Should You Buy the Nintendo Switch OLED Model?
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After months of rumors piling up like flapjacks as fans anxiously waited for a new Switch, Nintendo finally came through with a new console announcement. However, it wasn’t the announcement we expected. Instead of the rumored Switch “Pro”, the Japanese gaming giant came out with the Nintendo Switch OLED Model.
Rather than upgrading everything about the console in one fell swoop, it seems Nintendo opted for incremental changes. While the OLED Model doesn’t quite fulfill every rumored enhancement, it still features worthwhile improvements.
So is the Switch OLED Model right for you? With the new console dropping October 8 (along with Metroid Dread), we’ll help you decide whether to shell out your hard-earned cash for Nintendo’s shiny new toy.
Nintendo Switch OLED Model New Features and Specs
For brand new gamers/non-gamers: The Nintendo Switch is Nintendo’s latest video game console, first released in 2017. It’s a hybrid, meaning you can play with the Switch plugged into your TV (aka docked), or handheld. Hence the name. It’s one of Nintendo’s highest-selling consoles, and boasts a deep catalog of excellent games. The Switch has its own screen for handheld mode. Controllers on the side, called Joy-Cons, can be removed when the console is docked.
Like its name suggests, that OLED screen is definitely the biggest benefit of this new model. Without getting too technical, it displays more vibrant colors and darker blacks for contrast. It’s also a bit bigger – the OLED Model is a 7-inch, while the standard is a 6.2-inch screen. Here are all the upgrades:
- 7-inch OLED screen (duh)
- New dock with LAN port built-in (better for online gaming)
- Enhanced audio in handheld mode
- 64GB of storage (the standard storage is 32)
- Wider kickstand for better stability in tabletop mode
- Beautiful new white color dock and Joy-Cons
The white dock and Joy-Cons might just be enough to sell you on it. But if you’re into specs, and you’ve been following alleged “Switch Pro” rumors, you may notice some key upgrades that are not on this list. In fact, Nintendo admitted that besides the screen, the guts of the machine are identical to the standard Switch.
But that screen, tho…
Price Comparison: Switch, Switch Lite, and Switch OLED Model
- The Switch costs $299.99
- The Switch OLED Model costs $349.99
- The Switch Lite (handheld only) costs $199.99
When considering which Switch to buy, there is one overarching question – how much do you play in handheld mode? The answer to that question will clear up a good bit of uncertainty for you.
The OLED’s primary upgrade is for handheld/tabletop mode, after all. If you play handheld a lot, you have more incentive to nab the OLED Model. If you rarely play in handheld mode, the OLED Model is almost pointless. So let’s get more specific:
What If I Don’t Have a Switch? Should I Get the OLED Model?
Absolutely yes. If you don’t have Switch in your life, you need some Switch in your life. Since it’s only $50 more, you might as well go for the OLED.
The only reason you’d choose not to get the OLED Model is if you know you will only be playing in handheld mode, and don’t even want to dock. In that case, it comes down to price. The OLED Model looks and sounds better in handheld mode, but the much lower price of the handheld-only Switch Lite may be a key factor in your decision. An extra $150 in your pocket goes a long way in building your game library.
What If I Already Have a Switch? Should I Upgrade to the OLED Model?
That depends. How old is your Switch? If you have the release model from 2017, chances are it’s looking long in the tooth. You might want a fresh machine with a slightly better battery anyway. And the OLED screen would be quite the cherry on top. Especially if you’re a frequent handheld player.
If you never play in handheld mode, your Switch is always charged and you’re using your TV screen, so there’s really no need for a new console.
Finally, if you have a more recent Switch with an improved battery, you should hang onto it and skip the OLED. There’s always another console on the horizon. You can upgrade when the alleged “Switch Pro” or “SwitchCube 2” or “Console to Demolish All Competition” (or whatever it will be called) comes out.
What Video Games Get Wrong About Firearms
Video games are full of fantastical elements and unrealistic representations of real-life things, but that’s what makes them fun. But sometimes, there are just things that irk you a little. Firearms are one of those things for me. I’m an avid shooter and video games will pretty often get them wrong, so I thought it might be fun to talk about some of video games’ biggest mistakes when it comes to guns.
Shotguns in video games were what actually inspired this article. Video games get these things wrong every time without fail. They’re most often portrayed as weapons that are basically pea-shooters if you’re more than 10 feet away. That’s just not the case. In real life, a shotgun’s effective range is much longer. Think more like 38 yards (35 meters). Shotgun loads do spread a good bit, but not nearly as much as most people have been led to believe. The spread is roughly that of a baseball for the first 20 yards or so. Of course, it is important to note that most of the time shotguns are programmed this way in video games for balancing reasons since video games often misrepresent fighting distance as well.
Engaging at Range
I’m not a veteran or anything, but I do consider myself a little bit of a “war/history nerd.” I had to do a little digging on what actual combat looks like these days. I was surprised to find out that most infantry vs infantry fighting is done at distances where you can barely see who’s shooting at you or at least where it’s difficult to be bang-on with your aim. Most video games prefer to portray combat as close quarters, notably like Call of Duty and Battlefield.
The burst of machine-gun fire is a given in almost any FPS, especially from submachine guns, assault rifles, and light machine guns. You’ll find that most accurate fire is done by way of semi-automatic shooting. That means one pull of the trigger equals one shot. At most distances, full auto fire is difficult to control and burns through ammunition too quickly. Usually, automatic gunfire can be seen from light machine guns. This automatic fire is typically used to pin enemies down/ prevent them from moving as well as provide cover for squad members.
