Nintendo is a company that wants your money.
Today they announced Nintendo Switch ‘Game Vouchers’; a ploy to have you spend AU$134.95 in advance for two vouchers that can be redeemed for digital games on the e-Shop.
It promises to save buyers a combined AU$34.95 on two full-priced games like the upcoming Super Mario Maker 2 and Smash Bros. Ultimate.
But as always the devil is in the detail.
I love the ‘big N’ but discounts have never been their strong suit, particularly when it comes to rewarding their most loyal fan base.
The Wii U did it best with early adopters offered a ten percent rebate on games they bought digitally.
Spend $100? Get a $10 e-shop game free. Simple.
On Switch, it’s five percent. Small, but hey it’s better than nothing.
Nintendo Club rewards, physical or digital, have been woeful in Australia given the amount you had to spend to earn some Mario-themed posted notes (yes, I bought those).
Meanwhile, the coin based discounts on offer for the first two years of the Switch’s life have almost exclusively catered to 3DS and Wii U titles which the world has either already played, or is no longer interested in given the arrival of their shiny new Nintendo Switch.
Enter the Nintendo Switch Game Vouchers, available only to Nintendo Switch Online subscribers.
I applaud Nintendo for trying, I do. But take a look at the full list of the games currently eligible for a voucher purchase: https://www.nintendo.com/games/voucher-compatible-games/
With the exception of Mario Maker 2, no future Nintendo titles are guaranteed.
Alarmingly, recent releases like Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker aren’t even an option.
Where’s Luigi’s Mansion 3, Fire Emblem Fates, Animal Crossing and Pokemon Sword and Shield?
When a voucher is only eligible for 12 months, you want to KNOW that you’ll be getting bang for your buck.
Sure the availability of this generation’s Zelda, Mario, Splatoon, Xenoblade, Kirby and Yoshi is an incentive for new Switch buyers, but most hardcore fans (like me) already own them.
And lets not get started on the number of full priced ports on offer for a ‘discount’, which any company other than Nintendo would have slashed the price for months if not years ago (I’m looking at you Pokken Tournament, Hyrule Warriors, DKC: Tropical Freeze and Mario Bros U Deluxe).
1-2 Switch should have arguably been free in 2017, not still $80 two years later.
After launching with a half-baked online service and continuing to peddle offers with little guarantee that they’ll continue, I for one won’t be rushing to buy Nintendo’s Game Vouchers today.
The Nintendo Switch Game Vouchers programme is available exclusively to Nintendo Switch Online members. Members are able to purchase a set of two vouchers for AU$134.95 / NZ$148.45, which can each be redeemed for a download version of any game from the programme’s catalogue – allowing two games to be purchased at a reduced price!