If you’ve been gaming on PC, Xbox, or Playstation the past few years, you’ve become accustomed to great sales! Steam’s Summer and Winter are events to look forward to, Sony and Microsoft have caught up with flash sales and heavy discounts, and Amazon/BestBuy have started to simultaneously price match wherever possible.
If you don’t mind waiting a few months, you can grab most games for 30%-80% off.
Alas, Nintendon’t believe in this practice. For example, here’s their Boxing Day sale advertised on their main website.
Turns out the sale was more like a unripe banana, leaving my mouth with a chalky aftertaste.
Metroid Samus Returns reg. $49.99, discounted to $39.99. This is a remake of an OG Gameboy by the way.
How about $10 off a Windwaker HD : a Wii U port of a Gamecube game. Or another $10 off the rest of already discounted Wii U ‘Nintendo Selects’ that any Wii U owner most likely has.
Nintendo’s other big offering is tossing in a $20 gift card if you purchase the New Nintendo 2DS Xl, an update to aging handheld tech that was already underpowered when it first came out. The 3DS library is loaded with great titles and it’s still a great system, but to convince new owners to hop on at this point should always be rewarded with a pack-in game or two, not just during the Holiday sale.
What I’m Used to
This Holiday season was overwhelming with fantastic titles. It was hard to keep up and tougher to not over-buy, keeping in mind how much time I actually have to play, and the games I need to finish first.
I bought 2018’s South Park: The Fractured But Whole for $40. A critically acclaimed 2017 sequel of a game I loved, so I’m sure this is $40 well spent.
Or how about this.
Sure Final Fantasy XV is divisive, but I’m sure there’s enough fun to be had for $33. I bought it earlier this year for $40 and although I bounced off at first, I’m sure I’ll eventually put in enough hours to validate the purchase.
How about Nintendo’s eShop sales at the moment.
Star Fox Zero did not go over well, but for a decent price I’m sure many Wii U owners would take the plunge for a bit of nostagia and the curiousity of what MIyamoto was attempting with the Wii U tablet controls. But the ‘deal’ is $65 for an old dud on a last-gen console?
Getting better, but always behind
There are more sales than Star Fox Zero but their website is so terrible that’s the only one it lists. I’ll have to consult the shop app on my actual Switch console to research other sales and prices.
Steamworld Dig 2 is the same price on Switch and PSN, which are both cheaper than Steam! This is a critically acclaimed hit that was actually released this year.
…That’s what I’ve got so far.
The usual score
Overcooked Special Edition on sale is still $21 (down from $27), while Steam is discounted to $8 (reg. $25). Overcooked is perfect for Joycon multiplayer but the price difference is staggering.
Axiom Verge’s sale price is 2x as much on Switch ($20) to PSN’s $10. Regularly they’re $27 (Switch) and $20 (PSN).
FIFA 18 on Switch is wonderful news to see EA bringing their top franchises to Nintendo. Even better, they’re both the same launch price of $80. Sales are much different however, as the Switch sale price is still $10 higher than PSN.
Retail vs Digital price problem
A big issue currently is the lack of a discount for digital games. Retail sellers don’t want digital to drop below the established price as they fear customers will abandon physical (sooner than the inevitable). Nintendo’s choice to use SD cards also means their production costs are higher, with publishers passing these extra costs onto the customer. This means higher priced Switch physical games, which in turn keeps the digital price higher.
While I love that Nintendo is fully embracing as much indie and third-party software as possible, the premium to play with Nintendo is discouraging. Especially when we’re paying a premium on older indie games that can usually be bought for a steal on other services.
I love my Switch and the direction Nintendo is going, but constantly paying the Nintendo tax is getting old.