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The Switch OLED proves the PS Vita was ahead of the curve

Nintendo Switch OLED and PS Vita OLED
(Image credit: TechRadar)

Sometimes there are products that stand the test of time, and after the announcement of the Nintendo Switch OLED, the PS Vita has only enforced this fact even more.

For what felt like years now, rumors were abound regarding what a ‘Switch Pro’, a ‘Switch 2’ or a ‘New Switch’ would entail. From 4K visuals to Bluetooth support for your headphones, there were plenty of hopes as to what a new model would bring after using the same Switch for almost five years.

However, with the new Switch model bringing bigger storage, enhanced audio and of course, a bigger OLED screen, one can’t help but wonder that Sony’s PS Vita not only felt good to use, but it showcased games from twenty five years ago on a fantastic 5.7 OLED screen, alongside many others.

With this in mind, here’s why your spare change may best be for a PS Vita in the meantime while we wait for the true New Super Nintendo Switch Pro 2 U.

A Curriculum Vita

The year was 2012. The UK was awaiting to host the London Olympics, Barack Obama was working to win his second term, and even Windows 8 saw a release with its no-compromise focus. But it was also when Sony’s PS Vita was released in the USA and Europe. 

It had been long rumored as the PSP2, with a bigger display, the addition of an extra analog stick, and much more. What we got was something even better than a PSP2 - we were given a system that was able to play PS2-era games with ease, alongside a 3G model for multiplayer and store purchases, and of course, the OLED screen.

This was only the first model of the Vita, but let's not forget the software as well that eventually heralded features such as folders, party chats, trophies and remote play. Every part of the software was accounted for, and it made the whole prospect of owning a Vita just that much more alluring.

Even with backwards-compatibility, something that Sony are seemingly opposed to now, was a big draw for the handheld. Being able to play Metal Gear Solid, Tomb Raider II and MediEvil on the OLED screen made the whole experience just that much more enjoyable. Even now, you can freely browse the store and purchase another PS1 game such as Ridge Racer, and have it in your bag, ready for the commute.

Before the pandemic struck, I’d always have three devices in my bag - my iPad Pro, my Switch, and the PS Vita. Each device had its own use, but the Vita stood on its own, especially due to the fact I could load up Metal Gear Solid 2 HD while I was on the train.

Press image of the Nintendo Switch OLED

(Image credit: Nintendo)

A Switch 1.5 can’t match the Vita yet

Which brings us to the recent announcement from Nintendo of the Switch OLED. While many rumors were already circulating regarding a new version bringing a 4K resolution and much more, what we got was essentially a 1.5 Switch.

One could argue that this is a plan massively scaled back because of the worldwide chip shortage that has seen many struggle to find a PS5. The same may be true for the Switch OLED come October 8.

However, the Vita brought the whole package alongside the OLED, and even folders, something that, four years on since the release of the original Switch, players are yet to have any additional help in managing their gaming library.

The true Switch Pro may still be on the horizon, but the past only shows that another handheld showcased what could be done with a touch-enabled, OLED handheld that eventually prided itself on backwards-compatibility to honor its past.

Four years on, and we’re yet to even be able to use our own headphones wirelessly with a Switch, alongside no achievements and more. However, Nintendo is always a company to do the unexpected, so we may even see a significant update to the software by the time the Switch OLED model is out.

Daryl Baxter

Daryl had been freelancing for 3 years before joining TechRadar, now reporting on everything software-related. In his spare time, he's written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider', alongside podcasting and usually found playing games old and new on his PC and iPad. If you have a story about a newly-updated app or one that's about to launch, drop him a line.