The Switch OLED isn’t the upgrade Nintendo fans were hoping for, but its improvements could appeal to buyers who don’t already own a Switch

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Nintendo Switch (OLED model) in white
The Nintendo Switch OLED has an improved screen but lacks the upgraded graphics performance that many gamers were hoping for.

  • Gamers who value a bigger, better screen in handheld mode will like the Nintendo Switch OLED.
  • But games won’t play any smoother or look any better in TV mode because the CPU is the same.
  • The Switch OLED isn’t the “Pro” model we’ve been waiting for, but it could appeal to certain buyers.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Nintendo announced a new version of the Switch, called the Switch OLED, on July 6. The Nintendo Switch OLED will launch on October 8 for $350.

Most of the upgrades on the new Switch OLED are design and screen updates, including slimmer bezels around a larger 7-inch screen compared to the 6.2-inch screen on the standard Switch. The new screen is also an OLED panel, which carries better contrast than the LCD panels used on previous Switch models.

Outside of the display, the new dock is sleeker and comes in a white color option, and it includes an Ethernet port – a feature that needed an adapter on the previous version. You can find a detailed comparison of the Switch OLED, Switch, and Switch Lite here.

But, while all of those improvements sound nice, the Switch OLED is basically the standard Switch with a larger, better display for handheld mode. It lacks any major hardware improvements for gamers who play the system on their TV, and it’s missing many key upgrades that were previously rumored, including 4K support.

Does this mean the Switch OLED isn’t worth a purchase? We’ll have to wait to get our hands on the device to offer a full verdict, but based on the information released so far, it looks like the Switch OLED’s value will heavily depend on how you plan to play the system.

Who should buy the new Nintendo Switch OLED?

The Switch OLED should be a good option for people who don’t already own a Switch and plan to use their console in handheld mode more often than docked in TV mode.

The extra screen size and OLED display will offer greater visibility, and games will undoubtedly look better, even if the Switch OLED’s screen outputs at the same 720p resolution as previous Switch versions. This is because OLED displays offer deeper contrast than LCD screens thanks to the true reproduction of the color black. This could lead to a noticeably richer and more defined image with better viewing angles.

What’s also great is that you’ll get that extra visibility, sweet OLED panel, and slim-bezel design in a console that’s pretty much the exact same size as the standard Switch. The Switch OLED is only 0.01 inch longer and 0.05 lbs heavier than the standard Switch, so there’s no significant compromise in portability.

Who shouldn’t buy the new Nintendo Switch OLED?

The justifications for buying the new Switch OLED when you already own a Switch console are few and far between.

The Switch OLED doesn’t come with new or more powerful specs, and you shouldn’t expect any difference in how smoothly a game plays, or any improved graphics. Indeed, the TV mode resolution is still 1080p – the same as the standard Switch – not the sharper 4K resolution that was rumored on a “pro” Switch model.

The Switch OLED runs on the same performance specs as the standard Switch and Switch Lite, including the CPU (processor) and RAM memory, according to Nintendo via The Verge.

If you wished your Switch had better battery life, the Switch OLED won’t improve things, either. The battery in the Switch OLED is the same size as the standard Switch, and Nintendo doesn’t make any claims regarding improved battery life, despite the potential battery-saving properties of OLED displays.

And, disappointingly, Nintendo didn’t upgrade the Switch OLED with Bluetooth headphone support. In an age where the mobile industry is phasing out wired headphones by literally stripping their phones of headphone jacks, the portable Switch OLED will still rely on wired headphones for discreet listening. If you bought Bluetooth headphones for your phone, I hope you kept your wired pair just for your Nintendo Switch.

It’s true that you can buy a third-party Bluetooth adapter to use your wireless headphones with a Switch, but still, come on.

The bottom line

We haven’t reviewed the Switch OLED yet, but we can make some educated assumptions based on our experience with the previous models.

If you plan on using a Nintendo Switch docked in TV mode for the majority of the time, you could save yourself $50 by buying a standard $300 Switch.

But, if you see yourself using a Switch in handheld mode most of the time, you could justify the Switch OLED’s higher $350 price if it’s within your budget, as you’ll get a bigger and better built-in screen. You just have to wait until October 8 when it launches, and hope that supply won’t be marred too much by the inevitable scalper scourge that the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 are still facing months after release.

If affordability and portability are king, however, and you don’t mind losing TV support or the bigger OLED screen, the $200 Switch Lite offers a smaller, cheaper, and handheld-only experience.

Switch (small)Switch Lite (small)

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The best deals on Nintendo Switch consoles, games, and accessories right now – including $15 off ‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’

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Nintendo Switch vs Nintendo Switch Lite
The Nintendo Switch debuted in March 2017, while the smaller Switch Lite was released in September 2019.

  • The Nintendo Switch is rarely discounted, but there are plenty of deals on games and accessories.
  • We’ll update this list regularly with the top Nintendo Switch deals as new discounts are announced.

Even with the release of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S|X, the Nintendo Switch continues to be the highest-selling video game console on the planet, with more than 68 million units sold worldwide.

The Switch was the top selling console for 24 consecutive months leading up to the release of the PS5 and Xbox Series X, and the console will still be easier to find in stores for the next few months while Sony and Microsoft ramp up production of their new systems.

