Nintendo’s Flipping Switch
A Quarter’s Worth Interactive Game
Written by John Andreula.
Edited by Kodid Laraque-Two Elk
You’re the parent of a school age child whose birthday is here and they want a new video game console. They’ve made their choice and decided they want a Nintendo Switch.
You’re out of work due to a global apocalypse, but you want to please the little one who has been extremely patient and understanding with sheltering-in-place throughout the year’s societal panic.
Unfortunately, like your job’s industry, Nintendo Switch factories and distribution have also been affected by the global apocalypse, disrupting the availability of your child’s chosen prize.
It’s looks like your mission will be extremely difficult, but you yourself are a gamer! And you’ve never shied away from extreme difficulty.
You’ve got nothing but time on your hands and a lot of love for your kid.
You must prevail.
Ready Player One?
Deciding Which Switch To Buy
There are three different versions of the Nintendo Switch on the market: Nintendo Switch (2017), Nintendo Switch Lite, and Nintendo Switch (2019).
You are playing on the hardest difficulty. Don’t worry, the first level is always the easiest. It’s kind of like the tutorial on how to play the game.
Nintendo Switch 2017 & 2019
The Switch was Nintendo’s 2017 eighth generation clap back to Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4.
The iconic brand that brought gamers home consoles since the NES in 1985 decided they would once again refuse to compete in terms of graphics and processing power with Microsoft and Sony. Instead they would bring forth a system that would work on-the-go, as well as plugged into a television. It also carries forward Nintendo’s motion-sensing controller technology introduced on their previous console, the Wii.
It’s basically what happens when Nintendo’s Game Boy and Wii have a baby and that baby is smarter, faster, and better looking than both its parents.
There are two versions of Nintendo Switch, models HAC-001 and HAC-001 (-01).
The two are indiscernible when placed side by side. They look and operate similarly, but there are significant differences between the two.
Most notably, the 2019 Switch added 2.5 hours of battery life to the 6.5 of the original. The second version also comes with updated processor and flash storage chips. Some say the 2019 version comes with a brighter and warmer screen as well, although the resolution appears the same.
The one drawback to the Switch version 2 (-01) is that the new screen is more difficult to see while wearing polarized sunglasses.
Nintendo Switch Lite
The Switch Lite is a glorified Nintendo Gameboy. Remember Borat’s explanation of the difference between an iPod and an iPod Mini? It’s like that.
Switch Lite has a smaller screen than the other two versions. It doesn’t have Joy-Cons, Nintendo’s detachable motion tracking controllers reminiscent of those found on the company’s famed Wii console . It doesn’t even plug into a television, despite the console being named “Switch” due to the ability to switch between handheld, docked, and tabletop modes.
The only benefit to the Switch Lite is an MSRP of $199.99, $100 less than it’s far superior alternatives.
So Which One Should You Buy?
Switch Lite is dumb. It’s a sucker buy that will only result in you having to buy the Switch 2019 for your kid later and then figure out who else is dumb enough to buy this turd off of you on the resale markets.
If you buy Switch Lite that’s GAME OVER! No extra lives. No continues. Stop buying video games for your child and tell them to go back to eating glue.
The answer is obvious. Buy them a Nintendo Switch (2019), model HAC-001 (-01).
Buying The Nintendo Switch
You walk into any retailer, picking your nose, and you say to the employee, coincidentally also picking their nose, “Let me get a Nintendo Switch (2019), Model HAC-001 (-01), and make it snappy!”
Unfortunately, that’s not how you play the game anymore.
First off, no one is allowed to pick their noses in public, at least not where anyone else can see them. Second, you won’t find a Nintendo Switch in stock at any traditional video game retailers—see introduction.
How Do You Buy A Switch
It’s 2020. It’s time to do what any savvy shopper does and take it to the internet.
A brand new Switch on eBay starts at about $350 plus tax, priced $50 above Nintendo’s suggested retail price of $300. You can find them similarly priced on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace, but neither offer any buyer protections like those found on eBay. That means there’s no recourse if you end up buying a box filled with bricks or anything else besides a brand new Switch.
