The Nintendo Switch Buying Guide You Need




Though the Nintendo Switch is three years old as of March 2020, it remains one of the hottest selling video game consoles on the market. And with good reason – a strong library of games that are enhanced by the Switch’s dual gameplay experiences. If you want to play your games on TV, simply put the console in its dock and remove the controllers (called Joy-Cons). If you want to play on the go, all you need to do is remove the device and play on the built-in HD screen.

An expanded game library, new online functionality, and quality-of-life device upgrades all make the Switch a hot item for every holiday season. But if you’re asking yourself “How can I get a deal on Nintendo Switch?”, then you’ve come to the right place! This Nintendo Switch buying guide will tell you everything you need to know about Nintendo Switch deals, including the best Nintendo Switch games and what the best accessories and add-ons are.

child playing nintendo switch

Nintendo Switch vs Nintendo Switch Lite

When it comes to the Nintendo Switch itself, shoppers have two (or three, depending on your perspective) versions of the device to choose from – the Nintendo Switch and the Nintendo Switch Lite. The differences are key, and extend beyond price. The Nintendo Switch is what you’ve probably seen the past few years – a device that plugs into a dock to play on your TV and then can be taken wherever you head for on-the-go gaming with two detachable controllers on each side. The Nintendo Switch retails at around $299. 

There’s also a newer version, called the Nintendo Switch Lite, which retails at $199, a full $100 cheaper! But if the “Lite” in the name wasn’t an indicator, the Nintendo Switch Lite has a pretty significant difference: it can’t be docked and played on the TV. The Nintendo Switch Lite is purely a handheld console with non-detachable Joy-Con controllers (you can use other controllers on it).

To make your Nintendo Switch shopping even more complex, there’s also a third model you’ll want to consider. This model is also called a “Nintendo Switch” because it’s the same as the one we mentioned above, but it won’t have an improved battery life than you can find in most stores now. There’s a key way to tell which is which – a Nintendo Switch in an all-red box is the newer version of the Switch with a longer battery life, the red-and-white box is the older version with a lower battery life. You won’t see these red-and-white boxes very often anymore, but we bring this up because during some holiday or store sales you may see Nintendo Switch deals on bundles featuring a red-and-white box. Although the original Nintendo Switch with the lower battery life shouldn’t cause you any problems, it’s still a factor to consider when you’re trying to compare Nintendo Switch offers.

Start Your Nintendo Switch Shopping at Gamestop

Best Nintendo Switch Games

Super Mario. The Legend of Zelda. Pokemon. These are just some of the many worldwide franchises that you can only get on Nintendo consoles. The Nintendo Switch offers a wide variety of games from these franchises (and others!), but knowing which Nintendo Switch games to buy can be daunting. Fear not, we’ll help you figure out which games are right by breaking down some of the franchises and which games you should consider first.

nintendo switch mario

Super Mario Odyssey

The first 3D open-level Super Mario game to have been released since Super Mario 64, Super Mario Odyssey takes the plumber across worlds to once again defeat Bowser. The experience is made fresh by the vast amount of collectibles in unique and vibrant worlds, as well as Cappy – Mario’s hat that he uses to throw enemies, perform daunting jumps, and turn into objects such as a tree or a dinosaur (yes, seriously). This is another Nintendo Switch game you’ll find on many sales lists, and definitely should be taken advantage of when you find a good Nintendo Switch deal!

Super Smash Bros Ultimate

Super Smash Bros is a fighting game that seems to transcend genres. It can be the ultimate party game, or it can be ultra-competitive. It can be perfect for beginners, but it is a Nintendo Switch game that takes eons to master. The newest version for the Nintendo Switch, Ultimate, features the biggest cast of fighters in the series ever by bringing every single fighter back – and bringing some new ones on in the process. Now you can see Mario, Link, Pikachu, and Samus Arin square off against Solid Snake, Banjo-Kazooie, Ryu, and Piranha Plant. And that’s only the tip of the insanity iceberg.

Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield

After 20-plus years of waiting, one of gaming’s most iconic franchises is coming to a home console device with the release of Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield. This new adventure takes place in a British-inspired world with British-inspired Pokemon. This was one of the biggest selling video games of 2019 – despite coming out in mid-November – and is definitely worth picking up when you buy a Ninendo Switch!