Nintendo’s $300 Switch offers many of the most popular games on the market in a portable package, with the option to connect the Switch to a larger television or home entertainment system. The $200 Switch Lite is smaller and can’t connect to your TV, but it’s still a popular pick for parents who want an affordable alternative to the PlayStation or Xbox, and gamers who want a second console.

To celebrate after the company’s ‘event winning’ E3 presentation, Nintendo’s Digital Deals event is cutting game prices by up to 50% on popular titles including “Cuphead,” “Doom: Eternal,” “Hades,” and “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.” Below, we’ve collected the best deals on Nintendo Switch consoles, exclusive games, and accessories. These discounts should all come in handy whether you’re looking to buy a Switch for the first time, building your library of games, or trying to find the cheapest price on a Switch peripheral.

Here are the best Nintendo Switch deals for July 2021

Nintendo Switch Carry Case (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition (medium, Preferred: Amazon)microSDXC for Nintendo Switch (128GB) (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Joy-Con Charging Dock (medium, Preferred: Target)Fire Emblem: Three Houses (medium, Preferred: GameStop)for Nintendo Switch (medium, Preferred: Best Buy)Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (medium, Preferred: Best Buy)for Nintendo Switch (medium, Preferred: Best Buy)Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury (medium, Preferred: Best Buy)for Nintendo Switch (medium, Preferred: Best Buy)for Nintendo Switch (medium, Preferred: GameStop)for Nintendo Switch (medium, Preferred: GameStop)Super Mario Odyssey (medium, Preferred: GameStop)Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (medium, Preferred: Amazon)for Nintendo Switch (medium)Catherine: Full Body (medium)Joy-Con Charging Dock (medium, Preferred: Target)Mario Tennis Aces (medium, Preferred: Target)

Best deals on Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite consoles

Nintendo Switch Lite Case Side

The Nintendo Switch can be connected to a TV for high-definition gameplay, or taken on-the-go as a portable console. Furthermore, the Switch’s controls can be separated from the console and used as two separate controllers called Joy-Cons.

Meanwhile, the Nintendo Switch Lite is a handheld-only version of the console that lacks the original Switch’s removable controllers and ability to connect to a larger television. The Switch Lite appeals to gamers who may already own a PlayStation or Xbox and want to play games with a similar level of quality while they’re traveling. Parents may also be more willing to invest in a handheld console at a lower price point when introducing their children to gaming.

The Nintendo Switch Lite comes in four colors (coral, turquoise, grey and yellow). There haven’t been many deals that drop the Switch Lite below its standard retail price of $200, but a refurbished model is sold for a $15 discount when it’s in stock at GameStop.

Best deals on Nintendo Switch games

Super Mario Maker 2

Though the Nintendo Switch has been around for just under four years, there are already more than 2,300 games available for the console. 

Now through April 25, Nintendo’s Spring Indie World sale offers discounts tons of titles, with many games now selling for less than $10. For some inspiration before you shop, check out our list of the best video games of 2020, according to critics.

for Nintendo Switch (medium, Preferred: GameStop)for Nintendo Switch (medium)Mario Tennis Aces (medium, Preferred: Target)Catherine: Full Body (medium)Mario Tennis Aces (medium, Preferred: Target)
Best deals on Nintendo Switch controllers

Nintendo Switch Pro Controller
The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller is the official alternative to the Switch’s built-in Joy-Cons.

Though the Switch’s Joy-Cons give players access to two controllers at all times, some gamers prefer the Nintendo Switch Pro controller, which more closely resembles a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One controller.

Nintendo also sells spare Joy-Cons with multiple color options for Switch owners who want to add some additional flair and an extra set of motion controllers for multiplayer games. 

Nintendo Switch Split Pad Pro (medium, Preferred: Amazon)NES Wireless Controllers for Switch (medium)Switch Joy-Con Pair, Neon Pink and Neon Green (medium, Preferred: Walmart)Switch Joy-Con Pair, Neon Red and Neon Blue (medium, Preferred: Walmart)

Best deals on on Nintendo Switch accessories

nintendo switch lite figures

As a portable console with replaceable controllers, the Switch has no shortage of accessories. The most important addition you can make is a MicroSD card, which can expand the Switch’s initial 32GB of storage by 128GB or more for less than the price of a new game.

If you plan on taking your Switch on the go, it’s probably a good idea to pick up a basic case with space for extra game cartridges too. The Switch is fairly durable so you don’t need to spend a ton protecting it.

Nintendo Switch Carry Case (medium, Preferred: Amazon)

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Nintendo’s new Switch OLED promises a bigger and better screen – here’s how it compares to the standard Switch and Switch Lite

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Image of Nintendo's new Switch OLED in white being placed into dock
The Nintendo Switch OLED features an improved screen.

  • Nintendo’s new Switch OLED console has slimmer bezels and a bigger screen with better contrast.
  • It still offers the same 720p screen resolution and 1080p TV output as the previous model, however.
  • The Nintendo Switch OLED will launch on October 8 for $350 -that’s $50 more than the standard model.

Nintendo Switch (small)Switch Lite (small)

Nintendo announced its new Switch OLED console on July 6. The new model costs $350 and will be available to buy on October 8. The Switch OLED will join the previously released standard Switch ($300) and the Switch Lite ($200).

