So much for the big E3 reveal. Weeks after the big gaming show, Nintendo has finally taken the wraps off the latest iteration of its wildly popular hybrid gaming console. The Nintendo Switch (OLED model) [parentheses theirs] will arrive on October 8, priced at $350. That is, the company’s quick to note, the same day it launches Metroid Dread, the long-awaited latest side scrolling entry in the long-standing franchise.
The system sports a 7-inch OLED, improved audio and 64 GB of internal storage. The hybrid dock sports a wired LAN port, and the system ships with an adjustable port for playing in tabletop mode. There’s a sharp black and white color scheme, though the remainder of the materials looks to be similar to the earlier model, with most of that price bump going to the display. The company will also be offering a separate carrying case, because you don’t want to get the fancy screen on your new $350 system scratched.
From the sound of it, the two existing Switch models are sticking around as lower-cost alternatives. Those models run $299 and $199, respectively, though it seems reasonable to expect there may be some price drops as the new model arrives ahead of the holidays.
“The new Nintendo Switch (OLED model) is a great option for players who want to experience the new vibrant screen when playing in handheld and tabletop mode,” Nintendo of America President Doug Bowser said in a press release. “With the addition of this new model to the Nintendo Switch family of systems, people have an additional choice of a system that best fits the gaming experience they desire – whether it’s Nintendo Switch (OLED model), Nintendo Switch or Nintendo Switch Lite.”
The system will arrive in two color configurations. Per Nintendo:
Nintendo Switch (OLED model) white set, which features white Joy-Con controllers, a black main unit and a white dock.
Nintendo Switch (OLED model) neon red/neon blue set, which features neon red and neon blue Joy-Con controllers, a black main unit and a black dock.
An upgraded version of the four-year-old system has been rumored for some time, carrying the decidedly less clunky name, Switch Pro. With both Sony and Microsoft releasing next-gen versions of their consoles last year, the time certainly seemed right for a big refresh from Nintendo. A refreshed version of the standard Switch arrived in July 2019, addressing the original’s poor battery life — far and away the largest complaint of an otherwise well-received system.
Of course, in spite of growing a bit long in the tooth, the Switch continued to dominate the sales charts ahead of the arrival of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox One X. Nintendo utterly dominated sales during the pandemic, after some initial supply chain shortages. That success was due in no small part to the arrival of a new Animal Crossing title that provided some much-needed social gaming during the pandemic. Such success — coupled with potential supply chain shortage — led to suggestions that the company had opted to delay the system’s release.
In spite of the lack of new hardware, last month’s E3 did see some big game news from Nintendo, before just a new Metroid. Far and away, the most eagerly anticipated is 2022’s sequel to Breath of the Wild, one of the most beloved entries in the Zelda series and easily one of the Switch’s best titles.