Nintendo on Tuesday announced a new version of its popular Switch game console. The new model has a larger and more colorful screen and will be available on Oct. 8 for $349.99, a premium over the $299.99 price for the standard Switch and $199.99 price for the Switch Lite.
The console will launch during a pandemic-fueled boom for gaming. But at the same time, high demand and the ongoing chip shortage have made it basically impossible to easily buy a video game console. Sony and Microsoft, which launched new video game consoles last fall, still haven’t caught up to demand.
Here’s what’s new in Nintendo’s upcoming Switch console:
- The new Nintendo Switch (OLED Model) uses, as its name implies, an OLED screen that’s brighter and more colorful than the screen on the standard model.
- It has a 7-inch screen versus the 6.2-inch screen on the standard version and 5.5-inch screen on the Switch Lite.
- It has improved speakers.
- It has twice the storage of the regular model, though that can be expanded with a memory card, and has the same estimated 4.5 to 9 hours of battery life depending on usage.
- It has a new kickstand design that should improve its stability when placed on a table. The previous version sometimes fell over.
The Switch has been a popular console for Nintendo but faced shortages during the beginning of the pandemic. In May, Nintendo said it sold 28.8 million consoles in the year ended March. It expects to sell 25.5 million consoles this year.
The Switch update is relatively iterative. OLED screens are already used across the gadget industry and appear in phones, tablets and TVs. While it offers some added functionality, like a dedicated jack to plug in an internet cable, most of the other hardware features appear similar.
It also lacks some things gamers might have appreciated, like a sharper display with support for 4K content. It will play the same games as the regular Switch and Switch Lite. Nintendo took a similar strategy with its DS series of handheld devices, and even the GameBoy before them.