Nintendo Switch vs OLED - check out the differences, similarities and discover which is better value for money

Nintendo Switch vs OLED it's time to decide, well if you're looking at buying on it is. And we've done the research for you

Nintendo Switch vs OLED illustrated by Man and teen girl play on games console
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Nintendo Switch vs OLED debate may be one that you, as a person-who-happens-to-have-kids, finds yourself thinking about. Though you'd be forgiven for thinking they're the same, as they do kind of look... identical. 

But, they are not the same, the Switch is the original - released in 2017, while the OLED is newer - released in 2021. The Nintendo Switch and OLED are considered two of the top Christmas toys as they're a games console that also helps develop imagination and dexterity. Whether you want to or not, you (and many other parents) may be considering the Nintendo Switch for your child, after possibly checking out Lego Vs Playmobil and Yoto Vs Tonie (the top audio boxes). 

Renowned Psychotherapist and Couples Counsellor Hilda Burke, identified a direct correlation between family members playing video games together and increased family satisfaction and closeness. She tells us; "The Super Mario franchise has the power to evoke nostalgia and strengthen family bonds. In an increasingly digital world, this research shows the enduring impact of video games specifically Mario on family relationships."

So, if you're looking at investing in a Switch, we cut out the confusing technical jargon and explain which is better value for money - the OLED or the Switch.

Nintendo Switch vs OLED

Nintendo Switch is the third best-selling console of all time, behind the Sony Playstation 4 and the Nintendo GameBoy, according to The Verge. The numbers don't lie, figures from Nintendo show that between April and July 2023, a total of 3.91 million Nintendo Switch devices (including the Switch, Switch Lite and Switch OLED) were sold globally, compared to approx. 3.4 million in 2022. With 2.83 million of those sales attributed to the OLED version of the Switch.

Goodto family editor and mum-of-one, Stephanie Lowe tells us how they never thought they would own a Switch. "Buying my five year old a Switch was never my plan - no judgement, it just wasn't - but my brother handed down his old one, so now he loves Super Mario kart, and to be honest I love playing it with him and I'm glad we have it."

Difference between Nintendo Switch and OLED

The main differences between the Nintendo Switch and the OLED come down to the screen, the speakers and the built in storage capacity. And of course price. 

While the Switch has an LCD (liquid crystal display) screen, the OLED version has an OLED (organic light-emitting diode) screen. It's state-of-the-art display technology offers a crisper, brighter display that looks good from all angles. If this all sounds a bit too technical, Business Insider has a really good explanation of the main differences between the screen types.

What is a Nintendo Switch?

The Nintendo Switch is a games console that lets you play either connected to a TV, or as a handheld device thanks to  the built-in screen. There are also different versions, including the Switch Lite and the Switch OLED. 

It says: "On a technical level, LCD screens work by illuminating all the pixels with a backlight; on an OLED screen, each individual pixel creates its own light. This means that when an OLED wants to show the color black, it can completely turn off its pixels to erase all light, while most LCDs can only dim the lights."

The screen on the OLED version is also bigger than the screen on the original Switch. It's got a 7in screen, compared to the 6.2in screen on the original Switch. 

According to the Nawara Brothers Homes Store when choosing between the OLED or LCD, it's worth noting that the OLED displays can be better for your eyesight. They have more natural lighting, better colour contrast, and a wider colour range. However, no matter what type of display you have, you will hurt your eyesight if you don't practice safe TV viewing. i.e. suitable distance from eyes, the basic rule is to sit at least five times as far away from the screen as it is wide,  have lights on, and only use the screen for short periods of time.

Nintendo Switch Vs Oled

(Image credit: Future)

The speakers are better on the OLED version too, and while the original Switch offers 32 gigabytes (GB) of internal storage, the OLED version has 64GB. This means you can download and store more games on the OLED model than you can on the original Switch. Although you can use physical game cartridges in both models, or expand the storage up to two terabytes (1,000 gigabytes equals one terabyte) using a micro SD card, like this Nintendo Switch-compatible one from Amazon.

The OLED version is arguably sturdier than the original version too - which could be great for parents who are worried about the console getting damaged easily.

The original Nintendo Switch in its dock in a home setting

While the Nintendo Switch has a smaller screen than the OLED version, when connected to a TV or monitor via the dock, there is no difference in picture quality between the original Switch and the OLED

(Image credit: Alamy)

The Switch OLED unit is made from a magnesium alloy which is stronger than the plastic used for the original Switch. The OLED also has a wider kickstand, which is more solid than the kickstand on the original Switch. 

When it comes to price, while the Switch has an RRP of £259.99, the OLED is £50 more at £309.99. But you can currently find the OLED considerably cheaper on Amazon. And not forgetting Black Friday, which happens  so it's worthwhile seeing if you can snap up your Switch of choice when those deals land.