99.

That 16.7% price increase has been attributed mainly to the more expensive OLED screen and the larger internal storage capacity. More on both of these soon.

Screen

As the name suggests, the New Nintendo Switch OLED edition comes with a next-generation OLED screen built into it.

The OLED screen, which replaces the aging LCD screen in the normal Switch, is 7 inches wide diagonally. This is 0.8 inches larger than the LCD screen found on the normal Nintendo Switch.

This size difference equals a 13% increase in screen space.

Additionally, though the OLED screen in the new Switch OLED edition is bigger than the normal Switch’s LCD screen it’s hasn’t increased the size of the console. Not by a lot, anyway. The reason for is is because bezels surrounding the screen have been shrunk.

Unfortunately, there’s a fly struggling for life in the ointment: The Switch OLED’s screen has an identical resolution to the normal Nintendo Switch LCD screen at just 1280 x 720p. So that already low resolution is going to be stretched across a bigger screen. Not exactly what you’d expect from a “pro” product.

However, even though the resolution hasn’t increased, the quality of each one of those pixels has increase, vastly.

OLED offers superior contrast levels compared to LCD screens. For example, the Switch LCD screen might be capable of 2000 steps of contrast from the darkest black to the whitest white.

Whereas an OLED screen offers millions of steps between the darkest black and whitest white. An OLED is capable of showing vastly more colours than a traditional LCD screen which leads to far more accurate colour reproduction in each scene.

For example, on a Normal LCD screen anything green in color, such as grass or trees, often looks oversaturated, almost luminescent. On OLED, the same greens will look dark and lush. Just like the greens you’d find in a real forest.

Graphics

When the Nintendo Switch Pro was first rumored, like you, I was excited at the prospect of a pumped-up Switch that could output native 4K.

After all, the current Switch is limited to a 1080p image in docked mode. Not exactly ideal for us 4K TV totting hardcore gamers.

Sadly, the Nintendo Switch OLED is still limited to a maximum 1080p resolution when docked.

This is because the GPU inside the Switch OLED edition, a custom Tegra that has 256 CUDA cores and runs at a max speed 1GHz, is identical to the Nvidia Tegra GPU found in both the original Nintendo Switch and the Nintendo Switch Lite.

So it looks like we’ll be waiting a little longer to play Zelda and Mario Odyssey in 4K.

CPU

Just like the GPU, the CPU in the new Nintendo Switch OLED is identical to the CPU found in the normal Switch and the Switch lite.

So don’t expect groundbreaking advances in AI or physics. It seems like we’ll be stuck with the original, and aging, 2Ghz quad-core ARM cortex A57 for the foreseeable future.

RAM

If you were expected the Nintendo Switch OLED edition to come packing some internal hardware upgrades, think again.

Sadly, just like the CPU and GPU, the Nintendo Switch OLED shares exactly the same type and amount of RAM as the Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite.

With a meager 4GB RAM, the Nintendo Switch OLED won’t be giving us a much-craved bump in texture quality this year.

Battery Life

The battery found inside of the Nintendo Switch OLED is identical to the battery found inside the normal Nintendo Switch.

Weighing in at 4310mAh, this Lithium-ion battery is said to provide 4.5 to 9 hours of gaming.

Just keep in mind that the amount of battery life you squeeze out of your Switch is largely dependent on the type of game you play. A 3D game such as Zelda will drain the battery far quicker than a 2D game such as Axiom Verge.

Also, changing settings such as screen brightness will affect how long the Switch OLED’s battery lasts.

Kickstand

The kickstand is a point of constant complaint for Nintendo Switch users. Most of which have 3 main issues:

  • The Switch stand is very thin and flimsy
  • The Switch Stand is not central on the back of the Nintendo Switch
  • The Switch stand can only be set to one angle

Fortunately, all of these complains have been addressed on the Nintendo Switch OLED edition.

The Switch stand is now much thicker and extends to nearly the full length of the Switch console. This provides a far more stable base for the Switch to rest on.

Additionally, the Nintendo Switch OLED’s kickstand has a new tension mechanism which means the stand can be set to any angle, making viewing more comfortable depending on the use case.

Size

The Nintendo Switch OLED and normal Nintendo Switch are almost identical in size. The only difference is that the Nintendo Switch OLED is 0.1 inches longer.

This tiny increase in size was needed to accommodate the bigger OLED screen. However other dimensions were kept identical to ensure forward and backward compatibility with Joy-cons and other peripherals.

So all your old Joy-cons and accessories will work perfectly with the new Nintendo Switch OLED edition.

