Cathie Wood’s flagship fund has dumped almost all of its Nintendo stake ahead of a likely lackluster Switch console update

Cathie Wood Ark Invest
Cathie Wood.

  • Cathie Wood’s flagship fund has shed most of its Nintendo stake ahead of the new Switch console release.
  • The Ark Innovation ETF now holds about 1,500 ADRs worth $82,000 in the Japanese gaming powerhouse.
  • Analysts haven’t been bullish on Nintendo, saying rival consoles will likely outshine the Switch update.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

Cathie Wood’s flagship fund has been dumping Nintendo’s stock ahead of the Japanese video-game maker’s Switch console release slated for October 8.

The star stock-picker began to shed her stake in Nintendo in July, around the time the company tweeted it would introduce the OLED Switch update this month but had “no plans for launching any other model at this time.”

The Ark Innovation ETF now holds a tiny stake of 1,500 American Depositary Receipts in Nintendo worth about $82,000, according to data on Ark’s website.

That holding is a steep drop from the more than 4.7 million shares held by ARKK at the end of February, when Nintendo’s US-listed ADRs hit a price peak this year. The stock has dropped 32% year-to-date, and was last trading at $54.60 per share.

Nintendo stock

Nintendo’s new device, which comes with a $350 price tag, has a larger 7-inch OLED screen. But a hotly anticipated upgrade to its console’s graphics – 4K display capabilities that match rivals from Microsoft and Sony – is missing. This has disappointed some fans.

Also, analysts haven’t been too bullish on the stock, with Wedbush saying the next set of positive catalysts for Nintendo beyond the Switch may prove to be elusive.

“The Switch is likely entering its post-peak years as competition ramps up, and Nintendo has raised concerns about supply constraints,” Wedbush analysts Michael Pachter, Nick McKay, and Junaid Zubair said in a recent note.

“The scale of the Switch OLED model rollout remains unclear, and Nintendo has indicated that it does not have any plans for launching other Switch models beyond the OLED model at the moment,” they said, adding that this seemingly rules out a device with 4K resolution in the near future.

Wood, whose investing strategy focuses on “disruptive innovation,” has also been dumping Tesla stock. Three of Ark Investment Management’s ETFs offloaded $270 million worth of the electric-vehicle maker’s shares late last month. But all three still count Tesla among their top holdings.

Read More: 5 altcoins to buy in this bull run: A crypto investor says overlooking the 4th industrial revolution and blockchain could turn the millionaires of today into the middle class of tomorrow – and shares his entry and exit strategies for each altcoin

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Yes, the Nintendo Switch has Bluetooth – here’s how to connect a headset or new controller

Nintendo Switch vs Nintendo Switch Lite
The Switch has Bluetooth features built in.

  • The Nintendo Switch does have Bluetooth, and you can use it to connect headphones or controllers.
  • If you buy a Bluetooth adapter, you can even connect non-Nintendo controllers to the Switch.
  • These Bluetooth adapters can be used when the Switch is docked or in handheld mode.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Between wireless controllers and wireless headphones, Bluetooth is one of the most popular technologies around today. Nearly every major device uses Bluetooth in some way, and that includes the Nintendo Switch.

When it first launched, the Switch’s Bluetooth features were pretty limited. And while it’s still not the best device for Bluetooth fanatics, it now supports both Bluetooth headphones and controllers.

Here’s how Bluetooth works on the Switch, and how to connect your headphones or controllers.

Yes, the Nintendo Switch has Bluetooth

The Nintendo Switch uses Bluetooth to connect with both wireless controllers and audio devices.

Pairing headphones

To pair Bluetooth headphones or speakers with your Switch, make sure the console is updated and then open the Settings menu. Scroll down to Bluetooth Audio and select Pair Device, then connect your headphones.

The Nintendo Switch's Bluetooth Audio screen.
You can pair your headphones with the Switch through this menu.

Just note that once you’ve connected a pair of Bluetooth headphones to the Switch, you can only connect two wireless controllers (or one pair of Joy-Cons). And your headphones will disconnect while playing local multiplayer.

For more information on how the Switch’s Bluetooth audio feature works, check out our article “How to connect Bluetooth headphones to a Nintendo Switch in 2 ways.”

Pairing controllers

Most official Nintendo Switch controllers are wireless, and they all connect in the same way.

On the Switch’s home screen, select the Controllers icon and then Change Grip/Order. At that point, you’ll likely just need to press your controller’s shoulder buttons at the same time. If you’re trying to pair a totally new controller, you might also need to press the controller’s SYNC button.

For more details on syncing new wireless controllers, see our article “How to sync Nintendo Switch controllers with your system, so that up to eight people can play at once.”

Nintendo Switch Controllers
By default, you can connect up to eight wireless controllers at once.

But what if you want to play your Switch with a controller from another system – say, the PlayStation DualShock? There’s no built-in way to do it, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

If you’re willing to spend a few extra dollars, you can go on Amazon and buy a Nintendo Switch Bluetooth adapter. These adapters plug right into your console or dock and let you connect extra Bluetooth devices.

The best Nintendo Switch Bluetooth adapters to buy

If you want to connect wireless headphones to your Nintendo Switch without the controller and local multiplayer restrictions mentioned above, try the Thunderobot Bluetooth 5.0 Audio Transmitter.

You’ll plug it into your Switch’s charging port when in handheld mode, or into the Switch’s charging stand when it’s docked. Just note that you might experience some audio delay compared to the built-in wireless headphone feature.

If you’re instead looking to connect a non-Nintendo controller to the Switch, check out 8BitDo’s Wireless USB Adapter. Not only will it let you use controllers like the DualShock, it’ll let you remap the buttons too.

A person plays a Nintendo Switch with a PS5 DualShock controller.
The 8BitDo wireless adapter (seen here plugged into the Switch’s dock on the right side) lets you connect nearly any modern game controller.

The Switch’s native Bluetooth features will absolutely be enough for most users. But if you’re a big Bluetooth aficionado, you might want to invest in a Bluetooth adapter or two.

