So what exactly is the Switch V2? It's a fan-given name for the Switch revision that was quietly released in August 2019. When we compare the Switch V2 to the original Switch, they look identical, but the V2's battery life is better by a few hours. As with the original Switch, it can be used while docked to a TV or on the go in handheld mode.
The Switch OLED model, on the other hand, is getting a lot of fanfare with its release since it's seen as the latest system rather than a system revision. Its big upgrade centers around the titular 7-inch OLED screen, which is bigger than ever before and provides brighter and sharper imagery. It also has a smattering of other upgrades, including double the storage space of any previous Switch, a better kickstand, enhanced audio, and a LAN port within the dock. Most of these changes aren't super significant, so the real question is — is the OLED screen worth the $50 price difference from the Switch V2?
Switch V2 vs. Switch OLED: What's the difference?
To help the new Switch OLED stand out, Nintendo is releasing it in a new color option: White dock and white Joy-Cons. Here are all of the other specs related to this new Switch and the Switch V2.
|Switch V2||Switch OLED Model|
|CPU/GPU||NVIDIA Custom Tegra processor||NVIDIA Custom Tegra processor|
|Resolution||Up to 720p in handheld /up to 1080p docked||Up to 720p in handheld /up to 1080p docked|
|Screen||Capacitive touch screen / 6.2 inch LCD screen||Multi-touch capacitive touch screen / 7.0 inch OLED screen|
|Internet required||Only for online multiplayer (free-to-play games are an exception)||Only for online multiplayer (free-to-play games are an exception)|
|Battery life||4.5 - 9 hours||4.5 - 9 hours|
|LAN Port||No||Yes (Dock)|
|Kickstand||Flap that sticks out on back side||Goes along back of console|
|Internal storage||32GB internal storage/microSD cards||64GB internal storage/microSD cards|
|Where to play||TV/ handheld console||TV/ handheld console|
|Weight||Approx. .88 lbs with Joy-Con controllers||Approx .93 lbs with Joy-Con controllers|
Switch V2 vs. Switch OLED: Price
As you were probably quick to note, the OLED model is $50 more than the Switch V2. Considering that the new Switch has the larger OLED screen and a handful of other updates, this price is fitting. It's also worth noting that both Switch options cost a couple hundred dollars less than Nintendo's console competitors like the $500 Xbox Series X or the $500 PlayStation 5.
Unlike Microsoft and Sony's consoles, the Switch is behind the curve technologically speaking. The Switch doesn't have nearly as powerful of processing power, and the resolution still hasn't even reached 4K while the competition is pushing into 8K. In case you're wondering, there is no power upgrade between the Switch OLED model and the Switch V2. They offer the same resolution and the same processing abilities.
Do games run differently on the Switch V2 vs. Switch OLED? Games and subscriptions
The Switch OLED model and the Switch V2 play the exact same games. For anyone completely new to the Switch library, there is already a vast number of the best Nintendo Switch games on the market, including incredibly popular titles like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Players can either purchase physical copies or buy digital downloads of games from the Nintendo eShop, which is accessible from the Switch's main menu.
Additionally, if players pay for a Nintendo Switch Online (NSO) membership, they get access to online modes for various games. Not to mention, this subscription service lets you play select NES and SNES games, including Super Metroid, Ninja Gaiden, Donkey Kong 3, and Super Mario Bros. 3.
Nintendo recently announced that an additional service known as Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack is releasing some time in October and will bring N64 and Sega Genesis games to the Switch. This includes classic hits like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Super Mario 64, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and Ecco the Dolphin. Both the Switch OLED model and the Switch V2 will be able to access this service.
Lastly, Nintendo Switch Cloud Streaming is a somewhat new service that allows you to play more graphically intensive games found on other consoles on the Switch. This is accomplished by streaming the games via an internet connection rather than hosting the game on the Switch V2 or OLED model itself. Some of these games include Remedy Entertainment's Control and IO Interactive's Hitman 3. We also just recently learned that the main Kingdom Hearts games will be coming to this cloud streaming service sometime soon.
Anything new with the controller? Joy-Cons, Pro Controllers, and more
Nintendo has confirmed that the controllers on the Switch OLED model are the same as the ones used on the Switch V2. Both systems allow you to slide these versatile controllers on and off of the console. They can even be turned sideways and used individually. Just pass one to a friend for easy multiplayer wherever you are.
