After the surprise reveal of the Nintendo Switch OLED, it’s safe to assume that a lot of fans would have opinions about upgrading their current Nintendo Switch models in favor of the new one.
However, contrary to the months of speculation, this new model wasn’t the Nintendo Switch Pro, instead not packing any kind of hardware upgrade outside of its OLED screen. On top of that it sports a heftier price tag, going to USD 349.99 up from the previous model’s USD 299.99. (We’re using the converted US prices rather than the regional prices, since that hasn’t been announced for the OLED model yet).
We asked 232 members of Malaysian-based communities on their thoughts on the new model, including whether or not they’d buy the new model. Thanks to the nature of the survey things like demographic information weren’t recorded, since we just wanted the general opinions on the new device.
To Upgrade Or Not To Upgrade?
Overwhelmingly, it looks like fans aren’t too hot on the Nintendo Switch OLED. In our marquee question an overwhelming number (53.4%) of respondents identified themselves as having already owned a Nintendo Switch, with no interest in getting a Switch OLED. While analysts like Danial Ahmad say the intent may have been to get outsiders into the ecosystem with the Switch OLED, our poll shows that may not work the way Nintendo had hoped since the second highest response was from people who didn’t own a Nintendo Switch (17.7%), but had no interest in getting the Nintendo Switch OLED.
Of course, there are gaps in this research- for one, our sample was largely taken from pro-Nintendo groups, ie people who would have more knowledge about the Nintendo Switch than the average consumer. Danial Ahmad’s comments seem to imply that the target market seems to lie closer to these people, rather than people who were already mentally in the Switch ecosystem, but hadn’t purchased one yet.
Similarly, we also asked Switch Lite Users specifically if they would be tempted to make the jump. After all, The Switch OLED is a marked step up from the Switch Lite, having dock access. The assumption here was that Switch Lite users would have bought in on the Switch Lite and partway through realized that they would rather a fuller-featured Nintendo Switch, complete with its namesake gimmick.
Unfortunately, at least among our readers, the answer was overwhelmingly negative (72.7%) , with Switch Lite owners very happy with their current purchase and having no desire to upgrade to the newer model. That’s not to say the prediction was overwhelmingly off, since the amount who said they would be happy to upgrade was still a significant amount (27.8%).
The Types Of People That Use The Nintendo Switch
Interestingly enough, asking for reasons as to why people would choose the OLED or the regular model paint an interesting picture of what the Nintendo Switch userbase is like.
Those who preferred the older model Nintendo Switch tend to display more technical knowledge, being able to describe specific reason for rejecting the new model. A common one for this was higher docked usage, meaning the OLED screen would be virtually useless since they’d be playing games on their monitor.
Similarly their reason for not getting the OLED model would cite the lack of any performance enhancements as a reason to not bother paying any attention to the new console. At least one respondent even went so far as to cite a specific distrust of OLED screens, saying they perform worse in the long run.
On the other hand, those who said they preferred the OLED model seemed to give more general reasons, most commonly “new is better”. The general assumption people who said they preferred the OLED model seems to be that because it was worth releasing a new model over, they would be willing to shell out the extra cash for it.
Surprisingly enough some respondents actually cited the reason they’d buy it as being the OLED screen, arguing that their games would look better in handheld mode vs the current Switch’s 720p screen.
The Dream Of A Nintendo Switch Pro
We also gave respondents room to describe what their ideal console announcement would have been, giving them free reign to describe their ideal features. A good number of respondents cited 4K output as being on their wishlist, with some wanting 4K output with 60fps.
Some respondents even mentioned less specifics, saying that they would simply be happy with any kind of performance upgrade on the handheld device.
Of course, many respondents also brought up the issue of Joy-Con Drift, which has been plaguing users since very early on in the Nintendo Switch’s life cycle. Outside of offering repairs Nintendo hasn’t released any kind of permanent fix for the issue.
Overall, it looks as though what we’re seeing among the readers is that those with more detailed technical knowledge are less impressed with the Nintendo Switch OLED, having a clearer idea of what a USD 50 bump in price should bring to their console experience. However we’re also seeing that the Switch’s target market is very much persisting- more casual users, who don’t necessarily care about specs.
Of course, this research isn’t really exhaustive. This is a relatively small sample size, responding to a poll that requires some level of internet literacy to access. By the very nature of how this poll worked, there’s always a possibility that the results were skewed towards more informed consumers who would have negative reactions to the Nintendo Switch OLED.
Still, the vocal comments about the new console paint at least one picture that quality-of-life upgrades like the Game Boy Advance SP are getting a lot harder to sell, if nothing else because customer expectations are increased. People already in the ecosystem don’t see quality of life as too important a change to make the upgrade, unless part of that quality of life includes playing games better.