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CNN —  

After years of anticipation, a new version of the Nintendo Switch is finally here. The Nintendo Switch OLED model is exactly what it sounds like — a Switch with an upgraded OLED display — but it also brings a number of other promising upgrades to Nintendo’s hybrid games console.

The Nintendo Switch OLED is launching on Oct. 8 for $349, and is available for preorder now. Here’s where to buy the new system, and how it stacks up to the existing Switch and Switch Lite.

Nintendo Switch OLED model preorders

The Nintendo Switch OLED model is available for preorder now in white and neon at most major retailers, including Best Buy and GameStop. As has been the case with PS5 restocks and Xbox Series X restocks, we expect the new Nintendo Switch to sell out fast, so make sure to bookmark the links below and check them frequently if you miss out the first time around.

Based on our experience with the PS5 and Xbox Series X, you’ll have to exercise some patience and refresh often if you don’t see the option to buy right away. Best Buy and Walmart have their own unique queue systems in which new stock usually gets released every few minutes, while consoles often randomly pop in and out on other stores. As with all highly coveted tech gadgets, we recommend making accounts and saving your payment info on the above retailers’ websites, which can save you precious seconds when trying to check out.

Nintendo Switch, meet OLED

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As its name suggests, the biggest change to the new Nintendo Switch is its 7-inch OLED display, which is both larger and more advanced than the 6.2- and 5.5-inch LCD screens on the Switch and Switch Lite, respectively.

OLED screens are designed to deliver deeper blacks and more vibrant colors than standard LCD displays, as each pixel is individually controlled. In our testing of various TVs, laptops and phones with OLED, we’ve found these types of screens to deliver a really nice boost in color and contrast. As such, we’re eager to see how titles such as Metroid Dread and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild look on the new model.

Plus: Why the Nintendo Switch is still the best console you can buy.

It’s worth noting that while the new Switch display uses OLED, it still carries the same 720p resolution as previous versions. So while colors may pop a bit more, you won’t necessarily notice a finer level of detail while exploring Hyrule or jumping around the Mushroom Kingdom.

Some welcome design changes with mostly the same specs

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A fancy new OLED screen isn’t all the new Nintendo Switch has going for it. The OLED model has a wider adjustable kickstand that spans the entire back of the system and allows for multiple viewing angles, which is a nice step up from the small and somewhat flimsy stand on the base Switch model. There’s also a built-in Ethernet port for those who want to use wired internet for the best possible connection when duking it out online in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate or Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.

The Switch OLED comes with 64GB of onboard storage for digital game downloads, which is double the 32GB you get on the Switch and Switch Lite. Nintendo also says the Switch OLED features “enhanced audio” compared to the previous models, which is a claim we’re looking forward to testing.

Keep in mind that the Switch OLED has the exact same processor, RAM and general specs as other versions of the system, so you won’t be getting a bump in performance or loading times while playing games. If you’ve been holding your breath for a “Nintendo Switch Pro” with 4K output or more overall muscle, you’ll have to keep waiting. We’re eager to see how the Switch OLED’s battery life compares to that of the standard and Lite models, as OLED-based devices can sometimes suck up battery faster than those with LCD screens in our experience.

Plus: Forget hunting that Xbox Series X — why Xbox Game Pass is all you need now.

The latest Switch also comes in a slick new white color scheme, which extends to both the Joy-Con controllers as well as the dock. And if you’d rather keep things basic, you can still get a standard black model with red and blue Joy-Cons.

Let’s recap: Release date, preorders and how the OLED compares

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At just $50 more than the current Nintendo Switch, the $349 Switch OLED is shaping up to be the version to get for those who haven’t jumped into the Switch family yet. Aside from featuring a promising OLED screen, it also gets you a more refined design with a better kickstand, a handy Ethernet port and more onboard storage.

Still wondering which Switch to buy? If you only plan on gaming on the go or just want the most portable (and cheapest) Switch out there, the $199 Nintendo Switch Lite is probably best for you. And if you mainly play in TV mode, this new model performs identically to the $299 Nintendo Switch when connected to a display. There’s little reason for existing Switch owners to upgrade here, but those who don’t yet have a Switch will be treated to the most feature-packed version of the system yet.

The Switch OLED is set to arrive Oct. 8, and you can preorder it now. Be sure to stay tuned for our hands-on testing and verdict later this year.