Nintendo’s new Switch with an OLED screen seems promising for people who’ve wanted a bigger, more vibrant display to play games. That’s worth getting excited about (despite the apparent lack of spec improvements inside), but I’m just as pleased that Nintendo revised the truly horrible kickstand present in the original Switch. Instead of the flimsy, fragile stand that’s prone to wobbling (or breaking if you’re unlucky), the new one takes a page from Microsoft’s Surface Pro tablets — and seems a lot better for it.
Looking at the new Switch console’s backside, the kickstand is much wider, extending across the entire bottom part of the tablet to better support its weight. Nintendo’s announcement video shows the improved kickstand supporting custom adjustments, which should give you more ways to comfortably use it. Another nice touch is the slot in the middle of the kickstand to allow a USB-C cable to route through so you can charge as you play.
There are several multiplayer and single-player games releasing this year on the Switch that’ll benefit from this improved kickstand. At E3 2021, Nintendo announced new Mario Party and WarioWare games as well as a remaster of the first two Advance War games. The company is also releasing Metroid Dread on October 8th — the same day that the Switch with OLED is launching.
Despite being almost five years old, the original Switch hardware has endured because it’s clever and well-built and because it relies upon standards like USB-C and microSD. The fiddly kickstand was a glaring misstep, and it’s great to see that Nintendo has reworked it in the new OLED version. I’m not suggesting that it’s worth upgrading to this new $349.99 console just because of the kickstand, but it’ll certainly sweeten the deal if you usually use the Switch in portable model or could see yourself doing so.
It’d be ideal if Nintendo’s learnings trickled down to the less expensive model, mostly because an improved kickstand would be a really strange feature to reserve for its most premium console. Perhaps we’ll hear more about it as we get closer to its October 8th release date.