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How to connect Bluetooth headphones to a Nintendo Switch in 2 ways

Nintendo Switch
The Nintendo Switch now natively supports Bluetooth headphones.

  • You can connect Bluetooth headphones to your Nintendo Switch through the System Settings menu.
  • While you have Bluetooth headphones connected, you can only use up to two wireless controllers.
  • If you prefer, you can also connect Bluetooth headphones to your Switch with a Bluetooth adapter.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

It took a few years, but the Nintendo Switch finally supports Bluetooth headphones right out of the box. It only takes a few moments to set the feature up, but it has a number of limitations.

That’s why you can also use a Bluetooth adapter, which is more work but gives you more options.

Here’s how to connect Bluetooth headphones to your Nintendo Switch, using either the built-in Bluetooth feature or a Bluetooth adapter.

How to connect Bluetooth headphones to your Nintendo Switch

Using the built-in Bluetooth

Before anything, make sure that your Nintendo Switch is updated. The Bluetooth pairing feature is only available in the most recent versions of Switch’s operating system, so you’ll need to update to unlock it.

Your Switch should let you know when there’s an update available, but you can check manually by opening System Settings and scrolling down to the System tab.

A Nintendo Switch screenshot of a page reading "Preparing to update system..."
You might need to update your Switch before connecting a headset.

Once you’ve updated:

1. Open your Switch’s System Settings menu by selecting the gear icon on the home screen.

2. Scroll down to the Bluetooth Audio tab, and then select Pair Device.

The Nintendo Switch's Bluetooth Audio screen.
Pair a new device to the Switch.

3. Put your Bluetooth headphones into pairing mode and hold them close to the Switch.

4. When your headphones appear as an option on the Switch, select them and let the devices connect.

A Nintendo Switch screenshot of a page asking the user if they'd like to connect to a pair of AirPods.
Connect to your headphones when they appear on screen.

Once connected, all sound will come through the Bluetooth headphones until they’re disconnected. In the future, the devices should connect automatically. You can disconnect or unpair your headphones from the Switch by returning to this menu and selecting your headphones.

But connecting Bluetooth headphones to the Switch comes with some restrictions.

  • While connected, you can only use up to two wireless controllers (or one pair of Joy-Cons).
  • Your headphones will be disconnected during local multiplayer.
  • Bluetooth microphones won’t work.

Some users have also claimed that using the built-in Bluetooth feature makes the console very quiet. If you feel the same, go to the System menu and make sure that the Lower Max Headphone Volume option is turned off.

The Nintendo Switch's System settings page, with the "Lower Max Headphone Volume" option turned off.
Make sure that volume limits are turned off.

If you don’t feel like dealing with these restrictions, you can connect your headphones with a Bluetooth adapter instead.

Using a Bluetooth adapter

Bluetooth adapters are tiny dongles that connect to your Switch’s charging port or dock and let you connect Bluetooth devices. These don’t just have to be headphones – some, like the 8BitDo Wireless Adapter, will let you connect non-Nintendo controllers to your Switch too.

You can get a good Bluetooth headphone adapter on Amazon for not much money. Once you do, here’s how to use it:

1. With the adapter inserted into the Switch, hold the pair button for several seconds to place it into pairing mode. Most will flash once in this mode.

2. Now hold down the pair button on your headphones. When the light on the adapter becomes solid or turns off, you’ve successfully paired the devices.

Be sure to follow the pairing instructions included in your specific adapter’s manual.

Steven John contributed to a previous version of this article.

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How to sync Nintendo Switch controllers with your system, so that up to eight people can play at once

nintendo switch joy cons
To sync a Nintendo Switch controller, you’ll need to go into the “Change Grip/Order” menu.

  • You can sync up to eight Nintendo Switch controllers to a single Nintendo Switch.
  • You can play using the Joy-Con controllers as one unit, as two separate controllers, or you can use the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller.
  • There are also special controller hubs, which often require their own separate accessories to sync with your Switch.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

When it comes to Nintendo Switch games, the more the merrier. Multiplayer gaming only enhances the fun, especially when you and your friends or family are playing together in the same room.

A Switch console can support eight controllers connected at the same time. This means four pairs of Joy-Cons (or eight if you’re playing them individually), eight Pro Controllers, and up to two controller hubs (each of which supports four controllers, again adding up to eight).

Once you’ve got your controllers, here’s how to sync them.

How to sync a Nintendo Switch controller with your console

The best way to sync a Nintendo Switch controller will depend on what sort of controller you have.

The easiest way to sync a pair of Joy-Con controllers to a Nintendo Switch is simply to slide them onto the physical console. The right- and left-hand Joy-Con controller will then be linked to that Nintendo Switch until affixed to a different console, or until the remote pairing steps below are followed.

You can also sync a Pro Controller by connecting it to your Switch’s dock with a USB-C cable.

To pair controllers remotely:

1. From the Switch’s homepage, scroll down to the “Controllers” tab – it looks like a single gray Joy-Con – and click it.

IMG_5958
You can pair and re-order Nintendo Switch controllers from the “Controllers” icon link at the bottom of the home screen.

2. Select “Change Grip/Order.”

IMG_5966
This is where you’ll go to add new controllers or change their configuration.

3. If you’re trying to pair a new controller or Joy-Con, you’ll want to press and hold its SYNC button (a small circular button, usually on the top) for about five seconds before moving on to the next steps.

IMG_5968
Every Switch controller has a SYNC button, which you’ll press when you’re first syncing it.

4. If you want to use a Joy-Con (or multiple Joy-Cons) as an individual controller, take it out of the Switch and press both its shoulder buttons at the same time – they’re labeled “SL” and “SR.” It may take a few presses for the Switch to recognize them.

5. If you want to use two Joy-Cons as a single controller, press the shoulder buttons on each Joy-Con at the same time. They’re labeled “ZL” and “ZR.” You can add up to four Joy-Con pairs.

Nintendo Switch (Joy-Con)
You’ll want to press “SL” and “SR” if using a single Joy-Con, or “ZL” and “ZR” if using them together.

