Call it an inevitability or preparation for what’s next. Nintendo has a habit of stopping the printing of their first party titles towards the end of a console’s life cycle. Don’t worry though, the games in question don’t go away entirely!
What happens when a first party game goes out of print?
The first edition of a game becomes more difficult to track down over time. In its place, Nintendo re-prints the game with a new label, typically a specific banner signifying being part of a specific selection of games. On the Wii family of consoles, including Wii U, these titles were known as Nintendo Selects. The difference on the box between the original print and the new print was a gold Nintendo seal with a red background versus the normal blue banner (Wii U) or white banner (Wii).
Will Nintendo Switch be getting its own Nintendo Selects?
The early indicators seem to be pointing in that direction. Such a decision tends to sundown a console. We even see that echoed in Nintendo’s competitors. Switch has a multitude of strong first party titles that have sold well and reprinting them could potentially grab the attention of avid collectors, increasing their sales all over again. However, this could also increase the rarity of certain harder to find physical editions, such as Astral Chain or Bayonetta 2, if reprints under a new banner are issued.
Which Switch games have gone out of print?
Metroid Dread physical release is only available at Best Buy right now: https://t.co/kAqZYitC8M
Target – Removed from system
GameStop – Removed from system
Amazon – Unavailable
Walmart – Unavailable pic.twitter.com/au7oCa5QYk
— Nintendeal (@Nintendeal) January 8, 2024
As of the release of this article, Paper Mario: The Origami King, Pikmin 3 Deluxe and Metroid Dread are confirmed unavailable to order from Amazon, which the US Nintendo website directly stocks. The surprising fact is that all three games mentioned above are three years old or less. Older physical Switch titles such as New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe and Kirby Star Allies have also been rotated out of online storefronts but that makes sense given their lengthier time on sale. A full list of currently out of print titles can be viewed below:
• Paper Mario: The Origami King
• Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
• The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (2019)
• Pikmin 3 Deluxe
• Metroid Dread
• Kirby Star Allies
• Xenoblade Chronicles 2
• New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe
• Fire Emblem: Three Houses
• Fire Emblem: Engage
• Yoshi’s Crafted World
• WarioWare: Get it Together!
• Nintendo Switch Sports
• Super Mario Odyssey
• Splatoon 2
• Super Mario Maker 2
• Mario Strikers: Battle League
Will Nintendo print new physical editions of their best sellers?
Considering how well The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild, Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe have already sold on Switch, there would seem to be little benefit to continue selling them. However, selling them with a new banner or box art could increase their sales all over again. Though that seems an unnecessary move considering just how many copies the 3 aforementioned games have moved. Neither of them are difficult to find or listed as being out of print either.
Does this mean a new console announcement is imminent?
We don’t know! It’s easy to get excited about what this news could mean (and we are!), but Nintendo is shut like a lock when it comes to talking about the Switch’s successor. Rest assured, if any official information does come from the Big N, we’ll be talking about it!
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