Nintendo Won't Say Whether Switch OLED Joy-Con Fixes Drift, So Don't Count On It

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Nintendo Life 12 July, 2021 - 04:30am 52 views

Is the switch OLED the switch pro?

It has a larger 7-inch OLED screen, an improved kickstand, increased internal storage, and very minor design tweaks. It's not the “Switch Pro” that many have been hoping for. It's just a Switch with a bigger, nicer screen. ... The screen looks brighter and more vibrant to me than the original Switch. The VergeNintendo Switch OLED hands-on: a small upgrade that makes a big difference

Meet the new Nintendo Switch OLED | Totally Rated

TechRadar 12 July, 2021 - 06:04am

Sorry Nintendo – OLED TV owners are passing on the new Switch console

TechRadar 12 July, 2021 - 05:44am

We laugh at your tiny OLED

That's the question being asked by OLED TV owners, who have taken to the internet to express their bemusement and dismay at the Switch OLED.

OLED is, of course, the darling of TV manufacturers these days, with self-emissive pixels that allow for vivid colors, deep black, and incredible levels of contrast – which are all things appreciated by cinephiles and gamers alike.

But a recurring refrain is that, those with 48-inch, 55-inch or 65-inch OLED TVs simply can't get excited about a 7-inch display on the new Nintendo Switch – after all, why would you settle for an OLED screen, as good as it is, if it's a fraction of the size of your television?

After the rumors and Bloomberg reports of 4K, this is so disappointing. I have an OLED TV, and it's much larger than 7 inchesJuly 10, 2021

Playing habits definitely play a role here too. If you've invested in a top-notch TV screen, it's likely you tend towards console gaming docked to a TV, rather than scorning an expensive home theater system to play largely in handheld. 

Nintendo: We now have a NEW Nintendo Switch! It has a 720p 7 inch OLED!Docked players with an OLED TV: Mine's bigger & 4K HDR/Dolbyvision!July 10, 2021

It's a curious opposition in some ways: OLED TV owners clearly have an appreciation for the premium display tech, and you would think those with the disposable income for a high-end OLED screen wouldn't have too much of an issue with buying a Switch OLED that costs a third or quarter of their TV's price tag.

But the great tragedy of the new Switch console is that, despite countless rumors around 4K upscaling capability and upgraded processors, we instead got largely the same internals as the 2017 iteration – just with a new panel.

While the Switch OLED offers an improved experience in handheld (or tabletop mode, given the wider and more stable kickstand), you're going to have an identical experience when the console is docked and connected to a TV.

People who a bought OLED TV and own a Switch: It looks exactly the sameI love Nintendo, but i'm gonna have to pass https://t.co/GCGn7dFTcVJuly 6, 2021

Back in 2017, Nintendo asserted that, according to data from the first few months of the console's lifespan, players tended slightly towards handheld mode (30% of players) rather than docked (20%). A follow-up poll by NintendoLife in 2020 (with almost 20,000 votes) showed a pretty even split between those who played entirely in docked mode and those who played entirely in handheld (in both cases, 8% of respondees).

It's the former camp that seem largely dismissive of the new console, and why wouldn't they be? One reddit user in r/Nintendo Switch writes that "As someone who has their switched docked 98% of the time… this is kind of useless. I am baffled there isn’t an increase in power."

For those keener on a premium handheld experience, the new Switch OLED may be the ideal upgrade or entry-point into the Switch line of systems. But for anyone with a decent TV setup, or even just a tendency towards playing on a TV screen, the Switch OLED really doesn't offer anything more.

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I’m skipping Nintendo Switch OLED and waiting for a Switch Pro — here’s why

Tom's Guide 11 July, 2021 - 11:00pm

The Switch OLED only fixes half of the experience

In the months (and years) leading to this announcement, we'd heard about a Nintendo Switch Pro and a Nintendo Switch 2, consoles that would dramatically upgrade Nintendo's super-popular handheld gaming device. 4K rendering and a new faster chip were rumored upgrades that Nintendo was looking to deliver. And then, we got the Switch OLED, a dramatically different system.

I can think of one, and only one, example of a current Nintendo Switch owner who should consider the Switch OLED. The folks who primarily play it detached and undocked. That includes Switch Lite owners such as my colleague Kate Kozuch, who explained that the Switch OLED is what she's been waiting for.