Luigi’s Mansion 3

It’s tough being Luigi. He was always player 2 to Mario, and his own adventures have seen him in weird knock-off games from the Super Nintendo era, or haunted houses. Luigi’s Mansion 3 continues the haunted house tradition of throwing the green plumber in a spooky environment where he must capture ghosts, only this time it’s not just a house – it’s a whole hotel!

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild & Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening

Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was one of only two launch games when the Nintendo Switch came out in March of 2017, and it was received as one of the best Nintendo Switch games ever made. This is not a light statement: the open-world environment with the freedom to adventure and creative ways to keep the player motivated to explore is revolutionary, and had never been achieved so well in a video game before. Almost three years later this game is still a joy to play – and because it is almost three years old there will likely be plenty of sales on it!

Likewise, Link’s Awakening is a classic, 2D style Zelda game that was remade from an original Game Boy game. The Nintendo Switch game plays great and is perfect for someone who likes the experience of an old school Zelda game, but may shy away from a more open, free-forming experience that Breath of the Wild boasts.

Other Nintendo Switch Games to Consider Buying

  • Fire Emblem: Three Houses
  • Super Mario Party
  • Super Mario Maker 2
  • Super Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
  • The Witcher 3
  • Yoshi’s Crafted World
  • Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3
  • Overwatch

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nintendo switch

Nintendo Switch Online

There are many Nintendo Switch games that can be played online, but like the Xbox and Playstation counterparts, Nintendo has their own paid online experience. Nintendo Switch Online can be purchased on a monthly or annual basis, with prices varying depending on how long you get a subscription.

Nintendo Switch Online enables you to play games online with other people, like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Super Smash Bros Ultimate, and Super Mario Maker 2. Additionally, Nintendo Switch Online also offers Nintendo and Super Nintendo games for free.

At $20 for an annual subscription, you’ll get access to a huge library of classic games from the 8-bit and 16-bit era of gaming, many of them updated with online functionality. You can buy Nintendo Switch Online through Nintendo or via a Nintendo Switch Online card. The cards are available at most retailers and they are a great Nintendo Switch deal for any gamer who wants to bring his game playing online.

Nintendo Switch Accessories

Once you buy a Nintendo Switch console, games, and the Nintendo Switch Online subscription selected, whether for yourself or as a gift, you’ll want to think about accessories. The Nintendo Switch has a wide range of accessories to take advantage of, but these are some of the most essential:

nintendo switch joy cons

Extra Joy-Cons

The Joy-Con controllers are great because they can be used separately as two controllers, or together as one controller. Getting an extra pair of Joy-Con controllers expands your controller options from 1-2 to 3-4, and for Nintendo Switch games like Super Mario Party a Joy-Con controller is the only type of controller that can be used.

Carrying Case

The Nintendo Switch is the ultimate on-the-go system, so it’s worth making sure that the console is protected when you, or whoever you’re buying for, is out and about! The Nintendo Switch carrying case comes in a variety of styles to keep your Switch console and games organized in one central place.

Screen Protector

Bringing the Switch everywhere you go means you run the risk of scuffing up the screen. Unlike a smartphone, the screens aren’t as easily replaced. So, why risk it? Get a screen protector when you buy a Nintendo Switch! It’s a small, but smart, investment.

Power Bank

There are many portable power banks available, so do your research to ensure you’re getting a power bank that holds enough juice to help recharge a Nintendo Switch when it runs low on battery life. Also, be mindful that the Switch is charged via USB-C, so you’ll either need a USB-to-USB-C cord, or get a power bank with a USB-C port to plug the Switch into.

Nintendo Switch Pro Controller

Simply put, this is one of the best controllers ever made. It’s comfortable, responsive, has a rechargeable battery that lasts up to 70 hours, and will likely be on sale during the holidays! 

nintendo switch

Ready to Find the Best Nintendo Switch Deals?

If you’re ready to start shopping, make sure you install the Piggy Chrome Extension or our new and improved Mobile App ahead of time to get the best Nintendo Switch deals you could imagine! Start your Nintendo Switch shopping by looking for deals at Walmart or Gamestop, and Piggy will get you amazing savings automatically.

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