Updated: Jan 6
Four years after the initial launch of the Nintendo Switch, fans have been eagerly awaiting a newly upgraded console to compete with the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5. Among these imaginations are upgraded visuals and a faster processor to boost the Switch’s dated hardware. An upgraded Switch would fit the market perfectly, providing a premium for hardcore players who want to experience their games in the best quality, while allowing causal players to continue with their current consoles. The day finally came, the announcement of a new Switch, and Nintendo isn’t doing any of the upgrades their patrons have been hoping for.
Nintendo announced they would not be allowing for 4K compatibility or any of the upgraded specs fans were expecting, but instead opted for releasing a Switch containing an OLED display. An OLED display would allow the game’s visuals to show off like never before. OLED displays are known for how they boost the colors on the screen, giving games a more vibrant and fresh feel. This, however, was all that Nintendo would be changing for the new switch. Their hardware is the same dated hardware as before with no improved gameplay. Many fans felt let down by the lack of the upgrades the Switch sorely needs. Regardless of this letdown, pre-orders for this OLED Switch sold out in seconds. Nintendo had to have done something right then.
Despite the overwhelming majority of fans being disappointed by the OLED Switch not living up to expectations, that did not stop these loyal patrons from pre-ordering the console. Pre-orders across all major retailers were sold out within seconds of being posted. Many prospective customers did not even have the chance to look at the listing before it was too late. If the month-long stock shortages of the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 are anything to go by, Nintendo’s new console will be joining that list soon enough. Regardless of how fast launch day consoles will sell, the conclusion can be drawn that the Nintendo Switch OLED will sell very well. But will it make an impact on the hardcore gaming community? Will this upgrade be enough to compete with their 4K-compatible competitors?
Nintendo has built a dedicated fan base over the years. Many will purchase a new product simply because it's Nintendo. Many have been so eagerly awaiting a new Switch that the concept of having a new screen is more than enough to justify their purchase. Though while many will rush to purchase the system, it will likely not make much of an impact. Part of the reason could be the global chip shortage, which has tech from game consoles to phones to cars struggling to meet demand. The Switch’s main problem will likely stem from the lack of a true upgrade. The Switch is in desperate need of a new version with better hardware, it already struggles to run the games that it currently supports. This will continue to become a larger problem as time goes on and games become more advanced. Despite the new screen, nothing about the new console will change the inherent problems the Switch is currently experiencing.
Given Nintendo’s past of going against expected business practices with the failure of the Wii U and lack of virtual console on the switch. They could very well wait until the very last moment to release a 4K console that gives fans what they’ve been asking for and still make just as much, if not more profit than ever before. While from a business perspective, what Nintendo is doing with the OLED release will be a quick profit as there are few costly changes to their production. It will be a console that will likely be forgotten about by the time a 4K version arrives. In its own right, this situation is disappointing. Nintendo has a habit of doing things on their own terms, in their own way, and they do not appear to be changing their ways anytime soon.