It's those folks who often detach their Switch who are going to see that probably-nice 7-inch OLED display. I bet it's going to be good, but during the last years I've rarely ever looked at the LCD panel in my Switch, because I primarily use it plugged into my TV. Maybe in about a year or two, once I'm traveling more often, I'd consider picking up the OLED model.

Same goes for that nice new kickstand. I was really happy to see Nintendo stop using the very annoying and difficult-to-open kickstand that the Nintendo Switch has relied upon forever. I spent so much time trying to open that kickstand, prying at it with my nails (and at least one credit card) that I'm still shocked it made it out of quality assurance at Nintendo. 

Now, you've got a full-width kickstand that looks a lot like the one that opens up from the back — just like that of the Microsoft Surface Pro 7. But, again, that kickstand does me no good if my Switch is living in its dock.

Then there's the upgrade inside the Switch OLED, that takes its storage from 32GB to 64GB. That's probably great for the people who are still new to the platform and haven't developed a library of games that require the need for an SD memory card.

Nintendo's also noted that the Switch OLED will have improved sound. The details there are hazy at best, as "enhanced audio" is all they've said. Its spec sheet lists stereo speakers. If Nintendo really wanted to improve audio on the Switch, it could have given the Switch OLED some Bluetooth headphone support, which it doesn't have.

Oh, and there's also a dedicated Ethernet/LAN port on the OLED Nintendo Switch's dock. That's great for folks with TVs far from their Wi-Fi routers, but that's not me. Plus, you can add that port with the $28 wired LAN adapter from Hori (which is officially licensed by Nintendo). 

I'm not the type to game while I'm watching something on TV, and if I were to do that, I'd rather open the Spectrum app on my iPad and watch the show there, while I play the game on my TV. A 7-inch screen, even if it is OLED and larger than the current 6.2-inch Switch screen, isn't that great for gaming if you ask me. Games have too many menus for that.

I'm not going to spend $350 on a Switch that doesn't give me much that I will use. Instead, I figure I'll wait for the actual Nintendo Switch Pro, or whatever Nintendo calls the Switch that makes the changes that I can see and feel when the Switch is docked. Primarily, that's a Switch that outputs (upscaling at least) in 4K. 

Hopefully, it would be a Switch with a faster processor, too. The Switch is already great as is, but it's already four years old, and started out as being graphically behind the pack. 

While the Nintendo Switch runs games like the Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1+2 re-release well now, the console may need to do something to keep the next generation of games running well. The global chip shortage may have been a part of why the Switch OLED isn't as complete an upgrade, as Nintendo may have found some trouble sourcing a new CPU. 

There's also another change I want, but one that may not necessarily be tied to a Switch Pro. We love the Nintendo Switch, but it's still undermined by Joy-Con drift, where the analogue joysticks (over time) start to send signals to the Switch that suggest the user is physically moving them even though they're not. 

Nintendo never formally acknowledged any actual fault with the controllers, only issuing the statement "We apologize for any inconvenience caused to our customers regarding Joy-Con ... We will do our best to ensure that our customers can use our services and products with peace of mind."

And while we don't know if the Switch OLED will fix Joy-Con drift, we have no reason to believe it will. That's because it has the same Joy-Cons as before, as Polygon confirmed.

I'd bet Nintendo wants to fix this problem, to avoid more class-action lawsuits like the ones already filed, but it's sure taking its sweet time.

I'm not the only one who doesn't exactly need the Nintendo Switch OLED. Per Mat Piscatella of the NPD Group market research firm, the Nintendo Switch was was "the best-selling hardware platform in both units and dollars during the month of May" 2021, "as well as 2021 year-to-date." This extends a colossal run of the Switch's popularity, which has been the top-seller for 30 months now. 

Since I'm satisfied with the current Switch (at least when compared to the OLED), I can simply wait Nintendo out. Nintendo clearly likes updating the Switch, as the three other models (upgraded battery life, Lite and OLED) prove, so one should come eventually. 

It's just as much as retail therapy is fun, it's good to really think twice before buying that shiny new thing — especially when you realize it's not exactly meant for you in particular. Saving that money to spend on games for your Nintendo Switch is a much smarter play.