There’s also always the chance you’ll get robbed or chopped into little pieces when you meet some jabroni off the internet. If that happens that’s GAME OVER! No extra lives. No continues.
You might consider a used Switch for the fifty to seventy dollar discount, but that’s a recipe for disappointment and additional cost later. Your child will have issues with poor battery performance due to the previous owner’s constantly leaving their Switch plugged in and their habitual stream of partial charges.
That’s another GAME OVER! Luckily, there are continues in this instance. Just don’t say you weren’t warned.
The Best Option Then?
Go to Target.com and use your Target Red Card.
You won’t just luck upon a Switch meandering randomly into one of the eighteen hundred plus Target locations, but the eighth largest retailer in the U.S. does have a nifty feature on their website that finds a store nearby with a Switch in stock. You can then place an order online and the store will have your Switch ready for pickup in about four hours.
And Target’s store credit card comes with the perk of 5% off any purchases. That fifteen dollars you’ll save off the retail price won’t quite cover tax, but you’ll be $65 ahead of any of the other methods of purchase previously mentioned. That’s enough to buy your kid a game to go with the console.
That’s right, video games are not included with your new console purchase. And you’re going need to buy some accessories in addition to a game for your little one’s brand new Switch.
You’re Gonna Need What Else?
Games on Switch cost between forty and sixty dollars. There are some mediocre and mundane exceptions, but the cost of many games released even in the system’s launch year still haven’t come down in price much. Your locally owned video game reseller will tell you this is the good news.
When available, used games at mom and pop shops might save you between five and ten dollars compared to those still in factory shrink wrap.
You’ll do a little better on Facebook Marketplace with games. Many sellers are open to trade or deeper negotiations than retailers who are handcuffed by pricing restrictions and overhead.
Plus, there’s less incentive for internet sellers to rob you of thirty or forty dollars than they have when you show up with a sock filled with $350.
Fortunately, there are some deals and free games available on Nintendo Game Store.
If you plan to download any, in addition buying traditional cartridges you’re going to need a microSDXC memory card. Switch comes with a modest 32GB of onboard memory. Some of that space is filled with whatever mysterious data collection software Nintendo can sneak in right out of the box.
Games take upwards of ten and twenty gigs of space, so don’t be shy about splurging on extra memory. MicroSDXC cards are now available with more capacity than you’d believe.
Drops are inevitable and temper-tantrums possible, so your kiddo is going to need a screen protector since the screen is made of plastic—yeah, you read that right. Amazon has many screen protectors available at lower prices than most other retailers.
And if your kid plans to take Switch out of the house as a handheld you’ll need a case. If they plan to take Switch’s dock, one of its Joy Con Grips, a Poké Ball Plus, or a Pro Controller, then they’ll need the larger case instead.
Feeling a bit squeezed yet?
Enjoying Your Switch
You purchase your child their very own Nintendo Switch. You drop an unanticipated additional $200 plus on all the requisite peripherals and a couple games. It’s time to celebrate the fruits of your labor, savings, and brain damage by watching them play by themself.
They can play with other people, but that costs extra as well. You were a gamer when you were younger, so you’re aware that boss levels always throw in a few extra tricks. Luckily, Nintendo Switch Online costs less than Xbox’s and PlayStation’s subscription services.
Despite all the expenditures, Nintendo Switch will provide your child with a top tier gaming experience. Exclusive franchises like Mario, Zelda, and Pokémon alone almost make the Switch worth purchasing .
There are titles for adults and kids alike. There are remakes and ports from as far back as NES and SEGA’s Master System days.
There are games that make good use of the Switch’s motion controls and others that allow players to remain laying on the couch under a pile of Cheetos dust.
Regardless of how or what they choose to play, you made it all happen.
Congratulate yourself, you beat the game! Have some achievements. . .
Just kidding. There’s none of those on the Switch.