Nintendo as a company has a long history of improving or redesigning consoles as they start to age. Almost every system they put out would see a streamlined rerelease that improved performance or changed its colors. One of the hidden drawbacks of being an early adopter for a system is discovering that a newer, better version is just around the corner. I don’t know why I didn’t learn when I bought an original Nintendo DS just for the DS lite to come out 6 months later. It was a hard lesson but it speaks to how the company commits to keeping their products fresh.
However, it also explains why word spread quickly that Nintendo might be offering people a way to upgrade their Switch consoles. This month, Nintendo released the first true hardware revision to the system with improved battery life and a slightly better performance. A rumor spread by several gaming websites was that people who just bought the old system in the last few months would be able to trade in their console in order to get the revised system for free.
The story became big enough that Nintendo had to put out a statement to clear the air on the matter. They released an official statement to The Verge to explain that no trade in program was coming for people with the original Switch.
“We do not have a Nintendo Switch exchange program. We always want players to enjoy their Nintendo Switch systems, and if anything ever gets in the way of that, we encourage them to visit http://support.nintendo.com for support, or to contact our consumer support team.”
This is disappointing but not in any way a surprise. Nintendo is, first and foremost, a hardware company and are not about to give away a chunk of inventory for free. They thrive on being able to sell upgrades to entice new users to hop aboard. You can usually tell how well a console or handheld does for Nintendo based on how often they get upgraded. The Game Boy had a pocket version, a color version and all kinds of accessories. The DS has been through multiple iterations especially if you count the 3DS as an upgrade.
That doesn’t mean that frugal gamers can’t find a way to upgrade without paying the full $399 retail price for a new Switch. GameStop still offers their trade in deals that would allow one to get a new Switch for around $100. That is still a chunk of change for essentially 3 more hours of battery life, but it is something. And there is the upcoming Switch Lite that offers a lower cost alternative for people that prefer playing without needing to dock to a TV. Either way, this should serve as a lesson for younger fans who should be grateful they don’t have to buy another N64 cause it had a big fat Pikachu on it.
Cover Photo Credit To Nintendo