Here's That New Nintendo Switch OLED Model

We've waited, speculated, and read countless reports about a new version of Nintendo's massively popular Switch console, and today, Nintendo finally revealed what it is: 


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/pkbqqk/heres-that-new-nintendo-switch-oled-model
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Very happy to not have any incentive to replace a perfectly fine console.

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I will never not be impressed by Nintendo’s ability to find new ways to badly name its hardware. I’m not sure where “Nintendo Switch OLED Model” ranks against “Wii U” and “New Nintendo 3DS XL”

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I still have a lainch-day Switch, which has a lot less battery than the new model and this OLED one (I think 6 hours vs 9 hours?) so I might jump for this. Generally seems underwhelming though. I guess I’m glad that new games aren’t going to be split across half generations like on 3DS (I assume).

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I’m kinda surprised they aren’t upgrading the screen on the Switch Lite. You’d think the console version that’s meant to be used handheld exclusively would be the better fit for the new feature. As nice as an OLED is, it’s not going to beat out a docked Switch outputting to even a mid-tier 1080p TV.

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I think it sets expectations just fine: It’s not a Switch Pro, it’s just a Switch with an OLED screen. If anything, it’s the opposite of the Wii U fiasco, which implied continuity of platform where none existed.

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If my Switch joins that great console hardware warehouse in the sky, this will make a nice upgrade. In the meantime, though, my current Switch will be just fine.

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Love that hardware manufacturers don’t care about environmental sustainability at all and just make whatever middling “upgrades” they feel like in order to further pursue profit. Really great.

As someone who has worked in manufacturing, this could very well be a net gain from an environmental standpoint. Smaller die sizes, with attendant yield increases, could reduce waste. Also, moving to an OLED screen may allow Nintendo to purchase on a better scale than LCD (aligning purchasing with phone manufacturers for instance) which helps to wind down inefficient older production lines.

Is this going to save the environment? Definitely not, electronic manufacturing is destructive regardless of marginal improvements in waste output. But incremental upgrades that harness more efficient manufacturing innovations are often a net positive from an environmental impact perspective.

As for the “must upgrade” type customer, at tte very least the Switch is in high demand and older consoles are most likely getting downcycled rather than scrapped.

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eh. not terribly exciting as an upgrade, especially relative to the rumors. still, i’ve been thinking about getting a second switch for my household and if this one is available when i want it (doubtful) i’ll pick one up.

Fair. It does fit with Nintendo’s habit of seemingly creating new systems of nomenclature at random. The “OLED model” makes it sound like a piece of commercial hardware, not a game system.

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I can’t think of an equivalent hardware iteration they’ve done before, really - maybe the Game Boy Advance SP, though this is a far less drastic change to the form factor.

They could have gotten away with just a new box and model number, like the GBA SP AGS-101 (“new, brighter screen”) or the Switch HAC-001(-01) (“longer lasting battery”). I wonder if that’s how it would have gone, if not for the Switch Pro rumours.

There are two really weird things about this announcement, from my perspective:

  1. No OLED upgrade for the Switch Lite?
  2. They’re still selling the non-OLED Switch

I imagine the non-OLED Switch is just going to get a small price reduction for the holiday season and then quietly disappear afterward, but it’s still a bit odd for it to show up in the announcement video.

Anyway, if I end up traveling for work again next year, I could see myself buying one of these for the nicer handheld experience and then selling off my old one.

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This is more expensive than the regular Switch so it makes sense that it isn’t replacing anything. The regular Switch is already 430 dollars here so I don’t wanna guess what this is gonna cost. Making the only available model of a console more expensive a few years in would be pretty wild.

I’m kinda glad there is no 4k nonsense and stuff like that, seems like such misguided effort. What they should focus on is fixing the joy-cons, but I’m guessing they aren’t too interested in that either.

love how them releasing this somehow made me even more confused as to whether the switch pro is an actual thing

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I never thought a Switch Pro was real, * if * there is going to be one it’ll be a ways off because there’s not a System on Chip from Nvidia that could really fit the bill. There’s an SoC announced with a tiny number of tensor cores that are supposed to start production next year last I checked and those SoC are in the Auto line for self-driving cars. If Nintendo could get their hands on those chips over carmakers (doubtful) I’m not sure Switch games could run on it without patching and that creates a situation where your 3rd party games might need the old Tegra in the Switch Pro too.

Short version: a Switch Pro currently doesn’t seem possible with what we currently know from these 2 publicly traded companies’ announced pipeline and until something changes on Nvidia’s front it’s unlikely.

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I should clarify that I don’t think a Switch Pro is impossible or anything, just not viable from a business standpoint in the current environment.

I’m seeing people on Twitter claiming Nintendo will obviously make a Switch Pro using the Tegra Xavier or Orin. Which good for them, they looked at the Tegra Wikipedia page. But if they had looked up prices and specs, the base Xavier NX is still $400 at volume pricing and the added cores might not be accessible by software that wasn’t designed to use 2 more cores of a different CPU architecture and probably incremental improvement and the real powerful Xavier AGX is $1k with no volume pricing even available it seems with a 6 month lead time for manufacturing at the moment.

The Orin starts manufacturing next year, the specs don’t look finalized and it’s miles more powerful than the X1 from the specs we do know. But I’m skeptical it has a price tag that works for Nintendo and that a theoretical powerful switch with more cores, more RAM and ampere GPUs is still a viable handheld device with a price that works, acceptable battery life and size… seems iffy for a company that is having zero problems moving the various revisions of the base powered Switch.

Then I see the “6 3DS models” argument which falls flat for me because those were handhelds built with individual components that allowed for the better ARM CPUs and RAM be utilized a little more freely than the SoC which restricts more in the component area in return for flexibility in application.

Could a customized Xavier or Orin for Nintendo be manufactured? Sure. Would pairing it down to fit a price point that makes sense be much of an upgrade from the X1? In the end probably not. Will they just quietly make a new SKU with an X2 replacing the X1 as it ends production with no fanfair? Probably. Am I completely wrong? Also, probably.

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