All posts in “Nintendo Switch”

New Nintendo Switch at lowest price *ever* with this Amazon coupon

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Save instantly on a new Switch that boosts your playing time.
Save instantly on a new Switch that boosts your playing time.

Image: Nintendo

TL;DR: Grab a portable Nintendo Switch with improved battery life for only $274.99 with an Amazon coupon. It’s rare to see a direct discount on the actual Switch console, which could mean some great deals on the holiday horizon. 


Last week, we highlighted a pretty good deal on the new Nintendo Switch model that came with a free $25 Amazon gift card. A fine deal for sure, but you have to wait to use the gift card on a future purchase. Now it appears that Amazon is removing that last little hassle with a rare direct discount on one of the hottest consoles. 

You can buy the Nintendo Switch with improved battery life for just $274.99 from Amazon. The discount isn’t reflected in the current price, but an automatic coupon for $24.01 is applied when you add it to your cart. This coupon works for either the neon blue and red Joy-Con or gray Joy-Con models

The instant discount is likely a better offer for anyone in the market for a new Switch. If you have the older model, this sweetens the deal to trade it in and upgrade now. The new model, officially listed as  HAC-001(-01), boosts playtime up to 4.5 to 9 hours. That’s compared to 2.5 to 6.5 hours for the old model. Of course, battery life will vary between graphically heavy games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate versus simpler games like Golf Story

But there’s a reason you might want to hold off on this deal. With two big Nintendo Switch deals back to back in October, this could signal that even better deals could be on the horizon closer to Black Friday. These current deals are likely a way to get more Switch consoles into more hands before the release of Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, the biggest Nintendo game launches this year. And if you wait until Black Friday, you might see better deals on both this model and the budget-friendly Nintendo Switch Lite

This is a pretty impressive deal that we’ve rarely seen on the new Nintendo Switch. You likely won’t regret pulling the trigger today, but just take some time to consider if you really need it now or should wait to see what the holiday season has in store. 

Get a $25 Amazon gift card when you buy a Nintendo Switch

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The improved Nintendo Switch can last up to nine hours on one charge, and it's the same price as the old one.
The improved Nintendo Switch can last up to nine hours on one charge, and it’s the same price as the old one.

Image: nintendo/pexels/mashable photo composite

TL;DR: This sweet Nintendo Switch + gift card bundle makes a double holiday gift — get $25 for free when you buy a Switch for $299.


Have you decided between Pokémon Sword or Pokémon Shield yet?

Customer reviews for each one (and their exclusive legendary Pokémon and gym leaders) probably won’t be out until its release on Nov. 15, but this might make your decision easier: Amazon is handing out $25 Amazon gift cards to anyone who buys a Nintendo Switch.

If you already have a Switch, this is your chance to swipe a really great holiday gift for a gamer on your list while giving a little somethin’ somethin’ to yourself. Putting that $25 gift card toward a $59.99 game will make it yours for just $34.99.

And before you frantically Google the Switch models, yes, this is the new one with improved battery life. The newer and older models are identical out of the box, but this model (HAC-001(-01), officially) will get you anywhere from 4.5 to 9 hours of playtime. Nintendo has estimated that the battery will last approximately 5.5 hours for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Games with less-heavy graphics, like Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, may last longer.

Other awaited Switch releases for 2019 and early 2020 include Trials of Mana, Animal Crossing: New Horizons (!!!), and Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga.

Grab the Switch with improved battery life for $299 plus a free $25 gift card here. If you trade in an old Switch with crappy battery life, you might earn some extra bucks toward your new console.

Nintendo shows off exercise-powered RPG for Switch, Ring Fit Adventure

Nintendo has been at the crossroads of video games and fitness since the famous Power Pad for the NES, and the Switch is the latest to receive a game powered by physical activity: Ring Fit Adventure. And it actually looks fun!

In the game, you’ll jog in place to advance your character, and perform various movements and exercises to avoid obstacles and defeat enemies. Your quest is to defeat an “evil body-building dragon” who has disrupted the peaceful, apparently very fit world of the protagonist. Sure.

