I’ve spent a lot of money on Nintendo handheld updates over the years. From GBASP to Nintendo 3DS XL, I rarely resisted the appeal of bright and attractive screens. So when Nintendo announced the Switch OLED, I immediately placed a pre-order, even though I was personally worried that it was a minor update at best. Is it really worth the $ 350 drop on the new screen and some other additional features?

Fast-forwarding in September made me feel better about my decision to buy a Switch OLED. This is because I recently had the opportunity to experience Nintendo’s latest handhelds. What I found was a complete improvement of Animal Crossing, Hades, Zelda: Breath’s thousands of hours of experienced and reliable launch units. wild. Is it still a kind of ridiculous luxury? Oh yeah, definitely. But it’s definitely a better upgrade than I originally expected.

Nintendo Switch OLED Hands-on Preview Gallery

The screen of Nintendo Switch OLED has been greatly improved

As previously announced, Nintendo Switch OLED is the latest attempt to refresh switch hardware. It’s $ 50 more expensive than the base console, with a larger, clearer screen, more storage space, and the features we’ve all been looking for, an improved kickstand. In particular, the Switch OLED uses the same processor that powers the base model, so there is no performance improvement over the original Switch.

With that in mind, Switch OLED’s biggest selling point is arguably the 7-inch OLED screen. This is a clear upgrade to the LCD screen used in the base model. Compared to the original switch, the OLED model has a deeper black and a richer and more vibrant color palette. This was especially noticeable when playing Metroid Dread. Unfortunately, you can’t compare them directly, but looking at the two together gives you a clear idea of ​​how good the screen really looks. The start switch screen (with a much larger bezel and LCD display) looks smaller and darker when compared.

OLED screens are generally known for their amazing color fidelity and are perfectly visible on Switch OLEDs. However, according to a Nintendo spokeswoman, the burn-in problem is also known to be significant and will be addressed by existing features such as auto-brightness and auto-sleep. Another thing you need to know about OLED displays is that glare problems can also occur. So playing Switch OLED outdoors can be a bit tricky, but you’ll need to do more testing to determine that. ..

Other improvements to the Switch OLED are small, but still welcome. Believe it or not, the new kickstand really makes a difference, making the rarely used desktop options a much more viable option. The dock has a LAN port, so you don’t need to buy an adapter to play online on the wired internet. Also, the back part of the dock actually pops out. This is a strange but interesting design choice by Nintendo, but it can make parts of the system more accessible.

One of the underrated improvements is the built-in speaker in the handheld unit. This is because Nintendo has changed the design of the housing. This will change the sound balance between the left and right speakers. Even if you prefer headphones when playing portable, the effect is noticeable (and after the last software update, all switches eventually support Bluetooth headphones).

Luxurious Nintendo Console

Other than that, Switch OLEDs are mostly Switch, as we’ve known for the last four years. Drift may continue to be an issue as the performance gap that Nintendo consoles see with other consoles may be widening and Joy-Cons hasn’t changed. It’s almost a definition of a luxury item — the version you pick up because you absolutely must have the best possible screen.

It’s hard to say if the Switch OLED has been improved enough to justify the upgrade. In my own rule of thumb, I upgrade every time a version comes with a good screen, but Switch OLED does. But for $ 350, it’s certainly understandable why so many people want to continue using the base unit, hoping that Nintendo will launch the right Switch Pro in 2022. I want. Expect a more detailed review of IGN soon.

The Nintendo Switch OLED will be available on October 8th. Check out the final preview of Metroid Dread, which will be available on the same day, with even more Switch OLED coverage on this site.

Kat Bailey is IGN’s Senior News Editor.