The upgrades on the Nintendo Switch OLED are mainly focused on its built-in screen. The new model has a larger display that uses OLED technology rather than LCD. OLED screens offer better contrast than LCD displays thanks to self-illuminating pixels that enable true black levels. OLEDs are also capable of better viewing angles than most LCDs.

Apart from the screen, the new Nintendo Switch OLED comes with a slight design refresh for the console itself, including slimmer bezels and a wider stand that is now adjustable. Nintendo also said the new Switch OLED comes with improved audio and 64GB of built-in storage compared to the 32GB in the standard Switch and Switch Lite.

The new Nintendo Switch dock, which comes included with the Switch OLED, also looks sleeker with more rounded corners and a white color option, and it includes an Ethernet port. Nintendo also touted white JoyCon controllers, but the controllers themselves are otherwise identical to the original. There’s no information as of yet whether Nintendo addressed the widely reported joystick drifting issues.

On the downside, the Nintendo Switch OLED is missing some key hardware improvements that many buyers were expecting. Namely, video resolution in TV mode is still capped at 1080p rather than the expected, sharper 4K resolution. Nintendo hasn’t added Bluetooth connectivity for wireless headphones, either. Under the hood, the chip used in the OLED model is the same NVIDIA Custom Tegra processor used in the standard Switch and Switch Lite.

Below, we’ve put together a full comparison of key specifications for every Nintendo Switch model.

Nintendo Switch OLED vs. Switch vs. Switch Lite specifications

Nintendo Switch OLED Nintendo Switch Nintendo Switch Lite
Price: $350 $300 $200
Screen: 7-inch OLED, 720p 6.2-inch LCD, 720p 5.5-inch LCD, 720p
TV video output: 1080p 1080p No TV output
Storage: 64GB, expandable up to 2TB with microSDHC or microSDXC cards 32GB, expandable up to 2TB with microSDHC or microSDXC cards 32GB, expandable up to 2TB with microSDHC or microSDXC cards
Connectivity: Wi-Fi AC, Bluetooth 4.1 for controllers W-Fi AC, Bluetooth 4.1 for controllers Wi-Fi AC, Bluetooth 4.1 for controllers
Bluetooth Audio: None None None
Speakers: Front-facing stereo Front-facing stereo Bottom-facing stereo
Battery: 4,310mAh; 4.5 to nine hours; three hours charging time 4,310mAh; 4.5 to nine hours; three hours charging time 3,570mAh; three to seven hours; three hours charging time
Ports on console: USB-C, 3.5mm headphone jack USB-C, 3.5mm headphone jack USB-C, 3.5mm headphone jack
Ports on dock: 2X USB 2.0, HDMI, Ethernet, AC power port 2X USB 2.0, HDMI, AC power port Not compatible with dock
Size: 4 x 9.5 x 0.55 inches with JoyCon controllers attached 4 x 9.4 x 0.55 inches with JoyCon controllers attached 3.6 x 8.2 x 0.55 inches
Weight: 0.93 lbs with JoyCon controllers attached 0.88 lbs with JoyCon controllers attached 0.61 lbs with JoyCon controllers attached

Nintendo Switch (small)Switch Lite (small)

For more Nintendo Switch and gaming coverage check out our buying guides and deals roundups below:

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Nintendo just announced a new $350 Switch with a fancy new screen, but you probably don’t need it

Nintendo Switch (OLED model) that's expected to launch in October 2021.
The 2021 Nintendo Switch “OLED Model” was announced on July 6, 2021. It’s scheduled to launch on October 8 for $350.

  • Nintendo just announced a new, more expensive, slightly upgraded Nintendo Switch model.
  • Whether or not you already own a Switch, there aren’t a lot of good reasons to get this one.
  • Its main feature is a larger, higher-quality screen. It’s otherwise nearly identical to existing models.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

After years of speculation about a more powerful, upgraded Nintendo Switch model, Nintendo announced the “Nintendo Switch OLED Model” on Tuesday morning.

It’s got a bigger screen from previous models that uses OLED display technology, and it’s got a higher price tag to match: $350 for the new OLED model compared to $300 for the original Nintendo Switch.

Beyond the bigger, better screen, the “new” model is almost identical to the original Nintendo Switch that launched in March 2017.

It runs games at the same resolution and frame speed because it’s powered by the same processor and has the same amount of RAM that’s in the other Switch models. The same Joy-Con controllers that attach to the original Switch attach to this new model, and the new Dock even functions as a replacement for the original.

There are a few other subtle physical changes: a larger rear kickstand, a slight overall increase in weight, and a few design changes to the Dock.

Some Nintendo fans balked at the news.

“Finally, a Nintendo Switch that’s basically the same as the old Nintendo Switch,” one said. “New Nintendo Switch upgrade is a lot worse than expected. Zero performance upgrades?” said another.

That reaction is due at least in part to persistent rumors that the new Nintendo Switch model would have the ability to produce games at a 4K resolution. Nintendo is notoriously low-tech compared to its competitors in the console gaming market, like Sony’s PlayStation 5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X, and the Switch isn’t capable of producing now industry-standard 4K visuals.

With the Nintendo Switch OLED Model, that isn’t changing – it’s still only capable of producing 1080p resolution games at best.

Since games will run the same, the only reason to upgrade to this new model is if you’re a dedicated handheld gamer – and even then, there are still plenty of strong arguments for buying the $200 Nintendo Switch Lite instead. It’s nearly half the price, and built specifically for handheld gaming!

