Home feature Forget 4K: the real thing the OLED Switch lacks is a performance boost

Forget 4K: the real thing the OLED Switch lacks is a performance boost

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Finally, there is a new model of the Nintendo Switch. Except … it’s not exactly what the fans wanted.

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In classic Nintendo fashion, the announcement of a completely new model of its flagship console was not a major event. It fell unceremoniously and without warning on a random Tuesday, the Nintendo Switch Model OLED It will launch on October 8, the same day as Metroid Dread, for $ 350.

Even though the internet is full of rumors and speculation, including multiple factory leaks about a new Switch model with an OLED screen, this is not the Switch Pro that had been much discussed. It’s actually an updated version of the main Switch with a better screen, stand, and dock, and that’s it.

It’s so similar to the original Switch that it’s still compatible with its dock, indeed (a good thing), but the biggest change is the display. Now an OLED, a format loved by many in the first generation PS Vita, will be sharper and more attractive in handheld mode, which should pose a real challenge for the Switch Lite as the best easy option for gaming anywhere. .

Its bracket is wider and more adjustable, fixing the most undoubtedly junk element of the original Switch. It has 64GB of internal storage, improved onboard audio, and its new base design adds a LAN port so you can enjoy lag-free wired online gaming. These are all big changes!

Do you know what it does not include? 4K playback, even docked. The OLED screen used for portable games is still a 720p screen as well. This is largely because, under the hood, the machine is identical – it has no extra computing power, no extra RAM, and no major tech changes beyond those listed above. It’s a Switch as you already know it, just … modified. It is a face lift. Cosmetic surgery Deep skin.

A lot has already been mourned for not being the 4K-compatible Switch Pro that is rumored on social media, and I get it. But, listen for a second: the Switch doesn’t really need 4K. Not necessarily.

One thing about Nintendo’s own library, which dominates the platform, is that it scales well and often looks pretty good even when connected to a 1080p screen. There’s a pain in this too, obviously: Anyone who’s emulated a Wii U game knows how good Nintendo games can look when you throw more power at them and render them at a higher native resolution, but that’s not the real disappointment. here.

The real killer is that the Switch OLED edition is a more expensive variant of the machine with the same power … when the games are already pushing the hardware to the limit.

The first game that comes to mind is Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, a great game, but also one where the biggest calamity is not the narrative of the title, but the frame rate. But, okay, that’s a game of musou, and everyone runs terribly. But then I think of, say, Xenoblade 2, where its native sub-HD resolution is constant and painfully noticeable – a nasty flaw in a glossy version. Switch games wouldn’t look that bad in 4K on a large TV if they were rendered at 1080p to begin with, but they don’t. You are often lucky if they get to 720p.

This is what I really wanted from a Switch review. I admit, I wanted an OLED screen, that will be a great help for portable gaming. But more important than some magic 4K upscaling solution (potentially powered by Nvidia’s DLSS), or exclusive Switch Pro games, I was far more interested in getting a more expensive and powerful revision that would allow me to play the growing library of great games on Cambie. with better performance.

Too many Switch games perform poorly despite how good they are when performance is neglected, and while a review wouldn’t fix that for the millions of existing Switch owners, it would at least offer an upgrade path for some of the performance. Issues such as the headache-causing frame rate of Age of Calamity.

I am incredibly excited about the OLED screen. Glad about the extra storage. The new kickstand should be great if they ever let us out of the pandemic lockdown and allow us to travel again. And I really love the sleek new white look. But this machine that offers no performance increase for $ 50 more than the cost of an Xbox Series S is brutal. It’s not a perfect direct comparison, but for $ 350 you can get an S Series, a multi-month subscription to Game Pass Ultimate, and sync a controller to your phone to play xCloud-streamed games on the go. Your phone likely has a better screen too. It’s a good job that Nintendo has such an impressive set of exclusive games of its own and that cloud solutions are still far from mainstream.

Basically, it feels like a lot for a little bit, but the other way around, where the customer is misled. Although I hope I am proven wrong when I practice it, at this stage it certainly doesn’t feel like a must-upgrade, but new Switch buyers who plan to use the handheld a lot might consider this for the OLED display. only. The real bummer, as I said, is that the Switch’s biggest problem has not been affected by this update. Forget 4K – how about letting the games run smoothly? Maybe the next review, huh?

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