Nintendo Switch OLED

Nintendo has officially announced the Nintendo Switch OLED, the new version of the Switch that features a 7-inch OLED screen. It’s not the beefier, 4K-capable Switch Pro that has been rumored for a while now; that’s still very much a thing of mystery. The Switch OLED is something else, and like pretty much everyone else who writes about video games, I have thoughts on it. However, those are… complicated?

I need to be honest with you, dear reader: I’ve written, deleted, and re-written this article three times now.

I originally started with the thought that Nintendo has a history of doing whatever they want and still laughing their way to the bank; the Switch OLED was just the next version of that old trope. But then I remembered that the Wii U existed. For those who don’t remember, the Wii U was a horribly named console with confusing marketing that only ended up selling about 13.5 million units. If that sounds like a lot, keep in mind that the Switch is approaching 85 million units sold, and the Wii sold more than 100 million units.

So Nintendo isn’t bulletproof, and the Switch itself seems like evidence that the company is acknowledging this. They’ve been better at explaining themselves, at least. So maybe the Switch OLED really is something that people (and data) have been asking for.

Nintendo Switch

Then I remembered that for the past year-plus, we’ve been experiencing a pretty severe hardware shortage, when game consoles and graphics cards have been infamously hard to find. So the Switch OLED seems to be made for anyone who wanted a Switch but wasn’t able to get the standard model and didn’t want to purchase the Switch Lite.

The Nintendo Switch OLED costs $349.99. Honestly, if the screen looks as good as advertised, that’ll be a solid price point for what is an amazing system. Is this something that current Switch owners want? Absolutely not. However, if you’ve been on the fence about buying a Switch and you want to take advantage of its portability, then congratulations! The Nintendo Switch OLED is for you!

There’s just one problem: an Xbox Series S costs $299.99 and allows its owners to register for and access the amazing games lineup that is Game Pass. While Nintendo has an online library of old-school games available, they frustratingly don’t have anything remotely close to the neighborhood of PS Now or Game Pass. And really, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD has a $60 price tag, which means we probably shouldn’t hold our breath in anticipation of classic Nintendo favorites becoming available via a Game Pass-type subscription.

We can argue all day about whether or not the Switch OLED is a disappointment. The real issue, though, is the fact that this isn’t bundled with an announcement of a broader library of Nintendo classics added to your Nintendo Switch Online subscription.

The lack of 4K is what it is. The announcement of a wired LAN port as a feature in 2021 is laughable, but it’s not exactly a drawback either. Nintendo not allowing us to pay $9.99 a month to access their digital library of games throughout their history? That’s the problem. 

Think of how amazing GameCube games would look on this thing: Metroid Prime, F-Zero GX, Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem, The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, and so on. 

Alas, we’re stuck wondering “What if?”

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