Which Nintendo Switch to buy: A guide

It’s been a few months since the Nintendo Switch launched, and there are some signs it might be the console to end all others. Anecdotally, it seems to be selling well given the relatively small amount of units sold, and there are some signs that Nintendo is moving towards releasing a 3rd, more powerful version of the Switch.

You have a choice of being a first time buyer, or a veteran Nintendo Switch owner: for those who are new to the console, here is a short guide to help you decide which console to buy.


The Nintendo Switch family just got bigger. The Nintendo Switch OLED, which will be released on the 8th. Nintendo’s most popular game console will cost $349 in October, have a 7-inch screen and some quality of life improvements. Also, the total number of Nintendo Switch models has increased to three, which means you may be wondering which version to buy.

While the Nintendo Switch OLED seems like the perfect model for those who haven’t joined the Switch party yet, there are still plenty of good reasons to buy the $299 Nintendo Switch and the $199 Nintendo Switch Lite. To help you decide which Nintendo Switch is worth spending money on, we’ve listed the three models – and who they’re for.

You want the best screen for portable or desktop reading.


The biggest improvement to the Nintendo Switch OLED is – you guessed it – the console’s new 7-inch OLED screen, which is larger and more advanced than the 6.2-inch LCD screens of the standard Nintendo Switch and the 5.5-inch LCD screens of the Switch Lite.

Our own testing has shown that OLED screens generally offer deeper blacks and richer colors than traditional LCD screens, which should make playing games like The Legend of Zelda easier: Breath of the Wild and Metroid Dread look great on this new system. Combine that with improved built-in speakers and a new footrest that allows for multiple viewing angles (and shouldn’t be so wobbly), and the OLED Switch becomes the best Switch to start an impromptu Mario Kart 8 session on your kitchen table with.

Although the Switch’s new OLED display uses OLED, it retains the same 720p resolution as previous versions. This means you won’t see much more detail along the way. And it still comes out on a 1080p TV – the mythical 4K switch continues to elude us, and right now many TVs are upgrading the 1080p input resolution to 4K. The Switch OLED also uses the same Nvidia Tegra X1 processor as previous models, so don’t expect better performance or faster load times.

You want the switch with the best ports and most internal memory.


The OLED model has other notable benefits besides the screen, including a built-in Ethernet port and twice the internal storage, 64GB. If you’re an avid online gamer, the ability to connect to a wired internet connection without an adapter for a more reliable connection is a nice added benefit. This port is located on the Switch’s OLED dock (which you can also buy separately for your existing Switch), so you’ll need the widescreen mode to use it. And if you plan on buying most of your games digitally, the Switch OLED’s 64GB of free storage offers a lot more games than the Switch and Switch Lite’s 32GB – though you can expand the storage on all three models with a microSD card.

You play most games on your TV (and want to save $50).

If you mainly play games in TV mode, the standard Switch is fine: both the OLED and standard models offer the same 1080p performance when connected to a screen.

You’ll still have access to the same thousands of Switch games you have now, and the ability to play them in portable mode, on your desktop computer, or on your big TV screen. Your games won’t be as spectacular when you play on the go, but you’ll also pay $50 less for the same experience in your living room.

You mostly play in portable mode (or you just want the best looking, most portable Switch).

Jacob Krol/CNN

The Nintendo Switch Lite is a handheld only, which means you can’t plug it in to fight Bowser or beat your friends in a smash game on the big screen. Fortunately, it serves its unique purpose very well, with a design that is comfortable and compact, and perhaps cooler than its bigger brothers.

The Switch Lite has a cohesive, eye-catching design in turquoise, coral, blue and yellow, and unlike the standard Switch, it fits into many pockets. In addition, the Lite’s built-in directional pad is more precise than the four separate directional buttons on the left Joy-Con, making the tiny Switch ideal for playing platformers and fighting games on the go. Lite even lets you pair wireless controllers, so if you buy a special bracket, you can still do multiplayer sessions on your desktop.

You want the cheapest switch

Jacob Krol/CNN

At $199, the Switch Lite is considerably cheaper than the $299 Nintendo Switch OLED and the $349 Nintendo Switch OLED, making it a great entry-level model for younger gamers or those on a budget. And since you can play almost any Switch game on it, for such a low price you’re really only giving up the ability to play on your TV.


Every Switch model has a pretty clear use case, but what about Switch or Switch Lite owners considering an upgrade to an OLED model? We haven’t had our hands on the new console yet to make a definitive recommendation, but from what we know so far, the Switch OLED seems like a passable option for those who already own a standard Switch.

The larger OLED screen will likely have a good visual impact in portable mode, but many of the other benefits of the OLED Switch can be enjoyed without having to buy a whole new system. For starters, Nintendo will be selling the new Nintendo Switch Dock separately for those who want to take advantage of the new built-in Ethernet port or just love the new white color. The price of the new dock has not yet been announced, but Nintendo sells the current model alone for $60.

The storage expansion up to 64GB is nice, but you can add a lot more by purchasing a microSD card. We recommend that all Switch owners who buy a lot of digital games buy a microSD card with at least 128GB capacity – like this model from SanDisk, which currently retails for just $19.

If you have a Switch Lite and are ready to upgrade to a full Switch, the OLED model makes a lot more sense. Switching from a 5.5-inch LCD to a 7-inch OLED screen is a pretty big deal, and you get all the other benefits of the new model (Ethernet connectivity, improved speakers, more memory) for just $50 more than the standard Switch.

We can’t wait to get our hands on the OLED Switch later this year to see to what extent it really outshines its smaller brethren, so stay tuned.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which version of Nintendo switch is best?

The Nintendo Switch is a hybrid console that can be used as both a handheld and home console. The Nintendo Switch has two different models, the standard model and the pro model. The standard model is cheaper than the pro model but does not have any additional features. The pro model has a number of features that make it more expensive than the standard model.

What should I look for when buying a switch?

When buying a switch, you should look for the following: -A switch that is rated for at least 10 amps. -A switch that has a minimum of three terminals. -A switch that has a minimum of three wires. -A switch that is rated for at least 20,000 hours of use. -A switch with a lifetime warranty. -A switch that is rated for at least 10 amps.

Is a switch worth it 2021?

A switch is worth it if you have a lot of devices that you want to control. If you only have one or two devices, then a switch may not be worth the cost.

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