The Nintendo Switch V2 isn’t really an official name, but a slight revision made to the standard Switch model released in 2019, mostly improving battery life. While it’s not really noted on the box anywhere, the Switch V2 is the standard Switch model in circulation, while the older Switch has since been discontinued. For more on that, check out our comparison article to see how the Switch V2 compares to the original.
However, what’s on everyone’s mind right now is the newly announced Nintendo Switch OLED Model, or Switch OLED. More of an update than the 2019 refresh, the Switch OLED introduces some welcome additions like an improved kickstand, ethernet port, and of course, a bigger OLED screen, which will provide a clearer, crisper picture during portable play. But at $350, is it worth an upgrade for those who already own a Switch? Let’s take a closer look.
Switch V2 vs. Switch OLED: What’s the difference?
Both the Switch V2 and the Switch OLED are almost identical, and you’ll have to place both under a microscope to really spot significant differences.
|Nintendo Switch V2||Switch OLED|
|CPU/GPU||NVIDIA Custom Tegra processor||NVIDIA Custom Tegra processor|
|Resolution||Up to 720p in handheld mode/up to 1080p docked||Up to 720p in handheld mode/up to 1080p docked|
|Screen||Multi-touch capacitive touch screen 6.2-inch LCD Screen||Multi-touch capacitive touch screen / 7.0 inch OLED screen|
|Weight||Approximately .88 lbs with Joy-Con controllers||Approximately .93 lbs with Joy-Con controllers|
|Hardware needed for TV play||Console with Joy-Cons/Dock||Console with Joy-Cons/Dock|
|Number of games||400+||400+|
|Internet required||Only for online multiplayer (free-to-play games are an exception)||Only for online multiplayer (free-to-play games are an exception)|
|Game data storage||32GB internal storage/microSD cards||64GB internal storage/microSD cards|
|Where to play||TV/ tabletop/ handheld||TV/ tabletop/ handheld|
Price: Switch V2 vs. Switch OLED
The first major difference between the two Switch models is the price. The Nintendo Switch V2 is sold at $300, the same price it launched in 2017. Now comparatively, it’s about $100-200 cheaper than an Xbox Series X or a PlayStation 5, but it’s a little pricier than grabbing a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One. The Switch OLED bumps the price up slightly, coming in at $350 bucks.
But what exactly does the additional $50 net you? A slightly bigger OLED screen, a dock with an ethernet port, 64GBs of internal memory (double the memory offered by the Switch V2), improved audio during portable play, and a kickstand that isn’t terrible. That’s all; there are no changes to the controller or the internals. If a game runs a certain way on the Switch V2, it will run the same on the OLED model.
Subscriptions and games: Do games run differently on the Switch V2 vs. Switch OLED?
Both the Switch V2 and the OLED model share the same library of games, but that’s not a bad thing. The Switch’s library contains some of the best games Nintendo has put out in years. Super Mario Odyssey, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Xenoblade 2, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and many others have delivered top-notch experiences on the hybrid console, and that trend has continued this year with huge releases like Monster Hunter Rise, New Pokemon Snap, and the upcoming Metroid Dread.
In addition to the growing Switch library, the Nintendo Switch Online service offers more than 100 classic NES and SNES games, as well as a few exclusive titles, like Pac-Man 99 and Tetris 99, all for $20. A real treat for fans of old-school games.
The controller: Anything new with the controller?
The controllers on both Switch models are the Joy-Con, the tiny sliding controllers that fit both ends of the Nintendo Switch tablet. While they may seem unassuming, the Joy-Cons pack a lot of tech in their tiny bodies. HD Rumble, for example, adds an extra level of immersion by letting you feel a wide variety of sensations. There are also motion and gyro controls options for your games, amiibo support, and tons of Joy-Con colors so you can mix and match your favorite colors.
In addition to the Joy-Con controller, there are many other more traditional controls, including the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, which includes all of the Joy-Con bells and whistles. All Switch accessories will work between consoles, so every pair of Joy-Cons you own can be synced with the new OLED model.
Performance and storage space: Switch V2 vs. Switch OLED
Both Switch models can output a resolution up to 1080p while docked and up to 720p in handheld mode. “Up to” is key here, as most games tend to hover just below max resolution when docked. Both Switches can hit a max of 60 frames per second (FPS) from a performance standpoint. When docked, they’re the same, but in handheld mode, the OLED screen provides a clearer, brighter picture when compared to the older Switch V2, despite the resolution being the same.
The Switch V2 and the Switch OLED support MicroSD cards to expand their storage capacity. The Switch V2 comes with only 32GBs of internal memory, while the Switch OLED model has double the memory. Both can access cloud save support via Nintendo Switch Online.
Availability: Can I buy this thing?
The Nintendo Switch has topped sales charts consistently since its launch, and the availability of the console has always waned. While there have been quite a few Switch bundles released over the years, the Switch’s price has not buckled. It was a bit harder to find recently, but the console has started to become more available again.
The Switch OLED, on the other hand, may be harder to find. Releasing on October 8, 2021, the Switch OLED is available for preorder at a few game retailers at the moment. However, we expect it to be pretty hard to find once it releases later this year.
Parental controls: Are these consoles kid friendly?
Both Switch models have access to parental controls. With the Switch, parents can set playtime limits, make it so kids can’t communicate with other players, control the types of games their kids can access, and even set eShop passwords so kids won’t purchase games without approval. What makes it all the more convenient is that you can control all of this from your smartphone. Nintendo’s approach to online chat makes it safer for children to use.
Additionally, most Switch games aren’t compatible with a gaming headset, so your kid won’t be able to talk with online strangers. Of course, you should still check up on your child’s internet correspondence, but the threat is much lower than with other gaming options.
Switch V2 vs. Switch OLED: Which should you buy?
The Switch OLED is both a blessing and a curse. While it does introduce some much-needed improvements to the Switch system, it is a far cry from the “Switch Pro” that fans have been hoping for. With no true boost in performance, the Switch OLED is more of a lateral step in the Switch’s life rather than a replacement. With that being said, there’s no reason the skip the Switch OLED if you don’t own a Switch yet. The Switch OLED’s improvements are welcome, and the new larger screen is sure to win over those who play in handheld mode mostly.
For those who already own a Switch, the decision is a lot harder. There’s not much new to graze on, and at $350, you’re still paying a premium for basically the same console again. The OLED screen is nice, but existing Switch owners should realize this is a revision and not the next step in the Switch’s life cycle. At least not a step forward, anyway.
A gaming system that you can take anywhere
The Nintendo Switch can be played on either your TV or in your hands like a handheld gaming system. Immerse yourself in gaming during plane rides, on road trips, or any other vacation.
The newest model
Nintendo Switch OLED Model
An OLED upgrade
Enjoy everything you love about the Switch with a few key changes that improve portable play.
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