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Nintendo Switch OLED release: What to know before you buy

The latest Switch model features a 7-inch OLED display, enhanced sound and increased storage. Unfortunately, though, securing one won't be easy.
Illustration of the new Nintendo Switch OLED and different parts that come with models
The new Nintendo Switch OLED model features a larger 7-inch screen, improved sound and greater storage.Nintendo

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Nintendo just launched the highly anticipated and long-awaited upgrade to its Switch. The new Nintendo Switch OLED model features exactly what its name suggests: an OLED display that’s bigger and brighter than previous models. You can find the new model at several major retailers, including Amazon, Walmart, Target and Best Buy. But much like the preorders that started back in July and sold out quickly, inventory is limited and restocks won’t be easy to come by.

Nintendo Switch OLED Model (restocks limited)

The new model sports an impressive 7-inch screen — larger than the 6.2-inch screen on the standard model and the 5.5-inch one on the Switch Lite. According to Nintendo, the device has improved sound, twice the storage of the regular Switch at 64 GB and a wide adjustable stand featuring a wired LAN port. It’s available in two colorways: White Joy-Con controllers with a White dock and the Red and Blue combination of the previous Switch.

OLED displays have improved pops of color and vibrancy compared to standard LCD screens since each pixel generates its own light. As tech expert Whitson Gordon explained, that means pixels in dark areas can turn themselves off entirely for perfect, inky blacks.

However, the new Switch has the same 720p resolution as the regular model, so you won’t notice much difference in that department. The battery life (up to 9 hours) and internals, including CPU and RAM, are also identical to the regular Switch.

Just like previous versions, the OLED model is a hybrid console, meaning it can be played on the TV using the dock, on a tabletop using the stand and in handheld mode with the controllers attached to the sides.

The announcement comes as the gaming world continues to grapple with a global chip shortage sparked by pandemic-related shutdowns, which has made purchasing game consoles more difficult in recent months. The shortage has widely affected gaming and tech giants like Sony, Microsoft and Apple.

As one of the company’s most popular consoles, Nintendo sold 28.8 million Switch consoles in the year ended March 31 and the Switch’s life-to-date sales is at nearly 85 million units shipped worldwide since 2017. Nintendo expects to sell 25.5 million consoles this financial year.

Recently, Nintendo of America announced that Bluetooth capabilities are finally available on the Nintendo Switch following a new software update. Those with a Switch device — including the new OLED model — will be able to pair with both wireless controllers and audio devices, including wireless bluetooth headphones.

The Nintendo Switch OLED model is available worldwide starting today for $349.99.

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