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So on the 6th of July Nintendo finally announced their new Switch version or should I say revision. To be honest I mostly have mixed feelings about it.
We have been using the Switch as our go to console since we bought it last November in the year 2020. Despite of being well aware that there would be “another” one to be released sometime in the near future. So I kind of always dreaded when the news of the new Switch would finally drop.
In the beginning of the year (2021) there were rumours that we would see the Switch “Pro” finally announced by Nintendo and according to the Bloomberg articles we could expect it to be seen around E3 time (June 2021). As we got closer to the date the hype was quite real as more and more rumours started to circulate that it would have the new Nvidia chip which could output to 4K and a bigger screen, maybe they would finally address the Joy-Con drift issue in this model revision etc.
When Nintendo posted their E3 Direct on the 15th of June (full video of the direct below)
We got a lot of game announcements but no hardware and to be fair Nintendo had released a statement before the Direct saying that they would only talk about games. Since this was a pre-recorded video there would be no chance of a sneak peek but Hey! it’s Nintendo you never know (Spoiler, there was no announcement) but there seemed to be speculation among people when they showed the trailer and gameplay from the new Mario + Rabbids game (trailer below)
that it was supposedly running on the new Switch hardware because the game looked much more crisp and detailed but there was no evidence to substantiate those rumours. So as time went on I was like, OK maybe there is no Switch “Pro” coming this year after all.
Cut to 6th July and Nintendo just drops the NEW SWITCH announcement trailer (full video below)
and when I saw it yesterday on my feed, my heart sunk because the dread that set in mixed with the excitement of new hardware but after watching the 2+ minutes trailer I was like, Is it really the new Switch?
So here is the rundown of what’s actually “NEW” in this model revision;
- 7 inch OLED Screen
- Wide adjustable stand
- Built-in Ethernet port in the dock
- 64 GB internal storage
- Better Speakers on console module
Look! It also comes in “White” now, but is that really a new feature, some may say yes but for me it’s more about those 5 features;
- I am all for the bigger screen and it’s now an OLED so great, which means much brighter and sharper picture plus narrow bezels (all great stuff). Nintendo claims that the battery life of the switch will be 9 hours.
- After the screen, the next improvement done is on that flimsy kickstand because it is now a proper stand that spans the entire length of the console. Plus from the video it look like a much stronger hinge on the stand that can adjust to multiple angles. So finally it just won’t tip over when a little force is applied like it did on the previous versions.
- Now when it comes to the dock, the corners have been round off and in the rear there is a curved cut out for the wires as well. The rear access flap now completely detaches making it easier to access the rear ports. Speaking of rear ports the biggest change is the addition of the Ethernet port. You do however loose one USB-C port for this addition but it’s a welcome change as you no longer need an adapter.
- Well more storage is always better, the previous switch came with a built storage of 32GB only.
- It has an additional front firing speaker now, so you get two speakers for better audio.
Important thing to note is that all the joy-cons and official accessories that you purchased for the previous system all work with this new system as well, the rail and docking mechanism is the same.
You can get a deeper look at the new system at the official websites (USA & Japan)
However, the Japanese site does a better version of explaining the difference between the old and the new in my opinion.
Now comes the question: Is this “Switch” actually new? Answer is “Yes”, technically it is a new revised Switch version, but is it the one that I wanted to see, umm… “No” and here’s why;
- It doesnt mention fixing the infamous joy-con drift problem
- There is no actual hardware upgrade in terms of performance
- Not much has changed in the updated dock, in the sense of making it more portable
Oh! you may be wondering why I haven’t mentioned the price and release date yet, well it’s expected to be available from October 8th 2021 and it is priced at 349$ (USD) and just for context the previous revised switch (with the improved battery) is currently being sold for 299$ (USD)
My take on the New Switch
Now you can be on the fence and see both side of the argument when it comes to the new price, you could see it like 50 bucks more and I get a better screen, refreshed dock, better speakers, more internal memory, new colour or you could be like hold up! You are literally charging me 50 bucks more for a slightly bigger screen and a better kick stand, what the hell!
That been said the new version is a nice model but would I consider buying another switch, honestly it would be a no because 90% of the time my family uses or has used the switch in docked mode and as it currently stands when you put the new and old switch side by side there is no difference in terms of performance (besides visually off course).
It still doesn’t output natively to 4K, it doesn’t have a higher processor inside to ensure those high and smooth frame rates for their games (especially their first party titles), I was hoping to have a better experience when the new breath of wild games drops next year (compared to how the old one runs on the switch now)
Look, maybe the dock has an extra oomph to it and may be the internal guts of this new Switch help to squeeze some more frame rates, only time will tell as the console releases on October 8th 2021. But since they never mentioned anything in their announcement video, I won’t be holding my breath and hoping it does perform better. I will just wait till Digital Foundry drops their frame rate comparison video like the rest of the world.
In the end if you are the type of person that primarily plays the Switch not docked then Yes! the new screen is the upgrade you were looking for and if you are the sort of a person who saw this new colour and said yes I want that, then you already know you are going to get it or if you happen to be the person that never bought the Switch and you looking to get one then off course it makes sense to pay the extra 50 bucks and get the new one.
No matter which side you are on, Nintendo knows that this version of the Switch will do well and as for me I guess I am holding out until the actual new version of the Switch drops with the upgraded internal hardware.
However, I am curious if any of you already own one of the previous two versions of the Switch then would you be upgrading to this new Switch?
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