6. If you want to pair a Pro Controller, press its shoulder buttons, “ZL” and “ZR,” at the same time.

If a controller that worked before won’t sync, press the SYNC button anyway (again, the small circular button). Your Switch may have forgotten the controller and needs to be reminded of it again.

If you’re using a controller hub, just connect the hub to your Switch’s dock via USB and plug your controllers into the hub. They should work automatically.

Nintendo Switch Nyko Gamecube Controller Hub
A controller hub should work without having to sync.

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The 6 best gaming headsets in 2021 for consoles and PC

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

As the video game industry continues to grow, more and more people are gaming online via PS5, PS4, Xbox, PC, and the Switch. But, not all gaming setups are created equal. For the best multiplayer experience, you’re going to want a an over-ear headset with a built-in microphone.

Thankfully, gaming headset options are plentiful. We’re no longer forced to use cheap bundled headphones with limited features. Instead, 3.5mm ports, stereo support, surround sound capabilities, and wireless connectivity abound. This means that everyone can plug in, hear better, communicate better, and be more comfortable – all while alleviating noise pollution for everyone else in your home or office.

To meet today’s gaming needs and beyond, we put together the following headset recommendations. Through hands-on testing, our picks represent the best gaming headsets you can find across a range of budgets and platforms. We’ve selected our picks based on a number of important factors, and we personally own or have thoroughly tested every headset on this list.

Here are the best gaming headsets you can buy:

The best gaming headset overall

SteelSeries Arctis 7X and 7P

The SteelSeries Arctis 7X is a versatile, comfortable, lightweight, and dependable wireless headset.

Pros: Multiplatform wireless and wired support, retractable mic, comfortable fit, strong battery life, lightweight design

Cons: Uses Micro USB cable for charging, no game/chat mix control when used on PlayStation, mobile cable has a proprietary port on the headset side

SteelSeries’ Arctis 7X, carries over several familiar options from previous models while adding some important new features. Chief among those new features is a handy USB-C dongle for convenient multiplatform wireless support. 

The dongle is compact enough to connect directly to a smartphone or Nintendo Switch when it’s in tablet mode. Thanks to the included USB-C to USB-A cable, it’s also easy to connect to larger systems, like the Xbox Series X, Xbox One, PS5, PS4, and even a PC.

There’s a little switch on the transmitter that lets it go from Xbox mode to USB mode for everything else. The headset uses a 2.4GHz wireless connection which has a strong signal that avoids dropouts and lag.

The 40mm speaker drivers are the same ones that SteelSeries uses in more expensive headsets, and they’re not overpowering or bass-heavy. Audio performance is strong in single player and multiplayer games, letting quiet environments breathe while keeping chat audio clear.

The drivers go well with the headset’s retractable microphone which does a great job of minimizing background noise. There’s a mic mute button on the left ear cup and, when muted, a red light on the mic activates. 

Even though the headset supports just about every gaming device under the sun via wireless, it still comes with a mobile 3.5mm cable to ensure compatibility with wired devices, like a 3DS or older iPad.

On the downside, while the included dongle uses USB-C, the headset itself is charged via Micro USB, which is less convenient. Fortunately, the build quality and general feel are both top-notch.

The best gaming headset for PS5

sony pulse 3d bottom view

Sony’s Pulse 3D is wireless, seamlessly pairs with the PlayStation 5, and has helpful controls for game and chat mixing built right in.

Pros: Integration with PlayStation consoles, wireless support, game/chat mix controls, PS VR compatible, stylish design, USB-C charging, 3.5mm port

Cons: No boom mic, some questions about long term durability

To coincide with the launch of the PS5, Sony debuted the Pulse 3D. It’s a wireless headset that uses a small USB-A dongle, and it should be very familiar to gamers who owned the PlayStation Gold Wireless or Platinum Wireless headsets. 

Like those headsets, the Pulse 3D integrates seamlessly into the PlayStation ecosystem, with an onscreen UI indicating power, battery level, and volume level. The Pulse 3D also has controls on the left ear cup for setting game/chat mix, volume, power, mic mute, and even a toggle for turning mic monitoring on or off.

The Pulse 3D works with the PS5, PS4, PC, and even a docked Nintendo Switch. The performance of the drivers is similar to the PlayStation Gold headset, which I really like. Unfortunately, the invisible mic design is similar as well. It works fine, but this style just isn’t as good as a boom mic as it lets in a lot of background noise.

On the plus side, the headset achieves the rare feat of not only being compatible with PlayStation VR via its 3.5mm jack, but also actually being able to fit over the VR headset. It’s a nice match for the DualSense controller as well since the Pulse 3D can charge over USB-C. 

When it comes to aesthetics, the Pulse 3D has been designed to complement the PS5, as it perfectly matches the color scheme and general style of the console and its controllers. Coupled with the headset’s solid performance and easy integration, this look helps make the Pulse 3D an ideal fit for PS5 owners.

The best gaming headset for Xbox

xbox headphones

Microsoft’s official Xbox Series X|S wireless gaming headset can connect to Xbox consoles without a dongle and supports multipoint connection.

Pros: Xbox Wireless radio support without dongle, works with gaming PCs, simultaneous support for Xbox and Bluetooth devices, physical dials for volume, game audio and voice chat balance, microphone mute button

Cons: No 3.5mm headphone port, plain design, lacks versatility for use with PlayStation and Switch

Xbox consoles use a proprietary radio signal to give wireless headsets and controllers a better connection than Bluetooth offers. Microsoft’s official Xbox headset isn’t the only set that works with this signal, but it is one of the most affordable while offering quite a few premium features.

The headset also works with Bluetooth devices, and you can even pair it with an Xbox and Bluetooth device at the same time, so you can listen to music from your phone or computer while still hearing game audio and voice chatting on Xbox Live.

The Xbox Series X|S headset feels lightweight but sturdy; the headband contains a steel band with foam cushioning, while the ear cushions use polyurethane leather and foam. Like the PlayStation 3D Pulse headset, the Xbox wireless headset features two dials on either ear cup, allowing you to control the volume and manage the balance between your game audio and voice chat. The microphone can be folded around the left ear cup when not in use and features a physical mute button as well.

