The Nintendo Switch OLED is a let-down for TV mode purists
The Nintendo Switch OLED has finally been unveiled after months of rumours. I’m personally a big fan, especially since I usually play the Switch in handheld mode, but I can’t help feeling bad for all of the TV mode purists out there.
The main selling point of the Nintendo Switch is obvious: you can use it as both a handheld device and a console but Nintendo has been neglecting the latter use case ever since it first launched the Switch.
While the Switch Lite increases the portable prowess of the console, I expected Nintendo to improve the ‘docked mode’ experience with the fabled Switch Pro. But the newly revealed Switch OLED has done the opposite, once again focusing on the portable method of play with a new OLED panel.
4K output had previously been rumoured, and while it didn’t make much sense for portable mode, I did fancy the idea of Nintendo putting a more powerful GPU inside the dock to allow for 4K upscaling. Maybe it could have even allowed the Switch OLED to natively play titles that can currently only be played via the cloud such as Control, Hitman 3 and the upcoming Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.
Or maybe Nintendo could have just fitted in a slightly more powerful Nvidia chip, ensuring a smoother performance so you don’t encounter framerate drops in action-packed scenes. Even New Pokémon Snap has suffered this issue.
Sadly, the only improvement that Nintendo has introduced to the dock is a new LAN port to allow for smoother online connections. This is a good addition, but hardly a game changer when accessories are already available to bypass this obstacle. The Switch OLED also includes an expanded 64GB storage capacity, but again, microSD cards are so affordable right now that it hasn’t really been a problem. I’d have preferred a more powerful chipset.
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I’m genuinely surprised by the Switch OLED’s poor offering for those who use TV mode the most, especially since Nintendo has so many couch multiplayer titles such as Super Smash Bros Ultimate, Mario Kart, Mario Party and more.
I understand Nintendo didn’t want to split the game library with this new Switch, but that hasn’t stopped Nintendo introducing more powerful handhelds halfway through a generation before – the New Nintendo 3DS springs to mind.
If you never use the Switch as a portable, there simply isn’t a good enough reason to justify the cost of the Switch OLED. And with the original Switch launching as far back as 2017, it’s looking increasingly unlikely that Nintendo will improve the TV mode before it launches the fully fledged sequel.
If you primarily use the Switch in its TV dock, are you disappointed by the lack of upgrade options? Or are you perfectly happy using the vanilla console for the foreseeable future? Let us know by firing over a message on Twitter.