Nintendo Switch OLED: 5 Features We Still Need In 2021
The Nintendo Switch is one of my favorite consoles of all time. The handheld's portability allows me to finish more games than I would if I had to sit in front of a television, and its expansive library of games has continuously delivered some of my favorite gaming moments ever. However, as a person who predominantly uses his Switch in handheld mode but also needs to capture gameplay footage, the device's screen leaves much to be desired; and when compared to the screen on the Switch Lite, the regular Switch looks washed out. So as you can imagine, I was happy when Nintendo announced an updated Switch SKU with an OLED screen earlier last week.
This new Nintendo Switch OLED model boasts a 7-inch OLED screen, a refreshed dock with a LAN port, a more stable kickstand, an improved audio experience, and a bolstered internal storage capacity of 64 gigabytes. And no, to some of the internet's dismay, this updated Switch will not support 4K resolutions while docked or even 1080p in handheld mode. But as someone who spends 95% of his time playing his Switch on the go — or just on the couch while watching Netflix — I'm more than okay with this incremental upgrade to the base Nintendo Switch, especially when considering its reasonable price increase of only $50. However, despite my overall excitement for the Nintendo Switch OLED, there's still a lot of room for improvement. So, without further delay, here are the five features Nintendo still needs to implement to modernize their hybrid console.
1080p Video Clip Recordings
The share button is one of my favorite features of the handheld. You can snap a screenshot by tapping the button once or record a 30-second gameplay clip by holding it down. It's a great feeling knowing that when I pull off something special in a game, I can easily save a clip to share with my friends. I often use my consoles' capture functionality to record supplementary gameplay for YouTube videos, but the Nintendo Switch falls short in these situations due to its outdated recording format.
The handheld can only record 30-second video clips at 720p/30 in an h.264 format, which is pretty much useless in today’s content creation landscape. It’d be nice if Nintendo improved the device’s capture settings by supporting clip resolutions of up to 1080p. I know Nintendo goes by the beat of their drum, but it’s a shame that the PS5 and Xbox Series X can both internally capture 4K gameplay with a pretty decent bit rate while Nintendo doesn’t even support 720p recording across its full library of games. With the prevalence of content creation in the video game space, it'd be a slam dunk if Nintendo would iterate on this feature.
Bluetooth Audio Support
For a console whose sole conceit is to provide an at-home gaming experience, whether on the couch or on the go, it’s perplexing that the Nintendo Switch still doesn’t support Bluetooth audio. I carry a normal set of wired earbuds at all times in my Nintendo Switch case, which works great for handheld mode, but you’re straight out of luck if you want to use those same earbuds while in docked mode. Of course, you can buy a third-party headset that comes with a wireless USB dongle, but they’re often expensive and uncomfortable compared to other options. Plus, most of us have already invested in headsets that we enjoy, whether for gaming or music listening, and the last thing we want to do is to buy another one for the very specific use case of playing a Nintendo Switch in docked mode. And even if you are willing to shell out the extra cash for just a standalone dongle, they’re easy to lose and are a hassle to carry around.
Revive The Virtual Console Service
Up next is a feature we’ve been asking for since the launch of the Nintendo Switch, and that’s Virtual Console Support.
The retro market is absurdly expensive these days, with prices sometimes more than doubling the cost of a new AAA game, and the amount of fake game cartridges and bad actors seems to grow every day. For new collectors, it’s not always the safest way to spend your money. Of course, with a bit of discernment, you can navigate the space just fine, but it’d be great if we could access older Nintendo games via the same virtual console service that the company supported on the Wii U, 3DS, and Wii, which previously supported games from Nintendo 64, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, Sega Genesis, NES, SNES, and more. Sure, the complaint of having to buy Super Mario World and Zelda: A Link To The Past on every new Nintendo device is valid, but for the folks who haven’t been able to play those older games, whether due to timing or just finances, the Virtual Console Service was a great way to explore a significant portion of gaming history at an affordable price.
Customizable UI and Library Management
I appreciate the simplicity of the Nintendo Switch’s user interface. The console’s thoughtful use of negative space and iconography helps to emphasize the gorgeous game logos that populate my home screen. Also, it’s relatively easy to navigate the Nintendo Switch’s various menus when compared to the gaudy mess that is the PS5 UI. However, this simplicity does come at the cost of more robust organizational features.
There’s no way to group similar games into folders for starters, which would help me access the multiplayer games I often cycle through. We also need the option to pin our favorite games to the home screen since they’re currently shuffled out and replaced by recently played games. Lastly, I’d love to see additional customization options introduced by way of UI themes, which were a great way to spend those hard-earned My Nintendo points on previous handhelds. I'd throw all of my money at a Breath of the Wild theme on the Nintendo Switch OLED model.
Profile Achievement System
At this point, my hopes for a good social system on the Nintendo switch are long gone, however, one addition that I would love to see Nintendo support is Profile Achievements.
While most of my achievement hunting days are long gone, there are thousands of players who spend extra time playing games to chase after those hard-to-find secrets to improve their gamerscores or trophy points, which ultimately further incentivizes them to invest in one specific platform over the other. And since game developers are already creating achievement and trophy lists as part of the certification process on other ecosystems like Steam, PlayStation, and Xbox, why not integrate a profile achievement system as a new feature when the Nintendo Switch OLED releases later this year?
If you enjoyed watching this video, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel. Are you looking forward to the Nintendo Switch OLED, or were you one of the folks disappointed by the lack of other features like 4K support? Be sure to leave a comment down below letting us know your thoughts on the upcoming handheld. Lastly, I'd love it if you told me what you thought about this video by letting me know on Twitter. Thanks for watching!