The best buys for the Nintendo Switch might not only be coming from Best Buy. Pre-orders have opened for the new console, and Nintendo has officially released all of the important details as of January 12.
Officially releasing to the public on March 3, the Switch could easily become another target of scalpers, much like the NES Classic Edition did. You still can’t buy a new one online for less than $100, and Nintendo hasn’t made enough supply to meet the demand. Nintendo is planning to release a limited number of pre-orders directly at its New York City Nintendo World location, and it’s unknown if that limited production will be reflected elsewhere.
At $299.99, the hybrid console is a more hefty dent in your wallet than the actual retail price of the NES Classic Edition. Good luck finding the latter at $60, though, since scalpers already control the market on those.
Best Buy, Walmart, Target, and GameStop have all begun accepting pre-orders, and it doesn’t appear that the scalpers are about to ruin anything this time. The only high-cost price tags are for the console with extras like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, 1-2 Switch, Has Been Heroes, and a Clean and Protect Kit. The Ultimate Bundle also comes with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Redout, Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth, and Just Dance 2017 at $637.99.
Walmart appears to have the actual best buy, offering the Nintendo Switch console and Joy-Con controllers with no extras at $299.96. At merely three pennies off, it’s really up to you where you prefer to pre-order the console. Remember that Walmart’s least expensive deal doesn’t come with any games, and you’ll have to buy them on the side. The positive side of that is that you can choose which game or games you want if you don’t really want the ones which come with GameStop’s $437.99 or higher bundles.
Amazon has had a listing for the game The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on Wii U with a March 31 release date, so it’s unclear if the bundles are the only way you can get it before that date. They haven’t started accepting pre-orders for the Switch yet unless the scalpers have already bought them all on Amazon.
It appears that Nintendo is following the same path as Sony and Microsoft this time, locking multiplayer behind a paywall. Their paid online subscription service, as revealed by The Verge, hasn’t had many details released surrounding it. Only Nintendo knows at this point if possible apps like Netflix or YouTube will be locked behind the paywall as well, which goes into effect this Fall. This means the service will be free until then, and then there will only be a free trial for latecomers.
Much like Xbox Games with Gold and PS Plus, Nintendo is adding the incentive of one classic NES or SNES game download every month, though GameSpot reports that you won’t be able to keep the free games for more than a month. It also means that one of the primary features of Pokemon titles (multiplayer battles) will require you to pay Nintendo monthly.
Of course, this depends on Nintendo releasing a Pokemon title on the console, which GameStop allegedly leaked. This has not been confirmed, and the page has been taken down, according to Forbes
As for mobile gaming, one of the biggest concerns most people would have is how to charge the Nintendo Switch. The company Shigeru Miyamoto built has given it the standard Micro-USB port, which is the same port used in most mobile devices like smartphones. It’s sold separately, but the cables are rather inexpensive. It’s highly likely that Nintendo has built in a lock-out with the software to prevent transferring free games through this port from a laptop.
Nintendo has always been vigilant about piracy, taking proprietary media routes to ensure their games can’t be copied easily.
The screen will be full 720p resolution, which is about standard for most games released on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, as well as the initial versions of Xbox One and PS4. This is fine for smaller screens like the Nintendo Switch but could be jarring if you plan on playing it on your 60-inch 4K TV. The 32 GB of storage space will be a hindrance to bigger games, though, so AAA open-world titles would have to be “dumbed down” to work on the Switch. Of course, Nintendo seems to be remedying that with Super Mario Odyssey.
Good news for fans of Nintendo’s Japanese titles is that the Switch will not be region-locked. If the game is made for Switch, you can play a Japanese title on a console sold in Australia, for example.
Now, the big question is whether you want to wait and buy a Nintendo Switch later, or secure yours today from Walmart, Best Buy, Target, or GameStop.
[Featured Image by Nintendo]