With the Switch OLED, in my mind, Nintendo has focused almost entirely on new customers rather than offering existing Switch gamers a meaningful upgrade, and it has done so while seemingly ignoring many requests for new features, too.
How we got to this point, though, isn’t really a surprise. Nintendo has had the handheld gaming market tied up to a near monopoly extent over the past four years, with zero mainstream rival product to challenge it.
For a long time I thought that the first competition we would see to the Switch family of consoles would be a Sony PSP 5G, but so far that hasn’t materialised. Thank the gods of the multiverse, then, that the Steam Deck handheld gaming console is now a reality.
And not only that the Steam Deck is a reality but that it offers a genuine next-gen portable gaming experience that is, based on it specs, orders of magnitude more powerful and feature-stuffed than the incoming Nintendo Switch OLED.
This is literally brilliant news for gamers. Not only do they now have options in the handheld gaming market but Nintendo itself now has to face up to the fact that there’s a system on the market that offers gamers a vastly more technically advanced system. And it does so while also taking the BigN to school in terms of gaming library and ecosystem, too.
Competition is always healthy and the lack of it for Nintendo over the past half decade or so has, in my opinion, been a key driver to how the Japanese gaming company has shown so little ambition with the Nintendo Switch OLED. With the Switch and Switch Lite tearing up the market due to zero mainstream competition, why would Nintendo need to do anything more?
Exactly, it wouldn’t, as it has the market tied up. That’s why the Nintendo Switch OLED is powered by a half-a-decade-old technology, and offers nothing more than a slightly bigger OLED screen and kickstand to justify gamers dropping another $350.
But now with the Steam Deck incoming, it could be the jolt Nintendo needs to finally deliver a Nintendo Switch Pro, or at the very least drop the price of the Switch OLED.
Roll on December this year, then, which is when the Steam Deck is due to release. As I for one, like I’m sure many other gamers are, am looking forward to unwrapping a Steam Deck this winter holiday season, and not a Nintendo Switch OLED.