There’s no denying it — the video gaming industry is thriving right now in 2021, and Nintendo intends to make the most out of this trend with its new Switch model “OLED”.
Launching in a few months, the Nintendo Switch OLED will be out during a period where mobile gaming and console gaming are seeing an upward trend.
Researchers from the International Data Corporation and LoopMe, found that, among others, users have tended to increase their mobile gameplay since the start of the pandemic.
In another study, researchers from the University of Glasgow observed changes in video game habits among different users. They found 40% of the respondents had switched from playing games several times a week to several times a day.
According to the Glasgow research, one of the respondents even said they “bought a Nintendo Switch”, allowing them to play popular games such as Pokémon and Animal Crossing “fairly often”.
This response is a glimpse into how well Nintendo’s Switch sales have been doing since COVID-19 hit. Late last year, several news outlets reported a major increase in Switch sales, boosting its profits by thrice as much.
Now, Nintendo is offering an entirely new model of its in-demand mobile gaming console, all with new features and a slightly new design.
Release Date & Price of the Nintendo Switch OLED
The OLED model of the Nintendo Switch is set to be released this year on Oct. 8 at the value of $349.99. It’s pricier than the regular Switch model, which costs $299, and even more so than the Switch Lite, totaling $199.
According to Nintendo’s announcement post, the OLED model will come in two color styles. One will be in a white set with “white Joy-Con controllers, a black main unit and a white dock.” The other one will be in a neon red and blue set where the Joy-Con controllers are designed in those colors but paired with a black main unit and black dock.
The reception for Switch OLED has been mixed so far. Several users expressed a need for more upgraded features. And others look forward to the release, particularly because of the third-person shooter multiplayer game Splatoon 3.
Whether the Nintendo Switch OLED will fly off the shelves quickly remains to be seen, but we’re excited to watch how the gaming brand will market it in the months to come.
What’s New with the Gaming Console Nintendo Switch OLED?
Compared to the regular Switch, the Switch OLED has a few upgraded features to make gaming more exciting:
- The OLED (or organic LED) screen, as the name suggests
- The new dock and the adjustable stand
TechCrunch reports the bulk of the price increase comes from the 7-inch OLED screen. The previous regular and lite Switch models sported only a 6.2-in LED touchscreen.
What’s so significant about the OLED display? Well, for one, the graphics are supposedly more vibrant and detailed. Writing for CNET, tech reporter Geoffrey Morrison gives credence to how OLED is marketed — it has infinite contrast ratios. “And contrast ratio is arguably the most important aspect of picture quality,” he writes.
As for Nintendo Switch OLED’s internal storage, it’s twice as much as the regular Switch at 64 GB. With SD cards, users can enjoy more games exceeding this space.
But there are two new features in the Nintendo Switch OLED that caught gaming enthusiasts’ — and the public’s — attention.
According to an article by CBR contributor and gamer Philip Hou, the wired LAN port on the dock and the adjustable stand should have existed prior to the OLED model.
He says the stand on the regular Switch is “fragile and unstable,” whereas the OLED model’s stand covers a wider base, which should give gamers a much better experience.
On the other hand, the LAN port serves to enhance a user’s experience by minimizing lag while playing online, Hou notes.
Given the speed issues on the Nintendo Switch Online, a subscription service on the Switch that allows for online multiplayer gaming, among other things, the LAN port would make gaming easier on the regular Switch model, he adds.
Nintendo’s New Switch Console: A Smart Move for the Gaming Brand?
With the pandemic steadily influencing mobile gaming’s growth, it seems like releasing a new model of a mobile gaming console is the smart thing to do.
Nintendo purportedly sold nearly 30 million consoles in their last commercial year and expects to sell 25.5 million consoles this year. But will the OLED model experience a similar level of success?
Nintendo Switch OLED is definitely a step toward improvement, and it addresses some of the concerns Switch owners have with the earlier versions. However, several have also complained that this move might be a tad too late in the game.
A report in CNBC notes that “OLED screens are already used across the gadget industry”, suggesting the new display is not exactly a game-changing feature. Additionally, the new model could have been further improved with 4K capabilities, but Nintendo might be reserving this for a future version of the console.
So is launching the OLED model a smart move for Nintendo? While its new features may seem bare and discouraging for current Switch owners to try out the new model, Switch OLED’s improved display, storage, and adjustable stand could be the factors to move pandemic-driven gamers into buying.
They are pretty neat for a mobile gaming console, and with all the Splatoon 3 and Animal Crossing fans out there, the sales for the Nintendo Switch OLED might just turn out to be more successful than many anticipate.
The OLED model of the Nintendo Switch will be released on Oct. 8, 2021 at $349.99. It will come in two color styles, namely the white set and the neon red and blue set.
The console’s new features include an OLED display, 64 GB of storage, an adjustable stand, and a wired LAN port on the dock.
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