Unfortunately, waiting for a price cut on the now over four-year-old original Nintendo Switch is a fool’s errand. When asked if there will be a price drop for the original Switch, which still costs the same $300 it did in April 2017, a Nintendo representative said, “No. The price of the Nintendo Switch Lite and Nintendo Switch systems remains the same.”

The representative added that “consumers can pick the model that best fits the lifestyle and gaming experience they desire, and that fits within their budget. In the US, the Nintendo Switch Lite system is the lowest-priced model at $199.99, followed by the Nintendo Switch system at $299.99, and now we have Nintendo Switch system (OLED model) at $349.99.”

But there’s good news: If you already own a Nintendo Switch, you almost certainly don’t need this new model. And if you don’t own a Nintendo Switch, you probably don’t need this new model either.

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@insider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

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Nintendo just unveiled a new $350 Nintendo Switch model featuring a larger OLED screen

All three Nintendo Switch models, including the new OLED model.
The new Nintendo Switch, which is known as the “OLED model,” alongside the original Switch (left) and Switch Lite.

  • Nintendo has a new, upgraded, more expensive model of the Nintendo Switch in the works.
  • The new Nintendo Switch has a larger screen that uses OLED technology.
  • Nintendo’s pricing the new Switch at $350, and it’s scheduled to launch on October 8.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Nintendo has a new Switch model with a higher quality, larger screen, and it’s expected to launch this October, the Japanese gaming powerhouse announced on Monday morning.

The new Nintendo Switch console, which is simply known as “Nintendo Switch OLED Model,” costs $350 and is scheduled to launch on October 8.

There is one key difference between the new Switch console and the original console that launched in March 2017: Its screen uses OLED technology and is physically larger than the previous model at 7 inches (the original screen was just 6.2 inches).

A handful of small tweaks to the original form factor are also part of the new Switch, from a larger rear kickstand to a built-in ethernet port on the console’s dock. There are also some clear design changes, particularly to the console dock which now has more rounded edges. Internally, the new Switch has more storage (64 GB) and features “enhanced audio” via two front-facing speakers.

Despite previous rumors stating that the new Nintendo Switch model would be able to produce 4K visuals while docked, that doesn’t appear to be the case.

Nintendo showcased all the differences between the original Switch and the latest model in an announcement video:

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@insider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

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Nintendo Switch digital games are up to 50% off on Amazon, Best Buy, and Target now through June 21

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Nintendo Switch
Nintendo is dropping the price on several games through its eShop during its Digital Deals event through June 21.

  • Nintendo is dropping the price on several games through its eShop during its Digital Deals event.
  • Numerous titles, including “Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition” and “Fire Emblem: Three Houses,” are currently down to their lowest prices ever through June 21.
  • Buying outside of Nintendo’s eShop offers one major benefit: more Gold Points.

Right now, you can find popular titles, like “Hades,” “Cuphead,” “Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition,” and “Fire Emblem: Three Houses,” down to their lowest prices ever during Nintendo’s “Digital Deals” sale.

Suffice it to say, this is a perfect opportunity to fill up your Switch’s digital library. However, shoppers should consider shopping on Amazon, Best Buy, Target, and Walmart first.

Here’s why: If you buy a digital game through the retail giant instead of Nintendo’s proprietary eShop, you’ll get the maximum amount of Gold Points even if you purchased it on sale. eShop, however, will only credit you for the price you paid.

For those unfamiliar, Gold Points are a digital currency that can be earned by purchasing eligible games or downloadable content. Nintendo says points are awarded based on “5% of the amount you pay,” and can be used as credit for future, eligible purchases.

This sale ends June 21.

Here are the best Nintendo Switch digital games on sale now

Hades (medium, Preferred: Nintendo eShop)DOOM Eternal (medium, Preferred: Nintendo eShop)The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Cuphead (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Fire Emblem: Three Houses (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Paper Mario: The Origami King (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (medium, Preferred: Amazon)for Nintendo Switch (medium)Super Mario Odyssey (medium)

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What is ‘Among Us?’ The wildly popular social deduction and deception game, explained

Among Us screenshot 3
The cross-platform game “Among Us” gained traction during the pandemic, when popular Twitch streamers caught onto it.

  • “Among Us” is an online strategy game that can be played on a PC, smartphone, or Nintendo Switch.
  • In “Among Us,” you play as crewmates trying to complete tasks, while one “Imposter” tries to sabotage you.
  • Playing “Among Us” takes more thought than raw gaming skill, making it perfect for both casual and hardcore gamers.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

“Among Us” is a multiplayer video game that was originally released in 2018, but gained massive attention in 2020. Centered on a group of “Crewmates” trying to complete tasks while an “Imposter” plots to kill them, “Among Us” is one of the most popular games around today.

Here’s everything to know about “Among Us,” including how it works, why it’s so popular, and how you can start playing.

What is ‘Among Us’ about?

If you’ve ever played social-deduction games like “Mafia” or “Werewolf,” you’re already familiar with the premise of “Among Us.”

At the start of each game, players are split into two teams: “Crewmates” and “Imposters.” Most players will be crewmates, who are responsible for completing various tasks on the map. Three or fewer players will be Imposters, players that look the same as Crewmates but are actually trying to kill them.

