Nintendo Switch in India: Does It Make Sense in 2024?

The Nintendo Switch will soon be succeeded by a new console, so does it make sense to buy in India today?

The Nintendo Switch is about to be succeeded by a new console. We don’t know what it will be, but Nintendo has confirmed that it will announce, and most likely release, the Super Switch (wouldn’t that be a cool name) in 2025. But you’ve never owned the Switch thanks to Nintendo’s reluctance to sell it officially in India, and with rumours swirling around a new Nintendo console, you wonder - is it worth buying the Nintendo Switch in India now?

The Switch is a cool console that plays very differently from the PlayStation and Xbox consoles. First released in the middle of the PS4/Xbox One generation in 2017, the Switch has a total of three variations to suit all needs. Entering the console’s seventh year, you’d think that interest in the console from both gamers and developers would be at an all-time low, but the situation is quite the opposite. Now is the best time to get a Nintendo Switch, and here’s why.

Nintendo Switch OLED console surrounded by copies of Super Mario Odyssey, Super Mario Wonder, Super Mario Party and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

I’m writing this because I got the Switch quite late - I bought it last year after debating for years whether it’ll be worth it. I finally bought it because I saw a gorgeous white OLED model being sold for dirt cheap (at least by Nintendo standards in India). What followed was hours of research justifying my impulse buy, and yeah, it was a good decision. After being a PC and PlayStation gamer for most of my life, getting a Nintendo console opened my eyes. I no longer think about the graphical fidelity of games or how many frames they can push on the latest hardware. I’m just having fun with video games. And that’s the best thing about the Switch - its versatile nature and focus on fun factor make it a unique console that can live alongside your more serious gaming machines.

With a new console on the horizon, why bother with a Nintendo Switch now? The answer is simple - price. Gaming is a premium luxury in India. Dropping Rs. 50,000 or close to it on a gaming system is not something most of us can justify, and dropping money on a system without an official warranty or any kind of support sounds absurd. But that’s the kind of money you’d have to spend if you want to remain a gaming enthusiast.

Photo of a Nintendo Switch console by Alvaro Reyes on Unsplash.

However, the Switch can be found for much less these days. A cursory glance at Amazon reveals the OLED model of the Switch selling for around Rs. 33,000. The Switch Lite sells for around Rs. 17,000 with the standard Switch falling somewhere between them. The pricing on these consoles is tied to demand and import fees, and with a Switch 2 on the horizon, it most likely will go lower. However, you can get all variations for the console for much less if you buy it from your local game store. Gameloot has multiple Switch Lite consoles on sale for lower than Rs. 13,000. Granted, all of these are pre-owned consoles, but I’ve used their service long enough to trust them. In fact, I got lucky and snagged my Switch OLED for around Rs. 20,000, complete with a perfectly working dock, joy-con grip, and straps.

So what about a warranty? Well, given that Nintendo doesn’t exist in the country in any official capacity, any purchase of the Switch or games for it is a gamble. However, from my experience with the console and its fan base in the country, finding shops to get your Switch repaired isn’t going to be a big problem if you live in a metro city. Gameloot offers repair services for the Switch, with a screen replacement coming in at Rs. 4,499. For issues related to Joy-con drift, you can get a fix for around Rs. 1,499 if the issue is minor. The repair prices will vary from store to store, but given how long the Switch has been on the market, you shouldn’t have a problem finding a venue for repairs if you look around.

A family of four plays on various Nintendo Switch consoles

The second most common issue with the Nintendo Switch in India is the availability and pricing of games. It’s no secret that Switch games are expensive. Game availability generally depends on their popularity. If you just want to pick up Super Mario Odyssey or The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild, then you’ll find plenty of copies from the usual stores like Amazon and Games The Shop. For games that are more niche (at least in India), you’ll want to stick to local retailers who have a good track record for bringing those titles to the country like MCube Games or Nekavo. Scouring used marketplaces will also get you good deals on games.

However, for games that you can’t find elsewhere, you’ll have to head to the online Nintendo Store. When setting up your Nintendo account for the first time, you’ll have the option to choose your country. With India nowhere in sight on that list for the Switch, you’ll have to choose between the US, the UK, Japan and almost 40 other countries. Choose well though, as the payment methods you’ll have to use will be tied to that country. The easiest way to buy games from the Nintendo Store is with Nintendo eShop Gift cards. You can buy memberships for Nintendo Switch Online with Indian Rupees on Amazon India. But for regular games, you’ll have to head to the Amazon Store of the country that your Nintendo account is linked to.

A white Nintendo Switch OLED console with its Joy-con controllers and dock.

It’s a small hassle to buy Switch games digitally, which is why most Switch users would be better off getting physical copies of games. Given that your Switch purchase may be the first time you’ve bought a Nintendo console, the usual suspects from the developer are relatively easy to find.

If the Switch 2 is coming next year, wouldn’t it be better to wait for it? Given the wild success of the Switch, it’s very likely that the Switch 2 will offer some form of backward compatibility. Earlier last year there were reports of Nintendo showing in-development hardware for the next-gen Switch running Breath of the Wild to developers, which certainly points to a backwards-compatible Switch 2. The problem, as it is with most electronic items for leisure in India, is the price.

The Switch 2 will cost significantly more than what the current console sells for, and availability is going to be very limited at the start, that is if the console even makes it to the country via imports. And then, we have very little idea of the online network that Nintendo will employ for its digital storefront, where the current methods of purchase may not work. And third - you’d probably want to catch up on the existing Switch games anyway before plunging into their sequels that will be gracing the Switch 2’s screen.

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