When the Switch OLED model was first announced, Nintendo stated that the console’s dock would be available to buy on its own in future, and that day has now arrived. Nintendo’s online store will now sell you the slightly upgraded dock for $70 (opens in new tab) — which is $10 more than the original one.
What do you get for the extra $10? In addition to featuring a shiny new white color scheme and a slightly more curved design than its predecessor, the Switch OLED dock comes with a small but significant upgrade: wired internet access. While the original dock features two USB 2.0 ports, here there’s only one, with the second being subbed out for an ethernet port.
Early teardowns also suggest that the new dock has been upgraded to feature an HDMI 2.0 controller, over the 1.4 found in the original. Though given the Switch OLED ended up without the long rumored 4K output promised by the Switch Pro, that’s not much to talk about.
Both docks can be used with either Switch, according to Nintendo’s own FAQ (opens in new tab), though it does suggest that using the old Switch with the new dock might require a software update before wired internet works. So you'll need to go through one more wireless download before switching to the stability of a wired connection, then.
If you want a second dock and prefer a wired connection, then paying the extra $10 for the Switch OLED version is definitely the sensible option. While you can add wired internet to your existing dock, Nintendo will charge you $30 for the official USB-to-ethernet adapter (opens in new tab) (though unofficial versions do exist if you’re on a budget). If that sounds a bit much, Nintendo does also sell refurbished versions for $40, including this rather snazzy pastel shaded Animal Crossing version featuring Tom Nook and sons (opens in new tab).
What does the future hold for the long rumored Switch Pro with the 4k upgrade? Well, some believe that was the original plan with the Switch OLED — a plan that Nintendo was forced to scale back due to the ongoing global chip shortage. Lots of developers reported receiving 4K development kits, though it’s possible this is for whatever follows the Switch, even if Nintendo claims we’re only at the ‘middle phase’ of the Switch’s life.
In any case it doesn’t look like we’ll see any new hardware from Nintendo next year, so finding elusive Switch OLED stock will likely be as good as it gets for now.