The Xbox Series X|S headset has an average battery life lasting about 15 hours, and can be used in wired mode with a USB-C cable on Windows computers.

The best budget wired gaming headset

HyperX Stinger

The HyperX Cloud Stinger is the ultimate distillation of everything important in a wired headset, and it has a price that’s tough to beat.

Pros: Good build quality, comfort, and sound at an affordable price, swivel to mute mic, on-ear volume control

Cons: No mesh ear option, fixed cable

To be sure, the majority of first-time or repeat headset buys happen right around the price point where the HyperX Cloud Stinger lands. The Stinger is a wired passive stereo headset with 50mm drivers, a flip-down boom mic, swivel ear cups, a volume slider on the right ear, and a fixed in-line volume control. 

It’s suitable for connecting to PS5/PS4 controllers, Xbox controllers, the Switch, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and most anything modern with a 3.5mm jack. Unlike many nicer and more expensive headsets, the HyperX Cloud Stinger isn’t impedance hungry. This means it works fine connected to a PlayStation DualShock 4 controller, but does still have some headroom for improved performance with a better source.

When it comes to HyperX and its headsets, the company owes much of its reputation to the imperfect but still stellar HyperX Cloud. With the Cloud Stinger, HyperX has taken almost everything that made the Cloud great and put it in a lighter, more essential, and more original package.

The build of the Stinger is light but solid, and the headset is comfortable while having a sedate look. It’s a purposeful headset that should satisfy the majority of users looking for something wired to connect right to the headset jack. When HyperX made the Cloud Stinger, it made sure that anyone trying to dip their toes into gaming headsets would have a quality option.

The best wireless gaming headset for the money

SteelSeries Arctis 1 wireless headset for xbox

The SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless for Xbox makes impressive wireless performance affordable for Xbox, PlayStation, PC, and Switch buyers.

Pros: Painless multiplatform wireless support with good sound, strong mic, excellent battery life

Cons: No chat/game mix controls on headset, headset and mic don’t sit well when not being worn

The Arctis 1 Wireless was pretty incredible when it debuted as a PlayStation-focused headset, and the Arctis 1 Wireless for Xbox is not only just as good, it’s better. That’s because the new model adds support for Xbox platforms.

There’s a little switch on the USB-C wireless dongle. Buyers can simply flip the switch to Xbox for Xbox platforms, and to USB for everything else. The small USB-C dongle is also compatible with the Nintendo Switch (both in dock and tablet mode) and even some smartphones (including my LG V40) for 2.4Ghz wireless audio. 

Under the hood, the Arctis 1 features speaker drivers taken from the main Arctis line. This helps the Arctis 1 provide well-tuned sound out of the box. The mic is also excellent, with performance so good it’s likely to draw compliments from fellow players. The battery life is stellar as well. It’s rated at 20+ hours, and boy, does it last.

While the headset is wireless on just about every recent console, the device also retains a 3.5mm jack and cable. This means that it can be used on a ton of devices in wired mode. That extra bit of functionality is a handy feature, and it doesn’t seem to make the headset bulkier, heavier, or more expensive.

The best audiophile gaming headset

Sennheiser Game One

The comfortable, open design of the Sennheiser Game One headset offers the high-quality sound performance most audiophiles crave.

Pros: Open-back design, comfortable, good mic, fabric pads, won’t break the bank, on-ear volume wheel and flip to mute mic, detachable cable

Cons: Needs a Mixamp rather than controller jack for optimal performance, will leak sound

Combining a gaming headset with audiophile performance is tricky. The audio punch that we seek when we game isn’t necessarily the same tuning we’d enjoy when listening to music. And often, the microphones on certain audiophile headsets just don’t impress. 

Fortunately, I’ve found the Sennheiser Game One to be one of my favorite headsets in all aspects. What really gives it that audiophile feel is the open-back design. Open-back headphones are known for their sublime audio performance, and this design allows the ears to breathe more. With that said, open-back headsets are prone to sound leakage, so they’re not ideal if you have someone sitting within a few feet as they are sure to hear everything you hear.

The heavy duty boom mic doesn’t merely look serious, it delivers — as I can attest since it’s my choice for gaming while having a sleeping newborn in the next room. Likewise, the headset contains a volume wheel on the right ear, a satisfying click -to-mute function in the mic, and a composition of fabric, padding, and shape to achieve maximum comfort. The cabling is detachable, and this is really helpful when choosing between a long split cable on PC or a short combined cable on console.

While the comfort, feel, and quality are ever-present, to get the best sound performance, you’ll need a dedicated source such as a MixAmp or GameDAC. With that in mind, we recommend pairing the headset with an Astro Gaming MixAmp Pro TR.

Other gaming headsets we considered

Arctis 9x headset on desk

The $150 Hyper X Cloud II Wireless is an excellent wireless headset that will suit most gamer’s needs on PlayStation, PC, and Switch. It boasts an impressive 30-hour battery life, USB-C charging, and a detachable microphone with physical mute and volume controls. However, it lacks wired support, and physical controls to balance game and chat audio. Ultimately, there are more versatile choices in the $100 range, so the Cloud II Wireless ranks below our top recommendations.

The $200 SteelSeries Arctis 9X can connect wirelessly to an Xbox console without the need for a dongle, while also being able to simultaneously pair to a mobile device via Bluetooth.

The headset’s ski goggle headband is also convenient since it’s removable for cleaning or even replacement — and there are some different designs available. That said, I wouldn’t recommend walking around much while using the Bluetooth function as the Arctis 9X will tend to move around on your head.

The Arctis 9X has a retractable mic with a mute light, 40mm drivers, and reliable controls built right onto the headset. These functions include a mute toggle, volume wheel, power button, and chat/game mix controls. The battery life is rated for 20 hours, which is solid but not as good as some competing models. Another minor drawback is that the headset still uses a Micro USB connection for charging rather than USB-C.