Video games get a lot wrong about firearms, but that’s not really the point. Games are designed for escapism and having a good time not being incredibly realistic (although that is a great bonus sometimes). I won’t hold it against devs for getting things wrong now and then, if I even notice it in the first place.
Essential Game Boy Games That Should Be Added to Nintendo Switch Online
By now, you’ve likely heard the rumors that Game Boy games could be coming to Nintendo Switch Online, Nintendo’s subscription-based online gaming service. First of all: it’s about time!
Handheld gaming has been integral to Nintendo’s identity since the company’s beginnings.
The fact that the Switch is a hybrid docked/handheld console would make the addition of games from Nintendo’s classic handheld device perfectly fitting – and oh so sweet. Here are some Game Boy games that would be essential entries in a Nintendo Switch Online collection:
Super Mario Land – Nintendo R&D1, 1989
Of course, Super Mario Land will be near the top of every Game Boy wishlist for Nintendo Switch Online. It was the Game Boy’s debut title (along with Tetris), so a GB collection would have to include at least the first Super Mario Land game, if not all three.
They were genuinely entertaining and innovative games (not to mention that bomb soundtrack). And the Super Mario Land trilogy made significant contributions to the Mario franchise, including Princess Daisy and Wario’s first appearances.
Pokémon Red and Blue – Game Freak, 1998
Take me back to Kanto, where it all began. The Red and Blue games were quality RPGs. Iconic generation one Pokémon like Mewtwo captured the imaginations of gamers everywhere, and characters like the infamous Team Rocket created a rich plot and rewarding gameplay. Grueling gym challenges and rivalry with Blue made for a satisfyingly high degree of difficulty.
The historical significance of Red and Blue can’t be overstated, considering what Pokémon has grown to be (TV shows! Trading cards! Movies! Toys!). To think that it all started with this little Game Boy game…
The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons – Flagship, 2001
The Oracle games have been sitting on the shelf for too long! These dual Game Boy Color titles haven’t yet received big makeovers or major re-releases. So Oracle of Ages/Seasons have a special nostalgic draw. Dungeons and puzzles stay true to the franchise’s high quality expectations. And the fact that beating both games unlocks a secret final scene is too enticing to ignore.
While we’re at it, why not throw in Link’s Awakening? Yes, it already got a remake for the Switch. And yes, it was great. But we want the OG too!
Metroid II: Return of Samus – Nintendo R&D1, 1991
This GB title is pivotal to the Metroid story, and cemented the franchise’s bad boy rep. With Metroid Dread coming in October, the chance to play through the entire Metroid story would be a pure delight. And not a bad marketing strategy either.
I hope Nintendo considers including Game Boy Advance titles on Nintendo Switch Online as well. Metroid Fusion and Metroid: Zero Mission were GBA games that were meant to precede Metroid Dread. But Dread was shelved back in 2006 – until now. Letting fans relive the 2D side scrolling journey of Samus would build massive hype for the arrival of Metroid Dread.
Tetris – Nintendo R&D1, 1989
Tetris is a staple of gaming. The Game Boy version represents an intersection of one of the greatest games of all time and a groundbreaking handheld console. It marks a profound moment for a visionary company in the early days of its tremendous history. The planets aligned to make Tetris on the Game Boy a giant huge massive intensely significant game.
So, yeah it should be on NSO. It’s kind of a given.
Why Has PlayStation Been Outselling Xbox Every Console Generation?
At this point in gaming culture, no one is a stranger to the “console wars’ that ignite every new console generation. Fans go to work comparing every last detail like resolution and potential exclusives. You’ll usually find two sides to that debate: PlayStation and Xbox (Nintendo excluded since they outsell both companies every time). You might be surprised to find out that worldwide sales numbers aren’t as close as we might think. PlayStation has dominated the numbers between the two companies. Last generation the PlayStation 4 sold nearly 115 million units, over double the amount that the Xbox One did (51 million). Why is PlayStation beating out Xbox so badly?
The biggest reasons don’t have to do with hardware specs or minute differences. It’s partially a matter of preference in other parts of the world. You’ll find that here in the US there’s not as much of a difference. PS4 still outsold the Xbox One, but the gap was considerably smaller. Worldwide sales are where we start to see that huge gap. Over half of the Xbox One sales are from the United States alone. PlayStation’s sales in the US were only a quarter of its total sales. Xbox did significantly worse in Europe and West and East Asia. Part of that could be due to the higher concentration of JRPG’s available on PlayStation since it’s manufactured in Japan. Not to mention that most games on Xbox are targeted towards Western culture and don’t always catch the interest of an Asian market. This regional difference in game preferences spans all of the PlayStation and Xbox console generations excluding the Xbox 360 and PS3 generations where Microsoft almost beat Sony.
A Disastrous Launch
If we focus on the Xbox One’s launch, we’ll be able to zero in on why it sold so poorly compared to the PlayStation 4. If you were around for the launch of these consoles, you know that the Xbox One had an extremely rough start. Microsoft had a hard focus on its potential role as more than a game console and included a handful of features that people hated. First was that the Kinect would come with the console. People did not like the idea that the kinect could constantly hear you which made it a major concern for privacy. To make things worse, the console started out at $500, $100 more than the PS4.
The Xbox One would also require a persistent internet connection which would obviously be a problem where internet is slow and has spotty connection. There was also the question of why Xbox would even require such a thing.
To add onto the pile of things was the fact that players wouldn’t be able to play used games at all due to DRM.
Microsoft would roll back plenty of these “features” but it couldn’t “untarnish” the launch and sales suffered badly as a result. Now, Microsoft is still trying to repair its reputation. The Xbox Series X and S might just tell a different story though.