A Warning About Every Nintendo Switch Black Friday Deal In 2019 – Forbes
If you’ve been browsing any of the recently released Black Friday deals across Target, Walmart, Best Buy or any other retailer, you might have seen a deal for the Nintendo Switch that looks rather strange. It’s a Switch, offered with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for $299.
Not only is that how much a Switch costs anyway, you’re just getting a very specific free game download with it, but it’s also the same deal that Nintendo ran last year for Black Friday at many outlets, same price, same game even.
But if you read the fine print, and you will only find the fine print in a recent PR release from Nintendo, you will learn that you may not want to buy this bundle at all. Scanning through the news release about its Black Friday offerings, you will find this passage:
“*Includes original Nintendo Switch model HAC-001. Battery performance ranges from 2.5 to 6.5 hours. For more information, see support.nintendo.com/switch/battery.”
In other words (as first highlighted by analyst Daniel Ahmad), the Switch attached to all these Black Friday bundles is the one with a shorter battery life, which was recently replaced by the HAC-001(-01) model where battery life is now extended to 4.5 to 9 hours instead.
Nintendo appears to be trying to shift the stock of unsold older units with the worse battery through this Black Friday deal. While I suppose I can’t blame them for wanting to clear that stock, I would guess that nearly everyone looking at these deals would not know that there are two models, and they are getting one with significantly worse battery life for pretty close to the same price.
My advice? Even with a “free” copy of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (at this point you could probably find that game used for $50 or so), you are better off finding the newer Switch model with the better battery. Give how much most people use the Switch in handheld mode, you are significantly better off increasing its battery range 2-2.5 hours than you are getting a “deal” on a single free game here (for reference, the handheld only Switch Lite is $200, with a battery that lasts 3-7 hours).
If you want to find the “correct” Switch you should be buying, I would avoid any of these Mario Kart bundles for Black Friday. Rather, you are looking for the HAC-001(-01) model (not the HAC-001) and a serial number that starts with XKW (not XAW). That’s how you find the Switch with the newer battery if it doesn’t say so on the box (which I don’t believe it does).
Again, I wanted to write this because I have to believe this is something almost all holiday shoppers would not have realized. You may be getting a fractional discount with this bundle, but it’s not worth it for a battery that is 30%+ worse than the newer model, which is not being packaged here. Beware.
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