The $270 Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless XT gaming headset offers an impressive set of features, including memory foam earpads, multipoint Bluetooth connection, customizable lighting, a Dolby Atmos license, and an automated sleep function that will detect when you put the headset down. Virtuoso RGB Wireless XT also boasts a wider frequency response range than competing headsets, reaching up to 40 kHZ as well as support for hi-res 24bit, 96KHz audio, but those features usually won’t come into play when gaming.

More importantly, the Virtuoso RGB Wireless XT only works in wireless mode with PlayStation consoles and PC, forcing you to use 3.5mm wired mode for Switch. Additionally, you need to use Corsair’s iCue software to make the most of the headset’s lighting and EQ features, which might be disappointing for console gamers.

The $250 SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC was previously one of our top picks but has been downgraded in favor of newer models. That said, the headset  continues to be an excellent choice, particularly for the PC and PS4/PS4 Pro. On the PS5, it loses the ability to control game/chat balance and its integrated surround sound feature, so it’s not as easy to recommend for gamers primarily using Sony’s new console.

How to pick the best gaming headset

SteelSeries Arctis 1 wireless headset

Wireless versus wired support: Determining whether you want a wireless or wired headset is one of the first decisions you’ll have to make when choosing a gaming headset. Wireless headsets are untethered by pesky cables so they’re typically more comfortable to use. Wireless headsets tend to use a 2.4GHz signal in order to avoid the audio lag associated with Bluetooth. 

With that said, since many home Wi-Fi networks also use 2.4GHz, a smaller home (like an apartment) that’s saturated with a bunch of different Wi-Fi signals can be problematic due to interfering signals. If interference is an issue for your setup, then a wired headset is probably a better choice. Wired headsets also don’t require charging, and are generally compatible with any system that has a headset jack. 

Platform support: With gaming spread over PC, consoles, and even tablets and smartphones, it’s important to know which platform you plan to use your headset with. Though most wired models offer compatibility across different devices, platform support is especially important to keep in mind when choosing a wireless headset.

Xbox consoles, in particular, only support specific wireless headsets. Meanwhile, the Switch has a headphone jack on the console but not on the Joy-Cons or the Pro Controller. Pay close attention to the connection specifications and compatibility details listed by the manufacturer in order to ensure that the headset you choose has the necessary wired or wireless connections for your devices. 

Comfort and build: A good headset should be comfortable to use for hours on end, but that comfort will be influenced by both the ambient temperature and the size of a user’s head. These factors are nearly as important as the design of the headset itself. Generally speaking, if a headset doesn’t feel comfortable to wear after a few gaming sessions (around two hours each), then it’s likely a poor fit. The more durable headsets tend to use stronger materials, but that means that they’re likely to be heavier. On the other hand, plastic headsets are lighter but more fragile. 

Surround Sound: One attractive feature that’s pretty common in nicer gaming headsets is surround sound. This effect is usually done by processing sound to the left and right drivers to simulate the effect of audio coming from multiple directions. Though not true surround sound in the strictest sense, these simulated effects can create a more immersive experience.

In addition to surround sound options included with certain headsets, both the PC and Xbox One have an array of virtualization solutions (like Windows Sonic) to enable surround sound on any headset model. Meanwhile, the PS5 features Sony’s Tempest 3D audio tech. Of course, it’s worth noting that regular stereo sound is still quite good on many platforms, including PS4 and Switch. Stereo sound also tends to be less laggy since it isn’t as processed as surround sound. 

Price: Most gamers should be satisfied with a headset in the $50 to $150 price range. That said, if a headset is being used every day, it becomes difficult to expect years of use out of cheaper models. Frequent users can expect their headsets to wear out a bit faster than their controllers. Headsets that cost $300 or more usually include extra features, some of which can help extend their lives, such as replaceable earpads and even batteries. 

The best deals on gaming headsets from this guide

Whether you’re a pro gamer or a first-time player, a quality headset is essential for sprucing up your interactive experience. Not only will a good pair help give you an edge during gameplay, they will save those around you from hearing your game. 

Gaming headset deals are scattered throughout the year. The best time to shop for one is Black Friday or Cyber Monday, since they’re popular gifts. Discounts on our SteelSeries picks rarely exceed $15, but the affordable HyperX Cloud Stinger drops by up to $20 during the holidays. 

Below, you’ll find deals on our picks for the best gaming headset, from top brands:

Cloud Stinger Gaming Headset (medium, Preferred: Amazon)

Read more about how the Insider Reviews team evaluates deals and why you should trust us.

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7 reasons why ‘Hades’ is my favorite game included with Xbox Game Pass right now

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Screenshot of the video game Hades with blue flames on screen
“Hades” is now available as part of an Xbox Game Pass subscription.

  • Hades” is an action game where you attempt to escape from the pits of Hell.
  • In addition to Nintendo Switch and PC, the game is now available on Xbox and PlayStation consoles.
  • Members of Xbox Game Pass ($10/month) can currently play “Hades” at no additional cost.

Game Pass Ultimate 3-Month Membership (Digital) (small)(Xbox) (small)

“Hades,” one of the most critically acclaimed games of 2020, is now available to play on Xbox and PlayStation consoles. For a limited time, you can play “Hades” at no additional cost if you have an Xbox Game Pass subscription. Game Pass starts at $10 a month and gives members access to more than 100 titles. Meanwhile, PlayStation owners can buy “Hades” for $25 from the PlayStation store.

The action game is a dungeon crawler that lets you play as the underworld prince Zagreus. In defiance of your father Hades, you battle your way through Hell in an attempt to breach the surface. After every failed escape, you emerge from a pool of blood right back where you started.

From the soothing soundtrack and cool power-ups to the interesting dungeons and dog-petting feature, these are the reasons why I think “Hades” is a must-play title, especially for Xbox Game Pass members.

The exciting gameplay and story keep you invested for hours on end.

The final boss battle of "Hades."

