Nintendo is one of the few companies we suspect will not suffer as much during this global crisis — given that their main product is an entertainment hub to be used from home (though, unlike its competitors, it is not tethered there). In fact, Nintendo makes so much bank from the Switch and the popular games they make themselves, we don’t expect Nintendo to discount anything right now.
Even though most other companies are offering giveaways and deep sales to keep interest stoked, Nintendo is a super-traditional company and that’s not how Nintendo rolls. They were around for the Spanish Flu of 1918 and you had to pay full price for those Hanafuda cards, and like it.
It’s for that reason we were initially surprised to report that Nintendo is now offering a discounted Switch — and we don’t mean the Switch Lite, we mean the older, bigger brother that plugs into the TV. But then we learned what it actually was. This cheaper Switch is not a store product, it’s a refurbished model being sold exclusively on Nintendo’s website. And it’s not the newer model with the improved battery life — it’s the original from 2017.
Remember when Nintendo offered a “special” Switch bundle for Black Friday that had Mario Kart built in, and gamers eventually snooped out that they were really leftover models from the original run, that Nintendo was just trying to get rid of? Same deal here.
But a slightly lower battery life isn’t the end of the world, and at $259.99, this is the cheapest we’ve ever seen a Switch go for….one guaranteed to work, that is (we’re not sure about the used ones at Gamestop). If you’ve been sighing while sitting on a street curb and watching all your friends play Animal Crossing, here’s a great entry point, and you can get it straight from quarantine.