Among Us screenshot 2
An example of a task: Here, Crewmates have to carefully swipe a card along a card reader.

Once teams are decided, players are given free reign to run around the map, either completing their tasks or sabotaging and killing the Crewmates.

If a Crewmate finds a dead body or presses a button in the middle of the map, every living player is called into an “Emergency Meeting.” This is where your deduction and acting skills come into play, as the players must now debate on who’s an Imposter and should be ejected from the map.

Among Us screenshot 5
Players discuss who they suspect is an “Imposter” before ejecting them.

The Crewmates win the game by successfully ejecting all the Imposters, or by completing all their tasks. The Imposters win by killing Crewmates until there’s an equal number of Crewmates and Imposters, or by sabotaging a critical component (think an oxygen tank or nuclear generator) that the Crewmates can’t fix fast enough.

How ‘Among Us’ became popular

“Among Us” was released in 2018 on iPhone and Android to quiet reception. But it made a huge splash in 2020 when popular Twitch streamers began playing it during the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing “Among Us” to the attention of millions of new players. This sudden spike in popularity led to new features and maps, and it has inspired countless internet memes.

The straightforward premise and controls make it easy to play and appeal to new and veteran gamers alike. Since the conflict in the game is largely social, players rely more on deduction and deception than precision or timing. It also helps that “Among Us” supports cross-platform play, meaning that you can play it with your friends even if you don’t all have the same console.

among us twitch
“Among Us” is one of the most popular games on streaming services like Twitch.

The social aspect of the game makes it entertaining to watch as well as play, which is part of how it became popular on Twitch. It’s kind of like watching a cartoon-y, faster-paced version of “Clue.” The simple-but-cute character designs don’t hurt, either.

How to play ‘Among Us’

“Among Us” is available to play on multiple platforms. PC gamers can download it on Steam, while mobile gamers can get their fix from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. It’s also available on the Nintendo Switch.

Related Article Module: ‘Among Us’ is the biggest game of 2020, but don’t play it on the Nintendo Switch

“Among Us” isn’t available yet for any Xbox or PlayStation consoles, but it’s scheduled to be released on the Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5 in 2021.

How to update ‘Among Us’ on your PC, smartphone, or consoleYes, ‘Among Us’ is cross-platform – here’s how to play it with all your friends‘What is Twitch?’: Here’s what you need to know about the world’s leading live-streaming platform for gamersYes, ‘Minecraft’ is cross-platform – here’s how to play with your friends on any system

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15 great gifts to buy for the gamer in your life

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Family Father and Son Playing Video Games
  • Finding gifts for the gamers on your shopping list can be tough with so many gadgets to choose from.
  • We’ve put together a list of our favorite gaming gifts, ranging from controllers to collectibles.
  • Before choosing a gift, it’s helpful to know if your gamer prefers PlayStation, Switch, Xbox, or PC.

Gift shopping for a tech-savvy gamer can be challenging, but we’ve put together a list of suggestions that will leave any gamer happy.

From this year’s most popular releases to wireless headsets and awesome collectibles, our gift ideas offer something for all gaming tastes and budgets. If you’re looking for more tech gifts, be sure to read our guides to the best tech gifts under $100, the best tech gifts under $50, and the best tech gifts under $25.

Here are the best gifts for gamers:

A headset to stay in contact with friends

hyperx cloud headset

The right pair of headphones can help players feel fully immersed in their games, whether they’re exploring a fantasy world or listening closely for enemy footsteps. Headsets with microphones are essential for communicating with teammates online, whether you’re playing on your computer or a console.

The HyperX Cloud II headset with 7.1 surround sound is available for $150 right now, and it works with PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC, and Nintendo Switch. It uses a USB dongle for a faster, more consistent wireless connection than Bluetooth can provide, at ranges up to 60 feet.

The battery can last for up to 30 hours on a single charge, and even without power, you can always connect the HyperX Cloud II to your phone or controller with a 3.5mm audio cable. There’s a physical mute button for the microphone, and you can even remove it when you only need the headset.

PS5, PS4, and Nintendo Switch have different headphone requirements than the Xbox, so you’ll have to pick up a pair of Xbox licensed headphones like the HyperX CloudX if you know the gamer in your life prefers Xbox.

If you’re willing to go with a more affordable wired headset, the Razer Kraken X provides 7.1 surround sound on PlayStation, Switch and Xbox, and it’s only $50.

Cloud II Wireless Headset (small)
A gaming monitor for 4K resolution and competitive play

BenQ gaming monitor showcase

Sharing the living room TV with a gamer can be tough, so consider getting your favorite player a dedicated screen so they can play in peace. Monitors have become increasingly popular for gamers of all types, including console players, since they offer less delay than TVs and sport smoother frame rates while playing.

Newer monitors have support for popular TV features, like HDR color and contrast, making them easier to pair with consoles like the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. This BenQ 28-inch gaming monitor is about the size of a small TV, it supports 4K resolution, it’s AMD FreeSync compatible, and it boasts a fast 1 ms (GtG) response time.

This year’s best blockbuster games

The Last of Us Part II Guitar
“The Last of Us Part II” was named the 2020 Game of the Year by The Game Awards in December 2020.

The best games of the year can vary based on a gamer’s platform of choice, so it’s essential to know if your gift recipient owns consoles (like the PlayStation, Switch, or Xbox) before buying a game.