“Hades” is considered to be a “roguelike” action game, which means it features procedurally generated levels and a fresh start after each death. If you die, you return to the beginning location, which adds a fun yet challenging element to the gameplay.

During each playthrough you lose certain power-ups collected during the last run. That said, you can still accumulate certain special abilities, unlock new weapons, and continue character relationships.

I love fighting the enemies in each dungeon chamber and trying to preserve my health for the final boss fight, but it’s ultimately the engaging storyline that keeps me coming back to “Hades” over and over again.

The dungeons for each area in ‘Hades’ feel both new and familiar.

Screenshot of the video game Hades with a large character on screen

“Hades” is divided into four core sections: Tartarus, Asphodel, Elysium, and the Temple of Styx. As you ascend through the dungeon chambers, you encounter distinct foes in each area.

While you do fight against similar bosses at the end of each section, your path changes from run to run based on the choices you make. Instead of feeling repetitive, I found myself looking forward to noticing the differences and similarities between runs.

The power-ups gifted by the Olympians keep the gameplay feeling fresh.

Screenshot of the menu in the video game Hades

As you fight your way through the game’s dungeon chambers, the Olympians bestow you with boons that only last for your current escape attempt. Choosing from one of three possible gifts and attempting to create the perfect stack of power-ups makes the action feel unique and invigorating on each run.

‘Hades’ lets you pet the dog.

Screenshot of the video game Hades with a dragon

When it comes to gauging whether or not a video game is a good fit for my gameplay style, there’s one question always at the forefront of my mind: Can you pet the dog?

Yes, you can pet Cerberus, the three-headed hound of hell, in “Hades.” Give Cerberus enough head pats, and you can even unlock a special achievement.

Check out the popular Twitter account @canyoupetthedog for more video games featuring interactions with man’s best friend.

You can have it both ways in ‘Hades.’

Screenshot of the video game Hades with instructions

During your quest to fight your way out of Hell, you encounter Olympians who assist you in various ways with your journey. You can build up relationships with the Olympians through chatting and exchanging gifts.

Whether you want to romance Thanatos (your childhood friend and death incarnate) or Megaera (your former foe and one of the Furies), “Hades” gives you the choice of who you want as your underworld lover, and even allows you to build a special relationship with both characters. 

The ‘Hades’ soundtrack is so soothing.

Screenshot of the video game Hades with a character names Orpheus on screen

From the crescendoing drumbeat of “No Escape” to the soothing falsetto of “Hymn to Zagreus,” the incredible soundtrack by composer Darren Korb cultivates the perfect vibe for hours and hours of relaxing gameplay.

The “Hades” album is available for listening on music streaming platforms such as Amazon Music and Spotify.

I enjoy ‘Hades’ even more on my Xbox than when I played on Switch.

Screenshot of the video game Hades with blue flames on screen

When I played “Hades” on my Nintendo Switch, I completed most of the game in handheld mode. The Switch is very convenient and fits well into my lifestyle, but I enjoyed playing the hellish action game even more on my Xbox One.

The controls feel smoother when using my Xbox, and I love how the animation looks on the big screen in 1080p. Xbox Series X|S owners can enjoy the game with even better quality in up to 4K Ultra HD.

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‘NBA 2K22’ launches on September 10 and you can preorder the game now to snag exclusive bonuses

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Luka Doncic NBA 2K22
Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic appears on the cover of “NBA 2K22” ahead of his fourth NBA season.

2K22 (medium)

NBA 2K22,” the world’s top basketball simulation game, will launch on September 10 for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC. Special editions of the game are available in celebration of the NBA’s 75th anniversary and the 25th anniversary of the WNBA.

Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic graces the cover of the standard edition, while the 75th anniversary edition features Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant, Mavericks all-time great Dirk Nowitzki, and NBA all-time leading scorer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Chicago Sky forward Candace Parker is the first WNBA player to be featured on an “NBA 2K” cover, appearing on the WNBA 25th anniversary edition.

Players interested in upgrading their game from PS4 to PS5 or Xbox One to Xbox Series X|S will need to buy the digital cross-gen version of the game from the respective console store for $80.

In the past, 2K has given customers who preorder a chance to play the game a few days early, but “NBA 2K22” will have a simultaneous release for all versions. All players who preorder “NBA 2K22” will receive in-game rewards when it launches, as long as they buy before September 10.

What’s new in ‘NBA 2K22?’

“NBA 2K” saw major graphical improvements with the leap to the next-gen PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S consoles last year. “NBA 2K22” further optimizes those visuals on the new consoles, while players on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC can expect improved animations compared to last year’s game.

PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X versions will also let players explore a new city environment in the game’s MyCareer and Neighborhood modes. Meanwhile, the neighborhood mode on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC will be staged on a cruise ship.

All versions of “NBA 2K22” incorporate seasonal rewards across multiple modes, challenging players to complete tasks and unlock in-game items. Each season will last six weeks, with nine total seasons of rewards planned before the release of “NBA 2K23.”

NBA 2K22” will also include more robust features for WNBA modes, like improved progression during season and MyCareer modes, and easier matchmaking with friends when playing online. 2K Games plans to release more details about the MyCareer mode and gameplay changes in the days before release.

‘NBA 2K22’ preorder bundles

NBA 2K22 Covers
The cover stars of “NBA 2K22” include Candace Parker, Luka Doncic, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Dirk Nowitzki, and Kevin Durant.

NBA 2K22” will launch with four different editions on September 10. Every edition includes preorder bonuses, but they vary based on which version you buy.

The standard version of “NBA 2K22” starts at $60 on Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Players on PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X|S will have to pay $70. If you think you’ll be upgrading to a PS5 or Xbox Series X|S in the future, you can pay $80 for the cross-gen bundle (PlayStation, Xbox) to access “NBA 2K22” on current and next-gen consoles without having to re-purchase the game.

The $100 NBA 75th anniversary edition of “NBA 2K22” offers the most rewards, while the $70 WNBA 25th Anniversary Edition features the same rewards as the standard edition, but with a special cover featuring Candace Parker that’s only available from GameStop or the 2K store.