Unfortunately, since we know they use the same Joy-Cons on either Switch, it means that both systems are susceptible to Joy-Con drift. This is an issue where your Switch receives a signal from the controllers even if no one is touching them. This can sometimes make it hard or at least annoying to play certain games since your character might move one direction on its own.
In addition to Joy-Cons, many Switch owners prefer to use the Pro Controller. This more traditional gamepad is sold separately from either Switch console. Many players say it fits better in adult hands and gives better control over gameplay since it's easier to hold. Additionally, NSO members will soon be able to order an N64 controller and a Sega Genesis controller to be used on any Switch.
Performance and storage space: Switch V2 vs. Switch OLED
The Switch V2 and the OLED model have the same processing power and resolution capabilities being able to reach up to 720p when in handheld mode and up to 1080p when docked. Now, just because that's what the Switch can handle doesn't mean that's what every game reaches. Many games will be less than 1080p when docked. As far as power goes, most Switch games reach 60 frames per second (FPS).
This is where that OLED screen comes in handy, though. OLED displays produce brighter and crisper details than LCD screens. So even though the resolution isn't improved, the OLED model games will still look better on the console.
Lastly, there's the storage space. The Switch V2's 32GB and the OLED model's 64 GB of internal storage are pretty small. In the case of the Switch V2, that means you can have about three big games before running out of room, while the OLED model can have about six large games worth of storage. However, this limited space can be improved upon by using microSD cards. Both Switch consoles can take memory cards up to 2T, but you really only need to get a 128GB to 256GB card, depending on how many games you end up playing.
Availability: Can I buy this thing?
For the past two years, video gaming has become even more popular than before, and the Nintendo Switch has been one of the very best selling consoles throughout that period. There was a stretch when it was almost impossible to find inventory at any of the usual stores. Things have calmed down a bit, but OLED model preorders have consistently sold out within minutes each time they become available. As such, you'll need to jump on an available Switch if you see it.
Just please be careful when buying your consoles. There are plenty of scammers out there eager to steal your money without giving the right thing or anything back in return. To keep yourself safe, purchase from trusted retailers and never buy any Switch V2 or Switch OLED model that is significantly lower than its MSRP. Those cheap options are definitely too good to be true.
Parental controls: Is it safe and easy for my kid to use?
The Nintendo Switch has a reputation as being a kid-friendly and family-friendly console. That's not to say that it doesn't have mature games, but most of the main Nintendo titles are meant for everyone, and many of them can have multiple people playing at once from one Switch.
To keep things safer for your children, you can download the Nintendo Switch Parental Controls app from either the App Store or the Google Play Store. From your phone, you'll be able to determine how long your kid can play each day, make it so your kid cannot communicate with other players, put a password up for purchasing digital games, and much more. You can even check your child's play history to see what kind of games they've been playing and for how long.
Most Nintendo Switch games do not have voice chat features, so you usually don't have to worry about them talking with strangers online. However, the app will help make sure this isn't a problem.
Limits and safety
Nintendo Switch Parental Control app
Limit what they can play
Place a password barrier on digital purchase, limit how long your kid can play for, and make it so they cannot access mature content. You can even see what games your kids have been playing.
Switch V2 vs. Switch OLED: Which should you buy?
Both the Switch OLED model and the Switch V2 are excellent gaming consoles. However, unless you need that OLED display, the Switch V2 is all you need. It performs just as well as the OLED model and has the same versatile Joy-Cons but will save you $50, which you can put towards buying a game. While the internal memory is double in the new OLED model, both consoles will still require a MicroSD card, so that basically nullifies that benefit.
Now, suppose you really are focused on how well games will look on the Switch. In that case, the OLED model will give you a significantly better viewing experience, but without actually raising the resolution capabilities found on previous Switch models.
Nintendo Switch - Gaming Console
Play anywhere you want
Grab your Switch when you head out the door and place it in the dock whenever you want to play on TV. There is a long list of popular games on the Switch just waiting for you to play them.
The newest model
Nintendo Switch OLED Model
Crisper, brighter visuals
The OLED model has the same processing power as the Switch V2, but the OLED display allows game visuals to come through sharper and more vibrantly than ever before.
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