Some of the best games released in 2020 and 2021 are console exclusives, like “Ghost of Tsushima” and “The Last of Us Part II” on PlayStation 4. “Ghost of Tsushima” is an open-world samurai adventure set on a scenic Japanese island, while 2020 Game of the Year winner “The Last of Us Part II” features impressive cinematic storytelling and cutting-edge graphics.

Nintendo’s offerings are known for being more family-oriented; the casual village-building game “Animal Crossing New Horizons” helped millions of people spend time together amid social distancing. “Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury” is a four-player platforming adventure that’s reminiscent of classic “Mario” games, with an extra open-world mode called “Bowser’s Fury.”

for PlayStation 4 (small)

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury (small)
A rare collection of classic Mario games

Super Mario 3D All-Stars (Super Mario Galaxy)
“Super Mario Galaxy” is one of three games remastered for Switch in “Super Mario 3D All-Stars.”

Super Mario 3D All-Stars” is a collection of three classic Mario adventures remastered for the Nintendo Switch, but it was discontinued on March 31. That means you can’t buy it digitally, and Nintendo isn’t planning on making any more copies; you’ll have to find one of the remaining ones in stores.

With the Switch continuing to grow in popularity and the longstanding legacy of “Super Mario,” you can expect “3D All-Stars” to become a collector’s item in the years to come. “Super Mario 3D All-Stars” includes “Super Mario Sunshine,” which hasn’t been re-issued since its release in 2002, along with “Super Mario 64” and “Super Mario Galaxy.”

A subscription to hundreds of games on PC, Xbox, and Android

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate (Xbox Netflix of gaming)

Millions of people picked up Microsoft’s Netflix-style subscription for video games to help pass the time at home during 2020. The library has more than a hundred games, ranging from Xbox classics, like “Halo,” to some of the most popular games of 2020, like “Among Us” and “Doom Eternal.”

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate isn’t exclusive to Xbox consoles; games can be played on Windows computers and streamed on Android phones. For Xbox owners, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate also includes Xbox Live Gold, a $10 monthly service required to play games online, so you get a ton of value for just $5 more per month.

A premium controller with customizable buttons

Xbox Elite 2 controller

If you know a gamer who has been playing with the same old Xbox or PlayStation controller for years, you can give them a major upgrade. The $180 Xbox Elite 2 controller has a rechargeable battery, four extra paddle buttons on the rear, and comes with extra tools to customize and tighten your joysticks and directional pad.

The Xbox Elite 2 works on PC, is Bluetooth compatible, and will work with the Xbox One and Xbox Series S|X.

Sony doesn’t make their own premium version of the PlayStation’s DualShock controller but Scuf Gaming makes a $160 PlayStation 4 controller with paddles similar to the Xbox Elite 2, plus a wide selection of customizable faceplates.

Extra storage space to spend more time playing, and less downloading

Can you get YouTube TV on ps4

The latest games can require anywhere from 20GB to 200GB to install, so gamers of all types will appreciate an upgrade in storage space. PlayStation and Xbox both allow external USB drives for storing games, screenshots, and your video recordings. You’ll need a USB 3.0 drive with between 250GB or 8TB of storage.

We recommend buying a drive from a reliable brand like Seagate or Western Digital — 1TB is enough to at least double the space available on consoles, and there’s not much of a performance advantage if you buy a more expensive solid state drive for your consoles.

The Nintendo Switch uses MicroSD cards to expand beyond its 32GB of internal storage. The Switch supports MicroSD cards up to 2TB in size but we recommend a 128GB or 256GB card, which offer plenty of space at a significantly lower price.

A retro console for nostalgia and preserving the classics

Sega Genesis Mini

Retro consoles like the Sega Genesis Mini pack a bunch of classic games into a nostalgic replica of consoles past. The Sega Genesis Mini comes with 42 games from the ’90s console including “Sonic the Hedgehog” and “Street Fighter 2.” Games are displayed in high definition and the digital copies let you instantly save.

Nintendo set off a craze for retro consoles a few years ago with the NES Classic and Super NES Classic, but those consoles had a limited run and have less games than the Genesis Mini. The PlayStation Classic also collects 20 games from that console, but the selection isn’t as impressive as the competition.

An all-in-one VR headset to explore gaming from a new perspective

Quest 2

Released in May 2020, the Oculus Quest 2 has set a new standard for virtual reality headsets with finger tracking, greatly improved image quality, and no external sensors needed for setup. Oculus Quest 2 can be used as a standalone device for gaming, chatting, and watching movies, or connected to a PC for even more immersive performance.

Iconic collectibles inspired by popular games

iam8bit collectible TMNT
iam8bit is one of many specialty shops offering awesome gaming and comic book inspired collectibles.

Not every video game series is popular enough to have its own set of collectibles, but you can find a wide selection of gaming-inspired figures and statues from brands like Pop!, Nendoroid, and Kotobukiya. Prices can range from $10 to $250 or more depending on the item, but what’s important is finding a collectible that matches your gamer’s style.

The collectible shop iam8bit also offers lots of rare and limited collectibles, like vinyl video game soundtracks and customized cartridges for old games. Limited Run Games also puts together physical releases for popular indie games and retro titles that include unique collectibles like t-shirts and art books.

