On March of 2017, Nintendo revolutionized gaming in its own unique way by releasing the Switch gaming console. The system was remarkable in its hybrid configuration, being able to change between a home console connected to a TV and a portable device with its own screen. While not graphically-impressive like its contemporaries the PS4 and Xbox One, the Switch’s versatility ensured a loyal player community. Since then, as rival next-gen systems like the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S appeared, Nintendo has only put out a handheld variant, the Switch Lite. They also promised a powered-up version with an OLED screen; and now word is that it is coming this year.
The Verge would have it that the speculated upgraded Nintendo Switch with an OLED screen in its main (portable) unit might begin production this year for a release as early as the 2021 Holidays. News in this vein came out around August of 2020, fueled by observation of what components Nintendo has been requesting of its manufacturing suppliers at that time. Now some additional tech information has come to light. The replacement screen is reported to be bigger, but at the same time retains the original resolution as the original.
From its first release, the Switch core unit, which functions as the handheld component for portable gaming, featured a 6.2-inch LCD screen, running at 720-pixel resolution. The handheld Switch Lite also has an LCD screen, but smaller at 5.5 inches. The OLED screen in the planned upgrade is 7 inches while remaining at 720p, although if the unit is attached to its console dock to display on TV, it will be able to display 4K graphics. Keeping a 720p resolution on portable mode is therefore reinforced to be a factor in keeping battery consumption low.
It is interesting to note that the new OLED screen is being provided to Nintendo by South Korean electronics giant Samsung. It reflects Nintendo’s historical hardware development. Back in the 1990s its iconic Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) contained an audio chip from a Japanese electronics brand. That company was Sony, which would later develop the PlayStation series and become one of Nintendo’s late-era rivals in the videogame industry. Closing details on the report would have it that Nintendo will begin production of the OLED-screen Switch this June, which jives with the estimate that it will come out late 2021.
Image courtesy of Hypebeast