Of course, the biggest, most noticeable difference between the original Nintendo Switch and the new OLED Switch is the display, but there are quite a few changes inside the console’s plastic housing as well. Our friends at iFixit cracked open one of the latest models, discovering redesigned circuit boards, modified cooling, and no-longer-modular storage inside the OLED beauty.
Aside from the display, the outside of the OLED Switch sports some cool new design features. There’s the console-wide kickstand, the redesigned speaker wells, the less-curvaceous cartridge slot, and more stable Joy-con rails. All of those fancy new outer bits mean the insides of the OLED Switch had to change as well. The brave team of tech teardown experts at iFixit found several space-saving changes made to accommodate things like the hinge for the new kickstand.
In the image below you can see the original Switch heatsink and fan on the left, with the newer, smaller versions on the right. The cooling system has shrunk, which iFixit thinks is either a space-saving move or dialing back what it referred to as the “cooling overcompensation” of the previous models.
You can also see an example of consolidation. The SD card reader, headphone jack, and game card reader, previously on two separate boards, have been grouped together in one fancy, electric guitar-looking piece.
Collect 'Em All
10 Celebrations packs and 5 additional booster packs from the most previous released sets.
Those fancy new speaker slots were made for fancy new speakers. The OLED Switch’s new speakers, on the bottom of the image below, have been enclosed to allow for better sound in a smaller space.
Perhaps the most disappointing change to the insides of the OLED Switch is the internal storage. In the original Switch the 32 GB internal storage drive was a modular part, which gave some hope that they’d be able to upgrade it at some point. The larger 64 GB storage drive in the OLED Switch is now part of the motherboard, quashing those hopes.
Check out iFixit’s YouTube video for a complete teardown of Nintendo’s new console. Marvel as a man much braver than I unplugs tiny ribbon cables, detaches taped-down wires, and removes an expensive, wafer-thin OLED screen with a heating pad and a suction cup.
I went to my local Gamestop last Friday launch day to pick up Metroid.. I was standing in line one of the customers in front of me asked if they had gotten any OLED’s. To my surprise the gamestop guy was like oh yea we have 3! So I was screw it, gimme one also and I’ll pass down my current “old” switch to my lady.
I definitely had no plans of buying one, I assumed they would be super hard just like the new xbox and PS5 to get. But it seemed too lucky to pass up..
And I gotta say – I am loving it! I’ve spent pretty much all my time playing Metroid Dread on it, and it has been an amazing experience. All the discussion I have seen around Metroid has been about playing it docked, but I have been really loving it handheld mode. It plays great and the new screen is amazing looking and the size and quality upgrade is really noticeable. Just playing a new first party Nintendo game on it, with new hardware, really has been a very “nintendo” feeling experience. Everything has just been so smooth, polished and just unique feeling in that way that really only Nintendo has anymore.
The OLED is definitely one of those things that’s like yea, you dont NEED it. But if you play handheld a lot, it is absolutely worth it and once you have it, it’s super hard to picture going back. The new kickstand also is a revelation lol. Just all around really impressed (and super enjoying Metroid, what a great game).