When do Nintendo games go on sale?
Nintendo is the oldest and most well-known video game company today with hit franchises like Super Mario Bros, Pokemon, Donkey Kong, and Kirby. Ever since the release of the original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), they have figured out how to dominate every console generation even when they didn’t have the most powerful console.
And with every console or handheld, they release Nintendo keeps growing its user base and innovating to keep things fresh. But with all this popularity it also means one thing. Their games never seem to go on sale!
Even months or years after a release popular titles on the Nintendo Switch are still selling at the same retail price they sold for when they first released. But I’m here to tell you that Nintendo games do go on sale and here are some tips on when that happens so that you can save money the next time you are looking for a Nintendo Switch game.
Black Friday is typically the name given to sales that occur the Friday directly after Thanksgiving (in the USA). But over the years Black Friday sales have migrated all the way to the beginning of November. Some companies do an entire month of sales during November to push shoppers into spending more money.
But for Nintendo shoppers, this means huge savings. In my opinion, this is the best time to snag a great deal on a Nintendo game. GameStop while they still last has typically sold games buy 1 get 1 free or buy 2 get 1 free. Even though these are usually used games there is no shame in buying used cartridges as they last forever.
Other retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart take this opportunity to heavily discount games also. They will generally discount games that typically retail for $59.99 and knock off $10 to $30 dollars.
For example, for Black Friday 2022, Wal-Mart had Legend of Zelda Link’s Awakening on sale for $29.99. That game now retails for $49.99 in 2023. They also had other various Nintendo Switch games discounted up to 50% off.
If you don’t mind purchasing your games digitally you can always watch for Nintendo games on sale during special events. On 4/19/2023 Nintendo did an Indie Games (Nintendo Direct) show to promote indie game development on the Switch. To help keep the spotlight on this they ran an indie game sale on their digital store. With prices up to 75% off you could get some games for under $5.
Also, every Thursday Nintendo does a sale on select digital games in their Switch store. You can find some pretty heavy discounts but it will all be digital only.
Previously also around E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo), they would run a big sale but it looks like E3 might be dead. However, Nintendo is doing what is called Nintendo Directs now. These will be more frequent events and more compact. More than likely sales will correspond to the Nintendo Direct shows.
MAR10 (March 10, Mario Day)
Another special event to watch for is March 10 of every year. Nintendo likes to play on the MAR10 looks like Mario and you can occasionally catch Mario-related games on sale on this day. Other retailers like to pick up on this action also so keep an eye out for deals from those retailers that might carry Switch games.
Most big digital gaming stores like Xbox and Sony like to run sales around holidays. One of those big promotion times is around Halloween. Typically you can find horror or horror-related games on sale during October so if you are in the market for horror genre Switch games that might be your time to buy.
Are Nintendo Games on Steam?
No. Unfortunately, Nintendo games are only on the Nintendo eShop or you must purchase physical copies from big box retailers or Amazon. Steam is not authorized to sell Nintendo games. Although I imagine they could get a license to sell digital copies it wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense because you could only play them on a Nintendo Switch.
Nintendo is also very particular about people playing older versions of their popular games. They don’t like for anyone to emulate game ROMs illegally and will shut them down very quickly.
Where can I get the best deal on Nintendo Games?
Maybe you are having issues finding sales for Nintendo games. If so there are some websites that provide an up-to-date list and historical tracking for Nintendo game prices.
But if you can do a little leg work and want a good deal on physical copies you have a few options.
- Facebook Marketplace
On all 3 of these sites, you can find not only used physical copies of games but new copies of Nintendo games. And because they offer some good filtering and sorting you can usually find a good deal on a Nintendo game. Just make sure and check the seller’s feedback so you don’t buy from a shady seller.
One of the best ways to catch a Nintendo game on sale is to buy them on clearance at big box retailers. Retailers like Walmart or Best Buy will want to eventually move products so they will mark down older games significantly to make room for new releases.
Walmart also will put its Nintendo games on clearance during store remodels. Every few years they remodel their stores and with those remodels they would rather sell off inventory than have to move it around. The other day I picked up some Nintendo Switch games for 60% off in my local Walmart because they are remodeling the store.
While Nintendo games may seem to never go on sale, there are actually a number of ways to snag a great deal on your favorite titles. Black Friday sales, special events, seasonal sales, and websites that track historical pricing can all help you save money on your Nintendo Switch games.
And if you don’t mind purchasing used physical copies or digital-only versions, you can also find great deals on websites like eBay, Mercari, Facebook Marketplace, or Nintendo’s eShop. So keep an eye out for upcoming sales and events every Thursday.