Nintendo fans, your E3 disappointment was unfortunate, but mother Nintendo has something to make it all better: a puzzling update to the existing Switch that dresses up the same underlying hardware.
“Nintendo Switch (OLED model) has a similar overall size to the Nintendo Switch system, but with a larger, vibrant 7-inch OLED screen with vivid colors and crisp contrast. Nintendo Switch (OLED model) also features a wide adjustable stand for tabletop mode, a new dock with a wired LAN port, 64GB of internal storage, and enhanced audio for handheld and tabletop play.”
No, this is not a Switch “Pro”, as the capabilities are the same. It’s still a 720p device with a 1080p docked output and presumably the same SoC (confirmed), but now the screen is a 7-inch OLED, rather than a 6.2-inch LCD. There are a couple of other improvements, including a wider built-in stand and the addition of a LAN port to the dock, but the screen upgrade is odd. I’ll explain why.
Nintendo markets the $199 Switch Lite to handheld gamers, and that one is unchanged. The Switch itself likely lives in its dock most of the time, meaning that the new version’s upgraded screen is totally wasted behind the dock’s plastic shroud when it’s connected to your TV.
So this new model is mostly geared toward those who use the standard Switch as a portable, and want a nicer screen. I’m not sure how big that market is, but Nintendo faithful will still buy whatever stock the scalpers don’t, so it doesn’t matter.
For the privilege of buying Nintendo’s weird stopgap product, you will need to bring an additional $50 to the table, as the price goes up to $349 for this new version of a four-year-old console. It goes on sale October 8.