Weight

The New Nintendo Switch OLED and the normal Nintendo Switch are nearly identical in size, the OLED edition is slightly but noticeably heavier.

The new OLED Switch weighs in at 0.93 lb with Joy-cons attached. For comparison, the original Switch weighs 0.88 lb with joy-cons attached. That’s a 0.05 lb or a 5.7% increase in weight.

To give you some idea of the difference, that 0.05 lb increase is the equivalent of a little less than three 1 dollar coins.

So put your Switch in hand, then carefully place three 1 dollar coins on your Switch’s screen. That’ll give you an idea of how heavy the new Nintendo Switch OLED edition is.

Dock

The Dock that comes with the Switch OLED is identical to the normal Nintendo Switch dock except for one crucial difference:

The New Nintendo Switch OLED dock comes with an Ethernet LAN Port for wired internet access.

This should give online gamers a more stable and speedy connection when battling in Super Smash Bros.

However, keep in mind it is possible to buy an Ethernet port USB adapter for the original Switch.

SSD Storage Space

The Original Nintendo Switch came with 32GB of internal storage. At the time most people thought that this tiny amount of storage wouldn’t be anywhere near enough to store all the games they’d want to buy.

And they were proven right from day one: some games did not even fit within the 32GBs! Fortunately, Nintendo thought ahead a little and included a microSD card slot on the Switch giving users the ability to upgrade the internal storage.

However, Nintendo has gone one step further with the Nintendo Switch OLED and has doubled the internal storage from 32 GB to 64GB.

Unfortunately, for what is seen as a “hardcore” console, many feel 64GB is still nowhere near enough internal storage.

Thankfully, just like the normal Nintendo Switch, The Switch OLED edition comes with a MicroSD card slot, so you can upgrade the internal storage by as much as 512GB.

Audio

The original Nintendo Switch makes use of two front facing speakers to provide basic stereo sound when in hand held mode.

The Nintendo Switch OLED edition still has these two front-facing speakers. However, Nintendo has confirmed that the Switch OLED makes use of enhanced stereo sound.

Speculation is currently doing the rounds as to whether or not the new Nintendo Switch OLED makes use of stereo Dolby Atmos. Nintendo is yet to confirm or deny this.

Comparison Table

Nintendo Switch OLEDNintendo SwitchNintendo Switch Lite
PriceUS $349.99US $299.99US $199.99 (Can’t be hooked up to TV)
Screen7 Inch OLED 1280×7206.2 Inch LCD 1280×7205.5 Inch 1280×720
Graphics
GPU: Custom Tegra 256 CUDA cores, maximum 1GHz

GPU: Custom Tegra 256 CUDA cores, maximum 1GHz

GPU: Custom Tegra 256 CUDA cores, maximum 1GHz
CPUCPU: Four ARM Cortex A57 cores, max 2GHzCPU: Four ARM Cortex A57 cores, max 2GHzCPU: Four ARM Cortex A57 cores, max 2GHz
RAMRAM: 4GBRAM: 4GBRAM: 4GB
Battery Size / Life4310mAh Lithium-ion battery / 4.5 – 9 hours4310mAh Lithium-ion battery / 4.5 – 9 hours3570mAh Lithium ion battery / 3-7 hours
KickstandExtra stable full Width stand, adjustable angle Off center inch wide stand. Single angle. No Kickstand
Size4″ x 9.5″ x 0.55″ (With Joy-cons attached)4″ x 9.4″ x 0.55″ (With Joy-cons attached)3.6″ x 8.2″ x 0.55″
Weight0.93 lbs (Joy-Cons attached)0.88 lbs (Joy-Cons attached)0.61 lbs
DockEthernet LAN port
HDMI Port
Power adaptor port
4 USB ports
No Ethernet LAN port
HDMI Port
Power adaptor port
4 USB ports
Can’t be docked
SSD Storage Space64GB32GB32GB
AudioEnhance Stereo Audio in hand-held mode(Dolby Atmos?)Standard Stereo Audio in hand-held modeStandard Stereo Audio in hand-held mode
ColorWhite/GreyBlack / Multiple-coloursMultiple-colors
Buy Now Buy NowBuy Now

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Nick Sinclair

Having played games since the golden age of the Commodore 64, Nick finally took the plunge and studied Creative Game Design in university. After 3 years of "Study", Nick co-founded a games company where he soon discovered his true calling: writing about games. 11 years later Nick writes about a tower of topics, but gaming is always stacked neatly at the top.

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