While the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One saw significant price cuts for Black Friday, Nintendo’s marquee deal was the same as last year’s: a standard Switch for $299.99 with a free download of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. According to early analysis from Wedbush Securities, the Switch was one of the most popular items on Black Friday, meaning sticking with the same deal and price as last year served Nintendo (and shoppers) just fine.
Analysts from Wedbush told CNN that the success of the Switch this Black Friday may be “a reflection of the competition feeling a bit long-in-the-tooth.” Though both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 had Black Friday bundles on lower-end models that brought the price down to $200 or cheaper, it seems the looming Holiday 2020 releases of the PS5 and Project Scarlett made them less attractive than Nintendo’s hybrid console-handheld. At the time of publication, the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe bundle is still available from Amazon and other retailers, and “Nintendo Switch Cyber Monday” ranks in the top ten searches on Google Trends in the United States.
While it seems unlikely that the Switch will see a next-gen revision in a similar timeframe, folks who bought the Black Friday bundle may not know they’re rocking an older Switch model. As Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad pointed out in early November, the model of Switch included in Nintendo’s Black Friday bundle is the original 2017 model, as opposed to the revised version with improved battery life that started hitting store shelves around the same time as the Switch Lite.
Nintendo didn’t promote any deals for the Lite and until we also know how the $199.99 handheld-only model faired, we won’t have a full picture of how the Switch as a platform faired this Black Friday. Since its launch, we’ve learned that the Switch Lite sold close to two million units within its first two weeks on sale, and last month Doug Bowser, the president of Nintendo of America, said that Switch Lite sales haven’t taken away from those of the original.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is still the title with the highest attach rate of any Switch game, yet it’s been a while since the game has received any significant updates. In 2018, the title received Labo control support and a free Breath of the Wild add-on—if the strong Black Friday does encourage Nintendo to show Mario Kart 8 Deluxe some love in the future, the updates will be reaching an audience of close to 20 million players, or about half of the reported Switch install base so far.