Nintendo has a long history of providing fans with special collector’s editions of both its consoles and games, particularly when it comes to The Legend of Zelda franchise. This tradition continues with the Nintendo Switch OLED, which saw a special edition version of the console arrive in conjunction with the release of this year’s The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. While the general assumption might be that the Zelda edition of the console is the better model, there are some surprises in store for those debating grabbing the limited collector’s edition hardware rather than the standard Nintendo Switch OLED.
Nintendo Switch OLED vs The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Special Edition Switch OLED: Side-by-Side Comparison
As one would expect, the special edition Tears of the Kingdom Switch OLED maintains all of the upgrades that the standard OLED features over the original Nintendo Switch model. For those unaware of what those upgrades are, they boil down to a larger screen with the additional brightness that an OLED screen provides over the original’s LCD screen. Aside from those minor adjustments, current production runs of the Nintendo Switch and both models of the OLED feature similar battery life, performance, and resolution settings.
|Features||Nintendo Switch||Nintendo Switch OLED||Zelda Switch OLED|
|Screen Size||9.4 x 0.55 x 4||9.5 x 0.55 x 4||9.5 x 0.55 x 4|
|Battery Life||Between 4.5-9 Hours||Between 4.5-9 Hours||Between 4.5-9 Hours|
|Resolution||720p (Handheld) 1080p (Docked)||720p (Handheld) 1080p (Docked)||720p (Handheld) 1080p (Docked)|
|Price||$299.99 MSRP||$349.99 MSRP||$359.99 MSRP|
Nintendo Switch OLED vs The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Special Edition Switch OLED: 4 Must-Know Facts
Here are 4 must-know facts about the standard Nintendo Switch OLED vs the Zelda Special Edition Nintendo Switch OLED:
- Other than the minor cosmetic differences in the dock and Joy-Cons, both the standard edition Switch OLED and the Zelda Switch OLED are identical pieces of hardware.
- Both the standard Switch OLED and the Zelda Switch OLED come with the same components in their box, down to the lack of any included software. Despite what many may think, the Zelda edition of the Switch OLED does not include The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.
- For the subtle Zelda theme that the special edition Switch OLED features on its Joy-Cons and dock, players will pay an extra $10 USD over the MSRP of the standard Nintnendo Switch OLED.
- The Zelda Switch OLED has gold Joy-Cons that feature green and white Zonai runes on the left and right Joy-Cons, respectively. Additionally, the dock features an emblem including the iconic Triforce from The Legend of Zelda and the same spiral pattern on the right Joy-Con.
Nintendo Switch OLED vs The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Special Edition Switch OLED: What’s In the Box?
Regardless of which version of the Switch players choose to purchase, they will be receiving nearly identical contents inside the box. Both the standard Nintendo Switch OLED and the Zelda special edition Switch OLED contain the actual Switch OLED hardware, a pair of detachable Joy-Cons, a dock for the Switch, and the necessary cables to power and connect the console. Both versions of the console feature a LAN port for Internet connectivity but do not come with a LAN cable.
Nintendo Switch OLED vs The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Special Edition Switch OLED: Does Either Include the Game?
Surprisingly, the Zelda edition of the Switch OLED does not actually include a copy of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. Despite featuring the imagery from the game on its packaging and having a release coinciding with the launch of the latest Zelda, neither the standard Nintendo Switch OLED or the Zelda Switch OLED come packaged with an included game. Nintendo’s decision to not include the game is most likely an effort to keep the cost of the unit down and below $400 USD. That said, both the standard Switch OLED and special edition Zelda version of the console have double the on-board storage of the original Nintendo Switch, which provides more than ample space to simply download Tears of the Kingdom from the eShop.
Pricing and Availability Differences
Though the standard Nintendo Switch has an MSRP of $299.99 USD, the Switch OLED and special edition Zelda Switch OLED cost a premium. The cost is warranted given the improvements of the OLED over the regular Switch model, but even the Zelda edition of the OLED is $10 USD more than the standard Nintendo Switch OLED. Although the Zelda edition of the console quickly sold out in most retail locations within the first several weeks of Tears of the Kingdom‘s launch, it can still be found for at or near MSRP. Unlike many other collector’s editions, the Zelda Switch OLED is still readily available with just a bit of searching.
Cosmetics and Collectibility
The standard Nintendo Switch OLED features two colorways, with one version featuring the original red and blue Joy-Con color scheme and a charcoal dock, and the other featuring a white dock and white Joy-Cons. The Zelda Switch OLED is the only way to obtain a version of the console with Legend of Zelda iconography and designs featured on the hardware and peripherals, and as a result it is immediately more of a collector’s item. That said, beyond these cosmetic differences the two consoles are mostly identical.
If you happen to be a fan of The Legend of Zelda and don’t already own a Nintendo Switch, the special edition Nintendo Switch OLED is a great piece of Nintendo fan-service that honors the release of one of the series’ best titles. Even without the console including a copy of the game, what players get is a special, one-of-a-kind version of a great and versatile piece of hardware with hundreds of games in its library. Searching secondary market websites like eBay can even yield the opportunity to find a copy of the console below MSRP, making getting the Zelda version of the OLED practically a no-brainer for series fans without an existing Switch.