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Just in time for Samus Aran to make her new-game Switch debut, Nintendo is prepping the launch of a new, improved Switch console — one with a bigger screen, a new tabletop stand, and some neat new on-the-go audio tricks.
The Big N broke the news today that the new Nintendo Switch OLED model will go on sale this fall, on the very same day that Metroid Dread delivers the first new Switch game for the Metroid franchise since the hybrid console first went on sale back in 2017.
The new console comes in two colors, is compatible with all previous Switch Joy-Con controllers and docks, and increases the screen size to 7 inches (a notable boost from 6.2 inches for the original Switch, and from 5.5 inches for the Switch Lite). It also swaps out the older consoles’ LCD screens, says Nintendo, for a new OLED unit that “provides vivid color and crisp contrast.”
The new OLED model doesn’t appear to come with the hardware and visual performance boosts that earlier speculation, fueled by a Bloomberg article earlier this year citing inside sources, forecast might also be included. Nintendo makes no mention of any new features that would support 4K gaming or improve speed and rendering over the base Switch console.
But the boosted console does come with features that’ll upgrade its performance in its hybrid and on-the-go modes, including “enhanced audio for handheld and tabletop play,” and a flip-up tabletop stand that allows players hands-free use of their controllers while the console itself serves as the mini-display. And the colors are a blend of old and new: The classic red and blue unit will come with “neon red and neon blue Joy-Con controllers, a black main unit and a black dock,” while the new white console “features white Joy-Con controllers, a black main unit and a white dock.”
All this OLED goodness comes as the Switch shows no sign of stopping its long-running dominance in the world of video game console sales, and it arrives for $349.99 on Oct. 8 — the same day that Nintendo returns to its side-scrolling roots with Metroid Dread, the new action platformer whose announcement stole the show at this year’s E3.