On July 6, Nintendo released the announcement trailer for its new addition to the Switch line-up, the Switch OLED model. The console comes four years after the original Nintendo Switch and two years after the release of the Nintendo Switch Lite. The new model is expected to be available on October 8, 2021, at the retail price of $349.99.
The model’s features highlighted in the trailer include a new OLED 7” screen with vivid colors along with an updated speaker to improve the user experience when engaging directly with the handheld device independently from the TV display. A new spec that will improve the TV mode of the device is the LAN port on the dock that will create greater ease for gamers in online play. A new kickstand has also been included to allow the stand to be adjustable at wider angles. These features add $50 to the retail price when compared to the $299.99 Nintendo Switch released in 2017. The refreshed colors for the new device are white, as seen in the trailer, and gold, as seen on the Nintendo website. Both colors appear on the joy-con controllers as well as on the dock to match.
Nintendo has done a great job in creating the anticipation and excitement around this new device. But our initial thoughts on this new addition to the Switch family are mixed. The speculations that have been going around for months about the “Switch Pro” may have had people’s expectations set too high for this new model. The joy-con controllers from the original Switch can be used on the new model, causing fans to be disappointed with no new plans to improve on the problem of “drifting”, or when the motion sensors on the controllers begin to veer off center. That is not to say there is no possibility for updates in this model’s joy-cons or future accessories.
It is not abnormal for Nintendo to release a larger model with other smaller upgrades for its devices. Back in 2013, Nintendo had released the Nintendo 3DS XL, essentially a larger version of the 2011 Nintendo 3DS. Four years after the release of the original Nintendo Switch is a good timespan for people looking for an upgrade or wanting to improve the handheld experience of their Switch.
This year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) also shed light on some exciting new games that will be released in the next couple of years, the most notable being the second trailer to the sequel of hugely popular ‘Zelda: Breath of the Wild’ game, which remains in the top five best-selling games list, four years after its initial release along with the original Switch. Other games like ‘Mario Odyssey’ and ‘Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ are still incredibly popular long after their initial release dates.
The love for the original device and the games that came along with it will surely reignite the excitement once again for a new edition of this device and the new games that will be launched alongside, which hopefully will be announced in the coming months. Nintendo sold over 17.79 million units in its launch year. Four years later, a lot of those users may be looking for an upgrade, as well as the continuously growing fan base. The Nintendo Switch has now sold over 84 million units globally, including the Switch Lite introduced in 2019. With the booming success of this device since its introduction, the Nintendo Switch OLED model may not reach the heights of the original device but will certainly add to the success story of this hybrid device.