Nintendo has released a new Switch bundle that pairs the popular game console with a $ 35 credit to its eShop digital store. The company announced the bundle last week, but the deal has now become available at various retailers, including Walmart (which lists it as being up for pre-order as of this writing), Amazon, GameStop, and Best Buy.
The bundle retails for $ 299.99, the Switch’s standard going rate, with the $ 35 credit available in the form of a download code packed with the console. Nintendo says the credit can be put toward any purchase in the eShop. The company has not provided a specific time frame for the new promotion, only saying that the bundle will be available while supplies last.
This isn’t the absolute best deal we’ve seen for the Switch—a handful of coupon codes and one-off promotions have dropped it as low as $ 225 in the past year. But those deals have typically been brief, and getting what effectively amounts to a $ 35 discount is still a pleasant bonus for those who have been interested in picking up the console. For reference, Nintendo’s primary Switch deal for Black Friday was simply bundling Mario Kart 8 Deluxe with the device.
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A boon for business?
The bundle comes at a time where Nintendo seems especially eager to boost Switch sales. The device has been a definitive success for the company since its March 2017 launch; Nintendo last month said it had shipped more than 32 million consoles as of the end of the holiday 2018 quarter. It was the best-selling console in the US last year, according to analysis firm NPD; it has outpaced shipments of most consoles at this point in their life cycle; and it has generally helped revitalize profits after the dismal performance of the company’s prior Wii U console.
All that said, sales of the device have not matched Nintendo’s expectations as of late. The company initially set a sales target of 20 million Switch units for the current fiscal year, but it recently lowered that goal to 17 million as the console’s momentum has cooled. This comes as sales of Nintendo’s 3DS portable console continued an ongoing fall that is now accelerating faster than the company has anticipated.
It’s also worth noting that there have been murmurs of Nintendo releasing new Switch hardware at some point. A January report from Japanese financial news outlet Nikkei.com said that the company may launch a smaller, less feature-rich SKU that’s priced lower than the existing hardware. At the same time, president Shuntaro Furukawa reportedly said last month that the company is not planning a direct successor or price cut to the current console.
While the Switch is not nearly as technically powerful as Sony’s PlayStation 4 or Microsoft’s Xbox One, the device still has the usual cadre of highly regarded first-party titles, and its portability makes it a more flexible piece of hardware. At the end of the day, the new bundle may not bring as big a bump in sales as a steady stream of hit games. But it sweetens the deal either way.