Henry is an editor writer at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and Apple. Prior to joining Tom's Guide — where he's the self-described Rare Oreo Expert — he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. You can find him at your local pro wrestling events, and looking for the headphone adapter that he unplugged from his iPhone.

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Switch OLED explained: what is OLED, and why is it such a great upgrade?

T3 09 July, 2021 - 11:50pm

The Nintendo Switch OLED is the new version of the wildly popular console, and its biggest upgrade is hinted right in the name: it features a new 7-inch OLED screen. But you might not be sure exactly what that means if you don't keep up with screen technology news (you big weirdo). So here's your crash course in what OLED is, and why it's a great step up over the LCD screen used in the original Switch.

OLED stands for 'organic light-emitting diode', and its big party piece is that every  pixel in an OLED screen emits its own light – often known as 'self-emitting pixels'. This makes them very efficient, very thin, and provides some big picture quality advantages that we'll come to.

LCD screens work very differently. In these, the pixels are actually just a colour filter that sits in front of a big lighting panel. This 'backlight' is what actually provides the light that reaches your eyes, and then the LCD pixels change the colour of the light to the right tone.

LCD's advantage is that it's pretty cheap to make good-quality screens, but it comes with some downsides: it can't show truly dark or black areas on the screen, because the LCD pixels are never really able to totally block off the backlight; and its colours can look a bit washed out depending on the quality of the LCD filter. Cheaper LCD screens are often quite reflective too.

Colours tend to be more vibrant, again because the pixels generate the light themselves, rather than filtering a backlight (which loses some of the brightness). And when an OLED screen is mounted right under the glass of a display, with its self-emitting pixels being right there, it's also often better at beating the reflections.

In mobile devices, OLED screens also tend to be able to go brighter than LCD screens, which adds to the effect of their colours looking richer, and again helps them to be more visible in bright light – perfect for the Switch.

The original Switch's screen reaches around 300 nits of brightness (a nit is a standard measurement of screen brightness), which is pretty mediocre by today's standards, especially for something you might use outside. An iPhone 12's OLED screen offers 600 nits of brightness in normal use, for example, which is pretty typical for a phone.

I suspect the new Switch OLED won't go quite that bright (Nintendo has yet to clarify), but it will almost certainly be brighter than the old model, so it will be more visible while also showing punchier colours, and giving you more realistic shadow tones.

OLED does have some downsides as a technology. As the name implies, its made from organic parts, and so isn't expected to last as long as an equivalent LCD display… but these days, degradation of an OLED screen takes a very long time, so I wouldn't have any fears about reliability.

You're more likely to see people talking about screen burn-in on OLED displays, and some have already raised a warning about this being a screen danger for the Switch OLED.

'Burn-in' is an effect where having a particular image on an OLED screen for an extremely long time can cause the pixels to alter, causing a 'ghost' of that image to appear when when something else is on the screen. It's been known to happen on TVs with channel logos if the TV is always tuned to that channel all day; it can also happen on phones with things like the clock or icons at the top of the screen.

I'm not worried about it being a danger on the Switch OLED at all. That's simply not how the Switch gets used in handheld mode – for a start, the battery life puts a limit on how long you can have an image on the screen for. But even then, burn-in from games is only a risk if you play the same game all the time, and that game has some on-screen elements that don't change at all. And you play this game for extremely long periods every day in handheld mode. It simply won't come up much, unless there's a technical issue with the screens themselves.

So that's what you need to know about OLED on the Switch. It should be a huge upgrade for making your games look both brighter and better in dark areas, and there's no major downside that's worth worrying about.

Matt is T3's master of all things audiovisual, running our TV, speakers and headphones coverage. He also handles smart home products and large appliances, as well as our toys and games articles. He's the only one on the team who can explain both what Dolby Vision IQ is and why the Lego you're building doesn't fit together the way the instructions say, so is truly invaluable.

Matt has worked for tech publications for over 10 years, in print and online, including running T3's print magazine and launching its most recent redesign. He's also contributed to a huge number of tech and gaming titles over the years. Say hello if you see him roaming the halls at CES, IFA or Toy Fair.

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