Mandalorian statue by Kotobukiya (small)

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Apple and Epic Games are revealing a ton of industry secrets in court filings – from untold billions in ‘Fortnite’ profits to private email exchanges, these are the 5 juiciest bits

Tim Cook Tim Sweeney 2x1
Apple CEO Tim Cook, left, and Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney, right.

  • “Fortnite” maker Epic Games is suing Apple, and the bench trial started this week in California.
  • Epic says Apple’s App Store is a monopoly. Apple says Epic broke its developer contract.
  • Through court filings, major secrets from Apple, Epic, Microsoft, and more have been revealed.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Apple and the maker of “Fortnite” are currently at war in a California courtroom – the culmination of a yearlong spat between the two American business giants.

Epic Games filed suit against Apple last summer after its hit game, “Fortnite,” was pulled from Apple’s App Store.

Apple says it pulled the game because Epic violated the terms of its developer agreement when Epic implemented a payment system in the game that enabled players to circumvent Apple’s App Store. Epic says the App Store is a monopoly, and argues that iPhones and iPads are no different from computers.

The in-person trial began Monday at the US District Court for the Northern District of California in Oakland, California. Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers is scheduled to oversee approximately three weeks of hearings before a verdict is rendered, according to court filings.

After just one week, we’ve already learned a lot: Between major financial disclosures, company secrets, and private emails between executives made public, evidence in the trial is a treasure trove of information.

1. Xbox console sales aren’t profitable, according to Microsoft, and they never have been.

Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S
The Xbox Series X, left, and the Xbox Series S, right.

After nearly two decades of sales, Xbox consoles have never been a profitable product for Microsoft.

The Washington-based tech giant sells every Xbox at a loss, according to sworn testimony from Microsoft’s VP of Xbox business development Lori Wright.

“Has Microsoft ever earned a profit on the sale of an Xbox console?” she was asked on Wednesday, May 5. “No,” she said.

Wright appeared as a witness in the ongoing trial, where she answered a variety of questions about Microsoft, Xbox, and digital storefronts. Microsoft has openly supported Epic’s suit against Apple.

The subject of Xbox profitability came up in questioning because of how Microsoft’s console business works: Instead of making money on the console itself, the company makes money from games sales through its digital storefront, from subscription services like Xbox Game Pass, and from sales of accessories like gamepads.

Microsoft, like other console makers, takes a cut of every sale on its digital storefront. That cut is usually about 30%, which has become a standard in the video game distribution market. Apple takes a similar cut from games sold on its iOS App Store, which is part of what Epic is contesting in its court case against Apple.

2. Apple’s reportedly making huge margins on the App Store.

Tim Cook WWDC 2020
Apple CEO Tim Cook.

One of Epic’s expert witnesses, Berkeley Research Group managing director Ned Barnes, said that Apple is enjoying enormous margins on the App Store: In the high 70s for the last two years at least, according to Barnes.

“In my expert report dated February 16, 2021,” Barnes writes, “using Apple testimony and financial information available to me at that time, I calculated the App Store’s operating margin percentage to be 79.6% for each of FY2019 and FY2018.”

He also said that Apple “produced additional documents” for the trial that demonstrate slightly lower percentages for the two years, but that the numbers are “consistent with and confirm the reasonableness of the calculations presented in my expert report.”

Apple, however, disputes Barnes’ report. “Epic’s experts calculations of the operating margins for the App Store are simply wrong,” an Apple representative told The Verge.

Core to Epic’s argument in the trial is that Apple operates a monopoly with the App Store by refusing to allow competing app stores on the iOS platform, in addition to not allowing third-party payment systems. High profit margins from the App Store, Epic argued, is part of the reason for Apple won’t allow either.

3. “Fortnite” is making Epic billions of dollars every year, especially on the PlayStation 4.

Fortnite (loot chest)

In one of the less surprising secrets unearthed from evidence presented during the trial, “Fortnite” is making a huge amount of money – to the tune of several billion dollars every year for the last several years.

In 2020 alone, Epic made over $5 billion in revenue according to sworn testimony from Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney. Between 2018 and 2019, “Fortnite” brought in over $9 billion.

Epic makes more than “Fortnite” – the gaming giant produces the Unreal Engine, operates the Epic Games Store, and owns and publishes several other big games (“Rocket League” and “Fall Guys”). Data from Epic presented during the trial shows that those projects, while moneymakers in the hundreds of millions, don’t generate anywhere near as much revenue as “Fortnite.”

4. Epic CEO Tim Sweeney sent Apple CEO Tim Cook a 2 a.m. email declaring war.

tim sweeney epic games fortnite
Epic Games cofounder and CEO Tim Sweeney.

At 2 a.m. PT on August 13, 2020, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney sent an email to Apple CEO Tim Cook and several other Apple executives that laid out Epic’s plan to cut Apple out of payments in “Fortnite” on iPhone and iPad.

It was intended as a declaration of war.

“I’m writing to tell you that Epic will no longer adhere to Apple’s payment processing restrictions,” Sweeney wrote. “Today, Epic is launching Epic direct payments in ‘Fortnite’ on iOS, offering customers the choice of paying in-app through Epic direct payments or through Apple payments, and passing on the savings of Epic direct payments to customers in the form of lower prices.”

