Is the Nintendo Switch still worth buying even in 2023? Nintendo’s portable powerhouse has been a huge success ever since it launched back in March 2017, making it the company’s fastest-selling home console to date. But let’s face it, this was 6 years ago, and in those 6 years, there has been a whole new generation of consoles offered since then.
The Nintendo Switch’s successful year-one line-up cemented its early appeal. Mega game launches such as Super Mario Odyssey, as well as early hits such as Splatoon 2, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which has allowed Nintendo to prevent the dreaded software drought which plagued the infamous Wii U and led to the Nintendo Switch outselling its predecessor just ten months after launch. To this date, the gaming console has sold well over 100 million units around the globe.
Ever since, Nintendo has continued adding incredible games to the console, and even though the Nintendo’s Switch’s age is starting to show. The handheld technology has had a hard time with large open worlds similar to Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. Also, there have been consoling revisions, such as the Nintendo Switch OLED and Nintendo Switch Lite, which have kept system sales strong, though they haven’t significantly increased the specs.
Meanwhile, the Nintendo Switch Online subscription service has only improved over the years, now offering a cloud-based selection of SNES, NES, N64, and Sega Genesis or Mega Drive titles which are updated semi-regularly.
While the Nintendo Switch seems like a necessary buy for those who like handheld gaming. But at the same time, there are several disadvantages that make it lag behind home consoles like the Xbox Series X, PS5, and Xbox Series S. Still trying to decide which one to get? Well, then, keep on reading to find out.
At the launch of the Nintendo Switch, all three models of Nintendo Switch originally had a hard time with availability. It was common for the Nintendo Switch to sell out across both online as well as high street retailers ultimately. But thankfully, the Nintendo Switch stock has normalized since then, and the console hasn’t really been as badly affected by the ongoing Switch model shortages as, such as the PS5.
As of today, the base Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Switch Lite, and Nintendo Switch OLED consoles, and also some of the branded special editions are all readily available at retailers like Amazon.
Let’s go through an overview of each Switch model
Well, the standard Switch model is the one which launched back in 2017, and with the three models currently available. It hits the sweet spot in terms of price and features, as the base Nintendo Switch model that can be played in docked mode with a television with a remarkable resolution cap of around 1080p or on the go in portable mode that caps at a lower resolution of 720p.
But, the Nintendo Switch doesn’t really support 4K resolution. That means that playing in docked mode on one of the best 4K TVs without upscaling may result in a blurrier picture than the user would like. And as such, we would actually recommend a 1080p resolution as the optimal way to enjoy Switch games when the user is playing in docked mode.
The new Nintendo Switch Sports was rumored to be adding in AMD’s open-source FidelityFX Super Resolution. Also, this algorithmic technology which can upscale lower resolutions up to a crisp 4K resolution without impacting the gaming experience. Nintendo could also use FidelityFX in future games, which could be fantastic for upcoming titles such as Metroid Prime 4, or The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.
But if you want your Switch to be a strictly portable system, then the Nintendo Switch Lite is definitely a good option. It’s relatively cheaper than the base model and is a bit smaller, but the potential buyer should keep in mind that, unlike the base model, the Switch Lite’s Joy-Con controllers aren’t really detachable, and the gaming console can’t be played on the TV.
Finally, the premium Nintendo Switch OLED offers the best picture quality of all 3 models thanks to the unit’s crisp 720p OLED panel. It’s another great choice if you’re planning to go portable mostly. But at the same time it’s a bit pricier than the base Switch model, and when playing in its docked mode offers no tangible benefits. So, if you want to play your games with a more vibrant color profile while you’re on the go, the Nintendo Switch OLED is the way to go.
The Nintendo Switch OLED has other perks. It has 64GB of internal storage, which doubles that of the base model. That is still not much in the grand scheme of things, and you will definitely want to invest in a microSD card for more storage, especially if you are looking to download and play a lot of games.
The Nintendo Switch OLED even features an updated kickstand on the back of the console. The Switch OLED is now much wider and well-built than the one found on the base Switch model, which makes the Switch OLED model ideal for portable play.
Nintendo Switch Online
Nintendo Switch Online is Switch’s online subscription service, which debuted shortly after the console launched. Also, the paid service became a requirement to access online multiplayer in 2018 and it also gave access to cloud saves as well as a selection of NES and SNES titles through dedicated apps.
Moreover, the paltry offering wasn’t received well and didn’t address the core issue of Nintendo’s infamously spotty connection quality. Disconnects were common, and the service was pretty well behind the online infrastructure of PS5, Xbox, and PC.
Since then, the service has come on leaps and bounds, with Nintendo steadily improving its online connection quality. The premium tier, Expansion Pack, was also added in the 2021 update, which lets players play N64, Sega Genesis or Mega Drive titles, and more recently, Game Boy as well as Game Boy Advance titles. You can throw in access to DLC packs like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’s Booster Course Pass, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ Happy Home Paradise. Also, the Expansion Pack has become seriously good value since launch.
You definitely can get more bang for your money with Nintendo Switch Online now than you did a few years ago. It still needs improvement – and the Switch Expansion Pack tier will be too costly for gamers, but the service continues to improve year-on-year, and consistently adding value to the package, especially when the buyer can get it for less with one of these cheap Nintendo Switch Online deals.
But Is The Nintendo Switch Actually Worth It?
Well, owing to its extensive game library and continued first-party support, the Nintendo Switch is without a doubt a worthwhile purchase in 2023. And you don’t risk buying a console that Nintendo is about to replace imminently, as the company confirmed the Nintendo Switch is just halfway through its lifecycle, with the succeeding Switch 2 a good few years away.
Even with all the shortcomings like the relatively low storage space, imperfect online infrastructure, and lack of 4K support, the Nintendo Switch still shines as an amazing portable hybrid that’s loaded with excellent exclusive games, valuable subscription benefits, and an impressively affordable price.
While fans do wish the engineers at Nintendo would launch a model with updated specs, fans are still very happy with the console’s longevity and high-quality library of games. But with that in mind, there has never been a better time to buy a Nintendo Switch, and no matter which of the available models suits your choice.