Do you like OLED displays, dear friends? Then please, take a seat. Can I offer you a glass of wate… oh screw it, let’s cut straight to the potentially terrible news. We’ve heard similarly gloomy reports before, but the latest one has us truly believing the Nintendo Switch 2 will have an LCD screen.
Apologies, I need to put my head between my legs for a few seconds.
The most recent scuttlebutt comes from Omdia analyst Hiroshi Hayase (cheers, BNN Bloomberg). Said analyst predicts Nintendo will launch Nintendo Switch 2 this year — technically he refers to it as a “new console” from Nintendo. But c’mon? What else could it be? Wii U 2?
The most alarming suggestion is one that we’ve reported before: Switch 2 will be downgraded to an LCD screen, not an OLED one. I really hope that’s not the case, as I’m about to get into.
The rumored new device supposedly packs in an 8-inch screen, substantially larger than the launch model Nintendo Switch that measures in at just 6.2-inches, and bigger than even the wonderful Nintendo Switch OLED and its 7-inch panel.
As part of Bloomberg’s reporting, it mentions an Osaka-based firm known as Sharp Corp. announced that last year, it was going to be “supplying LCD panels and working closely with the maker of an upcoming console that was then at the R&D stage.” The key takeaway here is that Sharp is owned by Foxconn Technology Group, who wouldn’t you just know it, “worked with Nintendo in the past and served as a Switch assembler during the pandemic.”
If you love Nintendo Switch OLED even half as much as me, this news could truly be the dawning of a dark new age. Or ironically, a far grayer one. Let’s be honest, with its uninspiring LCD panel, the OG Switch couldn't get anywhere near dark enough to produce true black levels. And sadly, it’s to this gray place The Big N is seemingly forcing its most dedicated fans back to.
From a manufacturing perspective, I totally get it. LCD screens are cheaper to produce than their OLED equivalents, and why shouldn’t Nintendo save some serious dinero when your average Switch player would be hard pressed to tell the difference between the LCD Switch and Switch OLED if you removed their Joy-Cons?
Yet if this latest rumor is true, it’s a pretty devastating blow to Switch OLED owners. That little 7-inch screen is a sensation, and second only to the astonishing HDR panel of Steam Deck OLED.
Raised from the OLED
An OLED screen makes a night and day difference in games like Metroid: Dread and Alien: Isolation placed next to the original LCD handheld. The notion of going backwards to a display technology that can’t self dim its pixels, doesn’t handle motion clarity all that well and is stuck with often horrible image uniformity makes this display dweeb truly sad.
Before the Steam Deck OLED rocked up onto the scene, the Switch OLED was the poster child for how you pull off a brilliant handheld refresh.
If Nintendo truly is planning to put LCD screens back into its latest handheld hybrid, I can’t see that as anything but a massive backwards step. The picture quality is such a significant upgrade on the OLED model that a regression to LCD tech can’t be seen as anything less than a massive slap in the face to fans who care about picture quality. Granted, this rumored downgrade is coming from a company that’s tried to pretend anti-aliasing isn’t a thing for the past decade. So maybe it’ shouldn't be a huge surprise.
It’s definitely not a shocker when you consider what a massive sales success the Switch has been. Nintendo’s malleable machine has sold a staggering 132 million units — for context, the company’s massively successful Wii sold but a mere 101 million consoles.
Hardcore Ninty fans just have to face the hard truth: You may love that screen on your Nintendo Switch OLED, but the Japanese giant is going to sell truckloads of Switch 2 units regardless of what screen tech the device is rocking.
As someone who values OLED technology more than most, I personally think going back to an LCD panel for Switch 2 would be a colossal mistake. Then again, I’m a massive screen nerd who almost certainly doesn’t speak for the vast majority of Nintendo’s core audience.
If the next Switch has to be burdened with a subpar LCD display — and I’m sorry, but all LCD screens are subpar in 2024 by my standards — then I may not buy one. Then again, if it still rocks a dock like its predecessor and allows me to connect the rumored handheld to my LG G3 OLED, I guess I’m back in.
It will just mean any chance of this Nintendo fan playing an LCD Switch 2 in Handheld mode is about as likely as me scaling Mount Everest using chopsticks… with a rhinoceros strapped to my brittle back.
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Dave is a computing editor at Tom’s Guide and covers everything from cutting edge laptops to ultrawide monitors. When he’s not worrying about dead pixels, Dave enjoys regularly rebuilding his PC for absolutely no reason at all. In a previous life, he worked as a video game journalist for 15 years, with bylines across GamesRadar+, PC Gamer and TechRadar. Despite owning a graphics card that costs roughly the same as your average used car, he still enjoys gaming on the go and is regularly glued to his Switch. Away from tech, most of Dave’s time is taken up by walking his husky, buying new TVs at an embarrassing rate and obsessing over his beloved Arsenal.
While the info looks pretty solid, we haven't actually heard from Nintendo on it just yet. Perhaps they might put out an OLED model like before. LCD is cheaper for the consumer which isn't necessarily a bad thing considering the cost of living these days. I'm just not one to get excited, nor upset until Nintendo breaks their silence on their next console. Logically it would at least be a 4k LCD, but once you connect to the dock the switch display no longer matters. So I'm hoping the next dock will offer better than 1080. Hopefully the next console or switch 2 will be both 4k on handheld and on the dock instead of 720 & 1080.Reply
Why can't we just stop writing articles that complain about information that has no factual basis? These rumours have been floating around for over 5 years. Just wait for Nintendo to say something.Reply
Furthermore, if you are going to give up on all things Nintendo for an entire generation (which was almost a decade this time, by the way) purely because of the portable screen, you have no place writing gaming articles. This is frankly, a pathetic take.