In response, Apple pulled “Fortnite” from its iPhone and iPad store, and the game has been unplayable on both ever since. Epic sued Apple on the same day, and this email was one of many private messages between the companies that was uncovered as evidence.

5. “Fortnite” was such a big deal on the PlayStation 4 that Epic was able to force Sony to overturn a longstanding precedent in gaming.

Fortnite

In September 2018, after months spent fighting a losing battle in the court of public opinion, Sony gave in: “Fortnite,” the company announced, would be playable on the PlayStation 4 with friends on other platforms.

“Fortnite” was the first-ever game to allow players on all platforms to play together. “This represents a major policy change for Sony Interactive Entertainment,” Sony said in its announcement. It was clear at the time that, with the game playable across all other platforms, Sony was almost certain to give in: Tens of millions of people were playing “Fortnite,” and they were earning the most from players on Sony’s PlayStation 4, according to documents from Epic presented as evidence in the trial.

Between January 2019 and July 2020, just before “Fortnite” was removed from the App Store, Epic was earning just shy of $150 million each month on average from PlayStation players, according to Epic. By comparison, the company was earning about $23 million per month on average from iOS players, Epic said.

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@insider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

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The best deals on Nintendo Switch consoles, games, and accessories right now – including $13 off NES wireless controllers

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Nintendo Switch vs Nintendo Switch Lite
The Nintendo Switch debuted in March 2017, while the smaller Switch Lite was released in September 2019.

  • The Nintendo Switch is rarely discounted, but there are plenty of deals on games and accessories.
  • We’ll update this list regularly with the top Nintendo Switch deals as new discounts are announced.

Even with the release of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S|X, the Nintendo Switch continues to be the highest-selling video game console on the planet, with more than 68 million units sold worldwide.

The Switch was the top selling console for 24 consecutive months leading up to the release of the PS5 and Xbox Series X, and the console will still be easier to find in stores for the next few months while Sony and Microsoft ramp up production of their new systems.

Nintendo’s $300 Switch offers many of the most popular games on the market in a portable package, with the option to connect the Switch to a larger television or home entertainment system. The $200 Switch Lite is smaller and can’t connect to your TV, but it’s still a popular pick for parents who want an affordable alternative to the PlayStation or Xbox, and gamers who want a second console.

Below, we’ve collected the best deals on Nintendo Switch consoles, exclusive games, and accessories. These discounts should all come in handy whether you’re looking to buy a Switch for the first time, building your library of games, or trying to find the cheapest price on a Switch peripheral.

Here are the best Nintendo Switch deals for April 2021:

NES Wireless Controllers for Switch (medium)Joy-Con Charging Dock (medium, Preferred: Target)Mario Tennis Aces (medium, Preferred: Target)Switch Pro Controller (medium, Preferred: Amazon)

Best deals on Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite consoles

Nintendo Switch Lite Case Side

The Nintendo Switch can be connected to a TV for high-definition gameplay, or taken on-the-go as a portable console. Furthermore, the Switch’s controls can be separated from the console and used as two separate controllers called Joy-Cons.

Meanwhile, the Nintendo Switch Lite is a handheld-only version of the console that lacks the original Switch’s removable controllers and ability to connect to a larger television. The Switch Lite appeals to gamers who may already own a PlayStation or Xbox and want to play games with a similar level of quality while they’re traveling. Parents may also be more willing to invest in a handheld console at a lower price point when introducing their children to gaming.

The Nintendo Switch Lite comes in four colors (coral, turquoise, grey and yellow). There haven’t been many deals that drop the Switch Lite below its standard retail price of $200, but a refurbished model is sold for a $15 discount when it’s in stock at GameStop.

Best deals on Nintendo Switch games

Super Mario Maker 2

Though the Nintendo Switch has been around for just under four years, there are already more than 2,300 games available for the console. 

Now through April 25, Nintendo’s Spring Indie World sale offers discounts tons of titles, with many games now selling for less than $10. For some inspiration before you shop, check out our list of the best video games of 2020, according to critics.

Katana Zero (medium)Hades (medium)Yoshi’s Crafted World (small, Preferred: Walmart)Ring Fit Adventure (medium, Preferred: Amazon)
Best deals on Nintendo Switch controllers

Nintendo Switch Pro Controller
The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller is the official alternative to the Switch’s built-in Joy-Cons.

Though the Switch’s Joy-Cons give players access to two controllers at all times, some gamers prefer the Nintendo Switch Pro controller, which more closely resembles a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One controller.

Nintendo also sells spare Joy-Cons with multiple color options for Switch owners who want to add some additional flair and an extra set of motion controllers for multiplayer games. 

NES Wireless Controllers for Switch (medium)Switch Joy-Con Pair, Neon Pink and Neon Green (medium, Preferred: Walmart)Switch Joy-Con Pair, Neon Red and Neon Blue (medium, Preferred: Walmart)

Best deals on on Nintendo Switch accessories

nintendo switch lite figures

As a portable console with replaceable controllers, the Switch has no shortage of accessories. The most important addition you can make is a MicroSD card, which can expand the Switch’s initial 32GB of storage by 128GB or more for less than the price of a new game.

If you plan on taking your Switch on the go, it’s probably a good idea to pick up a basic case with space for extra game cartridges too. The Switch is fairly durable so you don’t need to spend a ton protecting it.

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