Nintendo is trying to pull a sneaky on ya.
The Nintendo Switch has been featured in many a Black Friday deal this year. For $300, buyers will get the standard Nintendo Switch console and a copy of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. That’s a pretty decent deal; the console normally costs $300 by itself, so buyers are essentially getting Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for free. But there’s a small catch: this is the exact same deal as last year, down to the hardware.
Why is this a big deal? Nintendo released a revamped version of the Switch earlier this year that uses a remodeled Tegra X1 chip. While the new version of the Switch isn’t more powerful than the original release, it gets much better battery life. Like, up to 50-100% better battery life in some games.
But the console that’s being sold in the Black Friday deals you’re seeing everywhere is the older, original console, not the newer model with better battery life.
This isn’t a huge scandal; I doubt that Nintendo or retailers are purposefully trying to pull the wool over consumer’s eyes. Rather, they’re probably trying to clear out the existing stock of this bundle.
Even if this year’s deal includes the older version of the console, it’s not a bad deal, especially if you’re just going to keep the Switch plugged into its TV dock. Rather, this is something of which on-the-fence consumers should be aware.
If you’re an on-the-go gamer or the portable nature of the Switch appeals to you, this should be a no-brainer: avoid the Switch Black Friday deal. Rather, buy the newer version of the console by itself. In my opinion, the extra battery life is worth the cost of a game. Besides, you should be able to pick up a few games on the used market for relatively cheap.
If you’re looking to buy a new Switch, buy the one in the box pictured below (note the solid, bright red background). For reference, the older version’s model number is HAC-001, while the newer version’s (the one with better battery life) model number is HAC-001(-01). Note the “(-01)” marking that it’s a revision.