Here’s a full breakdown of preorder bundles for each ‘NBA 2K22’ edition.

‘NBA 2K22’ standard edition

  • Price: PS5 ($70), Xbox Series X|S ($70), all other platforms ($60)
  • Virtual currency: 5,000 VC
  • MyTeam points and tokens: 5,000 MyTeam points
  • MyTeam packs: 10 MyTeam promo packs (one per week)
  • MyCareer boosts: A boost for each MyCareer skill type
  • Gatorade boosts: A boost for each Gatorade boost type
  • MyTeam cards: 95 Rated Luka Doncic MyTeam free agent card
  • MyPlayer rewards: Luka Doncic MyPlayer Jersey

2K22 (medium)

‘NBA 2K22’ cross-gen edition

  • Price: PS4/PS5 ($80), Xbox One/Xbox Series X|S ($80)
  • Virtual currency: N/A
  • MyTeam points and tokens: 10,000 MyTEAM points, 10 MyTeam tokens
  • MyTeam packs: 22 MyTEAM promo packs (receive 10 at launch, then three per week for four weeks), 10 MyTEAM tokens
  • MyCareer boosts: 10 boosts for each MyCareer skill boost type
  • Gatorade boosts: 10 boosts for each Gatorade boost type
  • MyTeam cards: Sapphire Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Dirk Nowitzki, and Kevin Durant; Diamond Jordan Shoe; and Coach card MyTeam pack
  • MyPlayer rewards: MyPlayer backpack and arm sleeve, custom-design skateboard, four cover athlete t-shirts

‘NBA 2K22’ 75th anniversary edition

  • Price: All platforms ($100)
  • Virtual currency: 100,000 VC
  • MyTeam points and tokens: 10,000 MyTEAM points, 10 MyTeam tokens
  • MyTeam packs: 22 MyTEAM promo packs (receive 10 at launch, then three per week for four weeks), 10 MyTEAM tokens
  • MyCareer boosts: 10 boosts for each MyCareer skill boost type
  • Gatorade boosts: 10 boosts for each Gatorade boost type
  • MyTeam cards: Sapphire Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Dirk Nowitzki, and Kevin Durant; Diamond Jordan Shoe; and Coach card MyTeam pack
  • MyPlayer rewards: MyPlayer backpack and arm sleeve, custom-design skateboard, four cover athlete t-shirts

‘NBA 2K22’ WNBA 25th anniversary edition

  • Price: PS5 ($70), Xbox Series X|S ($70)
  • Virtual currency: 5,000 VC
  • MyTeam points and tokens: 5,000 MyTeam points
  • MyTeam packs: 10 MyTeam promo packs (one per week)
  • MyCareer boosts: A boost for each MyCareer skill type
  • Gatorade boosts: A boost for each Gatorade boost type
  • MyTeam cards: 95 Rated Luka Doncic MyTeam free agent card
  • MyPlayer rewards: Luka Doncic MyPlayer Jersey
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How to set up your Nintendo Switch for repair when it’s not working properly

nintendo switch with joy-con controllers detached
You can initiate a repair for your Nintendo Switch through Nintendo’s website.

  • You can set up your Nintendo Switch for repair after contacting Nintendo Support through the options provided on Nintendo’s website.
  • If you purchased your Nintendo Switch less than a year ago and it is not physically damaged, your repair is likely free.
  • When sending your Nintendo Switch to a repair center, carefully wrap and pad the console to prevent any damage during shipping.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

If your Nintendo Switch isn’t working correctly and you’ve tried to troubleshoot your issue to no avail, your first step is to contact Nintendo Support via online chat, text message, or phone. If that doesn’t resolve your issue, it’s time to send in your console to a repair center.

All Nintendo products are covered by a limited hardware warranty which covers manufacturing defects for 12 months from the date of purchase, so any repairs done during this time frame should be free. However, if your device isn’t working correctly because of physical damage, it might not be covered. The turnaround time for repairs may be a few weeks.

How to set up a Nintendo Switch repair

Before you send in your Switch for repair, you should first contact Nintendo’s customer support to troubleshoot the particular issue, if possible, and then initiate a repair order.

1. Go to the Nintendo Support website. Select your region.

2. Scroll down to the Quick Links section at the end of the page. Click Contact Us.

nintendo support website contact us
You’ll want to contact Nintendo Support before you initiate a repair. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to select “Contact Us.”

3. Scroll down to the list of contact options, then choose the one you prefer. Options include Chat, Text Message, Phone, and submitting a Help Ticket.

nintendo support page contact options
Choose any of the four methods to contact Nintendo Support.

4. Complete the troubleshooting steps suggested by a member of the Support team for your specific issue.

5. If the issue is still not resolved, to initiate a repair, you’ll need to agree to Nintendo’s Online Repair Terms and Conditions.

6. Create a repair profile or log into an existing repair profile. This is where Nintendo will communicate information and updates about your repair.

7. Enter the serial number of your Nintendo Switch to verify its warranty status.

8. Fill out the repair details, your shipping details, and your billing information.

9. Once you’re finished filling out your repair order, click Complete. You will receive an email with repair instructions shortly after.

How to package your Nintendo Switch for repair

Once you’ve set up your repair order, it’s time to package your Nintendo Switch and send it to Nintendo.

1. Write a repair letter and include it with your Nintendo Switch. The letter should include basic information like your name, return shipping address, and phone number. It should also include your repair order number, a brief description of the problem with your Nintendo Switch, and a list of all of the items enclosed in the package.

2. Place your Nintendo Switch and letter in a plain box, wrapping it in clear cling wrap (the kind you use in the kitchen) then padding it well to prevent damage during shipping.

  • If you’re reusing a box, remove or completely cover any old labels. It must be a box and not a padded envelope.
  • Do not include any games or accessories (unless those are part of the repair order). If including small items or games, put them in a sealable plastic bag.
  • Know that stickers and screen protectors may not be returned, so if you’d like to keep them, remove them from your Switch before sending.

3. Attach the shipping label provided by Nintendo to the box. Alternatively, write the repair center address, your return address, and the repair order number on the outside of the box.

