Perhaps you’ve picked up a shiny new OLED Model Nintendo Switch, or are waiting for one in the mail, or are simply curious about the console’s offerings in general. Fortunately for those curious, Nintendo has released a lengthy developer interview with two Technology Development Department workers: head developer Ko Shiota and veteran Yoru Tamashita. Here’s a quick rundown of the most interesting tidbits:

 

  • The OLED Model was born of a desire to refine the current Switch model rather than add features that would outright change the gameplay experience such as new buttons, which would create stratification between new and old software (a la the New 3DS).
  • Even when a whole new sales model for a console isn’t introduced, consoles are constantly being upgraded internally in the production cycle. Shiota offers the Wii as an example, where its main semiconductor had several major improvements over the console’s production lifespan.
  • Because of these constant internal improvements, Nintendo has a rigorous lotcheck system to make sure their games run on every type of hardware, no matter the version.
  • OLED technology has existed since the 3DS era, but now seemed like the right time to finally adopt it.
  • If you find the colors TOO vivid then you can turn the visuals to a conventional LCD display if you wish.
  • Despite only a 3mm width increase and no increase at all in height or width, the console’s image display has gone up from 6.2 inches to 7 inches
  • The stand is now made of metal, as metal is easier to thin out than plastic and they could squeeze more into the same space. As a result, the device is now marginally heavier (by about 20g, by their count.)
  • Wired LAN support was chosen specifically as a benefit for TV mode, as most of the OLED Model’s other features were primarily for Handheld or Tabletop mode.
  • In terms of “invisible” changes, the speakers were updated to be “closed-type” speakers instead of “open-type” ones (as in, closed at the back to help direct the flow of sound more clearly). They had to create this design themselves to accommodate for the tiny space they were working with.
  • They casually updated a couple of minute details: putting the regulations/standards information inside the kickstand, changing the Joy-Con Grip’s Switch logo to be engraved instead of printed, and adding little white flecks to the Joy-Con’s wrist straps. Even the included HDMI cable is softer and more pliant.
  • The back of the dock can remove its lid more easily, and offers a bit more wiggle room for cables as well.
  • The SoC (System on a Chip) has been improved for all Switch models since 2019, offering longer battery life. This is true of the OLED Model as well.
  • They have also been attempting to improve the Joy-Con, specifically its analog stick. While Drift is not mentioned by name, it is clearly the issue they’re trying to solve (even preemptively and defensively mentioning that the Joy-Con cleared product tests at launch).
  • While more and more companies outsource the development of hardware or software, Nintendo is committed to continuing to do both in-house as part of an integrated approach.

 

As you can see, even the summary is quite detailed, so be sure to check out the interview yourself for full context.

 

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Written by Amelia Fruzzetti

A writer and Nintendo fan based in Seattle, Washington. When not working for NinWire, she can be found eating pasta, writing stories, and wondering about when Mother 3 is finally going to get an official localization.