But by all means, keep on writing ridiculous articles about unconfirmed information. You do you!
Mod Edit - Language
That's cause OLED screens are worse for your eyes. Look it up. I have 2 OLED switches and one LCD. OLED looks better but I don't think by that much.Reply
C'mon man. There's more to a display's quality than just the display technology. You'd be foolish to think the next console would look anywhere near as bad as the budget IPS they put in the original Switch which was weak even for the time. Don't get me wrong "W-OLED" is probably the peak of display technologies currently IMO but they all have downsides and many can look good. Even some TN panels can look phenomenal nowadays.Reply
A very safe prediction is a 1080p 120hz 8inch IPS panel. In some ways specifically it won't look as beautiful as the Switch OLED or Steam Deck OLED but it will be better in other ways and more importantly cost-effective.
This is just a weird click-baity take. First off, LCD tech has come quite a ways in these last few years in terms of display quality. A new LCD screen for the Switch 2 will be a definite upgrade from the original all around and it's crazy to suggest other wise. Second, OLED's are still problematic and WILL eventually burn in. Wulff Den did a pretty comprehensive test on this. It takes a ridiculously long time but it did happen. 3rd, OF COURSE, you're buying the Switch 2 - regardless of screen type. Nintendo has always had these weird compromises with their hardware and ultimately ends up amounting to nothing in the end. The original Switch was rife with them (borked online capabilities, plain boring UI, etc.). Didn't make a difference -- damn things sold like crazy anyway.Reply
I have no idea how to respond to this but I will say this OLED screens are overrated and exaggerated I will never understand what's so amazing about OLED display? all it does is pop in more colors and drain your battery faster it also has a burn in problem which is why I often choose LED over OLED some of my friends who is addicted to OLED display they often have to repair their TV or buy a new one because OLED screens are not designed to last forever but it's completely different with LCD / LED televisions they are designed to last extremely long time because they are energy efficient they have no burn in problem that's why Nintendo always goes with LED display they only added a OLED Switch model for those who want to play their Switch games with a OLED display some people have already complained the battery drains faster and the screen gets hot another problem with OLED display it can seriously hurt your eyes that's why I traded my original PS Vita which had a OLED display with a PS Vita slim which has a LCD display which still looks amazing so it makes logical sense when Switch 2 comes out this year it will have a LCD screen and I'll gladly buy itReply
I say this with no malicious, I am trying to be 100% genuine, I don't even have many OLED displays, but I think most of what you said is incorrect (I am not trying to be mean, I'm sure there's plenty of stuff I'm wrong about too). But you got some stuff extremely backwards I don't know how else to say it.CGCYT1991 said:I have no idea how to respond to this but I will say this OLED screens are overrated and exaggerated I will never understand what's so amazing about OLED display? all it does is pop in more colors and drain your battery faster it also has a burn in problem which is why I often choose LED over OLED some of my friends who is addicted to OLED display they often have to repair their TV or buy a new one because OLED screens are not designed to last forever but it's completely different with LCD / LED televisions they are designed to last extremely long time because they are energy efficient they have no burn in problem that's why Nintendo always goes with LED display they only added a OLED Switch model for those who want to play their Switch games with a OLED display some people have already complained the battery drains faster and the screen gets hot another problem with OLED display it can seriously hurt your eyes that's why I traded my original PS Vita which had a OLED display with a PS Vita slim which has a LCD display which still looks amazing so it makes logical sense when Switch 2 comes out this year it will have a LCD screen and I'll gladly buy it
A few of the main benefits to OLED is lower battery life consumption and less heat generated. One of the main drawbacks to OLED is less brightness. Burn out is a problem but it isn't something you have to worry about on many OLED displays basically at all nowadays.
There are some few bad OLED TV's out there from last gen especially. But other TV's aren't designed to last forever and poor luck can ruin your experience on those too.
I agree I am fine with the next console not being OLED there's plenty of other outstanding display technology and you don't need it to get a great picture, (however WOLED is sometimes king for gaming and TV/movies on the high end often when money is not limited). I think the Switch 2 even without OLED will look way better than the considered poor looking screen on the OG (non-oled) Switch.
No modern display (including oled) will hurt your eyes, that's an old wife's tale myth, like the moon being made out of cheese.
OLEDs blow other screens out of the water especially when it comes to gaming in all three major areas: 1) motion clarity (ghosting, inverse ghosting, pixel latency, response time), 2) contrast (literally infinite something IPS and VA panels can only dream of), 3) color reproduction on high end >$800 OLEDs is phenomenal and approaching the limit of what's possible.
If you look at a spreadsheet at what they define as the ideal hypothetical best display OLEDs pass that sheet with flying colors ( near perfect, perfect, perfect). And if you ask any tv purist, or movie fan you'll get the same answer as OLED is considered the gold standard for high end movies/TV too. Although they do have their drawbacks of course.