4. Seal the box with tape and drop it off with the appropriate shipping carrier.

2 ways to fix a Nintendo Switch that won’t turn on, without losing any data3 ways to fix a Nintendo Switch that isn’t charging properlyHow to soft reset or factory reset a Nintendo Switch to fix software issues and glitchesHow to unfreeze a Nintendo Switch in 4 different ways when it stops responding

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‘The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD’ revitalizes one of Nintendo’s most polarizing games for a new generation on Switch

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The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword Artwork 21

Skyward Sword HD (small)

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD” remasters an aging entry in the blockbuster franchise for a new generation of players on the Nintendo Switch. “Skyward Sword HD” launched on July 16; more than 12 years after its original release for the Nintendo Wii.

The Switch version of “Skyward Sword” is visually enhanced and features vital quality of life improvements. Loading times, menus, and mandatory conversations are quicker, speeding up the overall pace. As with all Nintendo Switch games, “Skyward Sword HD” is also optimized for portable play, and it no longer requires motion controls.

As a Wii exclusive, the original “Skyward Sword” made unique use of the console’s motion controls and required an additional device called the Wiimote Plus. These design choices polarized fans who preferred the series’ classic control scheme, but “Skyward Sword HD” gives players the option to choose between motion controls or a new button-only layout.

‘Skyward Sword’ is the beginning of the ‘Legend of Zelda’ storyline

The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword loftwing
In “Skyward Sword,” Link and Zelda are childhood friends from a floating island called Skyloft.

Skyward Sword” is the first game in “The Legend of Zelda” chronology, giving players background on key story elements that continue to recur throughout the franchise.

Players control Link, a knight in training on a floating island called Skyloft. There, Link and his friend Zelda discover they’ve been chosen to fulfill an ancient legend to save the world. Link journeys back and forth from Skyloft to the world below, exploring new areas of the surface and clearing dungeons to find key items for his quest.

‘Skyward Sword’ mixes classic Zelda dungeon crawling with features that inspired ‘Breath of the Wild’

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD Sword
“The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD” explores the origins of Link’s signature weapon, the Master Sword.

Like other Zelda games, “Skyward Sword HD” offers a mix of adventure and puzzle solving with a gentle learning curve. “Skyward Sword” separates itself from other games in the series with its incorporation of motion controls, which are optional on the Nintendo Switch.

Players control the direction of Link’s sword slashes by swinging the right Joy-Con controller, or by using the right analog stick. Other weapons like the slingshot and bow can be aimed using motion controls too, and solving certain puzzles requires specific player movements.

Fans of “The Legend of Zelda” will recognize gameplay elements that inspired “Breath of the Wild,” the critically acclaimed title that launched alongside the Switch in 2017. “Skyward Sword” was the first “Zelda” game to feature a stamina meter and a crafting system for improving items. However, some of the mechanics used for platforming and motion controls in “Skyward Sword HD” still feel rough around the edges.

A new button-only option makes ‘Skyward Sword’ more accessible, but the motion controls are surprisingly accurate

The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword motion controls bow
The controls of “Skyward Sword” can still be a bit cumbersome for new players.

Adding a button-only controller option to “Skyward Sword HD” makes it work on the portable Switch, but much of the game was designed with motion controls in mind. Puzzles and fights require precise movements, regardless of whether you’re using the controller’s analog stick or waving your arm with a Switch Joy-Con in hand.

Personally, I prefer using button-only controls due to my familiarity with past Zelda games, but I still find myself frustrated at times when trying to control the camera. The motion controls in “Skyward Sword HD” are surprisingly accurate but you’ll spend a lot of energy swinging and aiming during the more than 30 hours of gameplay.

Skyward Sword HD” also gives players the option to mix button-only and motion controls, so you can aim or move the camera by pointing at the screen, but still use the right analog stick for controlling weapons and other actions.

The visuals of ‘Skyward Sword HD’ still look great thanks to unique art design

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD Fi
“Skyward Sword” won’t win any awards for its graphics, but the environments still look solid after the high definition upgrade.

As the title implies, “Skyward Sword HD” improves the game’s visuals from 480p standard definition to a full 1080p high definition image. The frame rate has also been increased to 60 frames per second to offer smoother animations than the original release.

While some animations look a bit stiff 12 years later, the game’s art style and presentation still hold up well after all these years. Nintendo also improved the pace of “Skyward Sword” by adding an auto-save feature, automatically skipping over repetitive text, and making mandatory conversations quicker than before.

“Skyward Sword” doesn’t offer the full open-world exploration that made “Breath of the Wild” a modern masterpiece, but it does have one of the largest Zelda worlds to date. Te dungeon designs are also notably more complex than the shrine puzzles in “Breath of the Wild.”

‘Skyward Sword HD’ revives a great game for a new generation, but it’s not the best Zelda on Switch

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD Master Sword

Skyward Sword HD” is an excellent update to a classic action-adventure game, though it shows its age at times. We recommend it for any Nintendo Switch owner, and it’s one of the best Switch exclusives of 2021.

Fans of “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” should feel right at home and players who skipped out on the mandatory motion controls of the original “Skyward Sword” will be able to experience the game without issue.

However, the controls can still be a bit cumbersome, so newcomers to the “Zelda” franchise might want to try “Breath of the Wild” or “The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening,” a redesigned version of a series classic on the Switch.

You can find ‘Skyward Sword’ in stores now, along with these other Zelda collectibles from Nintendo

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD” is available now for the Nintendo Switch. The games carries a list price of $60, but we’ve already seen some physical copies go on sale for $10 off. A digital version is also available to download directly onto your Switch from Nintendo’s eshop.

Along with the game, Nintendo is selling Joy-Cons with a special “Skyward Sword” design, and an amiibo figure of Zelda and her loftwing, the flying bird that helps her travel around Skyloft.

Skyward Sword HD (button)

For more gaming coverage, be sure to check out all of our Nintendo Switch guides, roundups, comparisons, and explainers below:

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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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