The game comes with a pair of accessories: a ring and leg strap, each of which you slot a Joy-Con into. The two controllers work together to get a picture of your whole body movement, meaning it can be sure you’re keeping your arms out in front of you when you do a squat, and not phoning it in during leg raises.

ringfit1

The ring itself is flexible and can tell how hard you’re squeezing or pulling it— but don’t worry, it can be calibrated for your strength level.

Interestingly, the top button of the controller appears to be able to be used as a heart rate monitor. That kind of came out of left field, but I like it. Just one more way Nintendo is making its hardware do interesting new things.

ringfit2

There look to be a ton of different movements you’ll be required to do, focusing on different areas of the body: upper, lower, core, and some sort of whole-body ones inspired by yoga positions. Ingeniously, some enemies are weak to one or another, and you’ll need to use different ones for other scenarios, so you’re getting a varied workout whether you like it or not.

Meanwhile your character levels up and unlocks new, more advanced moves — think a lunge instead of a squat, or adding an arm movement to a leg one — and you can get closer to the goal.

ringfit3

There are also minigames and straight-up workouts you can select, which you can do at any time if you don’t feel like playing the actual game, and contribute to your character’s level anyway.

The idea of gamifying fitness has been around for quite a while, and some titles, like Wii Fit, actually got pretty popular. But this one seems like the most in-depth actual game to use fitness as its main mechanic, and critically it is simple and easy enough that even the most slothful among us can get in a session now and then at their own pace.

Ring Fit Adventure will be available October 18 — no pricing yet, but you can probably expect it to be a little above an ordinary Switch game.

You can watch the full-length walkthrough of the game below, but beware — the acting is a little off-putting.

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Get the Neato Robotics D6 robot vacuum for only $549.99 at Amazon.
Get the Neato Robotics D6 robot vacuum for only $549.99 at Amazon.

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The ClockworkPi GameShell is a super fun DIY spin on portable gaming

Portable consoles are hardly new, and thanks to the Switch, they’re basically the most popular gaming devices in the world. But ClockworkPi’s GameShell is something totally unique, and entirely refreshing when it comes to gaming on the go. This clever DIY console kit provides everything you need to assemble your own pocket gaming machine at home, running Linux-based open-source software and using an open-source hardware design that welcomes future customization.

The GameShell is the result of a successfully Kickstarter campaign, which began shipping to its backers last year and is now available to buy either direct from the company, or from Amazon. The $159.99 ($139.99 as of this writing on sale) includes everything you need to build the console, like the Clockwork Pi quad-core Cortex A7 motherboard with integrated Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 1GB of DDR3 RAM, but it comes unassembled.

GameShell Clockwork Pi 3

You won’t have to get out the soldering iron – the circuit boards come with all components attached. But you will be assembling screen, keypad, CPU, battery and speaker modules, connecting them with included cables, and then installing them in the slick, GameBoy-esque plastic shell. This might seem like an intimidating task, depending on your level of technical expertise: I know I found myself a bit apprehensive when I opened the various boxes and laid out all the parts in front of me.

But the included instructions, which are just illustrations, like those provided by Lego or Ikea, are super easy to follow and break down the task into very manageable tasks for people of all skill levels. All told, I had mine put together in under an hour, and even though I did get in there with my teeth at one point (to remove a bit of plastic nubbin when assembling the optional Lightkey component, which adds extra function keys to the console), I never once felt overwhelmed or defeated. The time-lapse below chronicles my enter assembly process, start to finish.

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What you get when you’re done is a fully functional portable gaming device, which runs Clockwork OS, a Linux-based open-source OS developed by the company. It includes Cave Storyone of the most celebrated indie games of the past couple of decades, and a number of built-in emulators (use of emulators is ethically and legally questionable, but it does provide an easy way to play some of those NES and SNES games you already own with more portability).

There’s a very active community around the GameShell that includes a number of indie games to play on the console, and tips and tricks for modifications and optimal use. It’s also designed to be a STEM educational resource, providing a great way for kids to see what’s actually happening behind the faceplate of the electronics they use everyday, and even getting started coding themselves to build software to run on the console. Loading software is easy, thanks to an included microSD storage card and the ability to easily connect via WiFi to move over software from Windows and Mac computers.

Everything about the GameShell is programable, and it features micro HDMI out, a built-in music player and Bluetooth support for headphone connection. It’s at once instantly accessible for people with very limited tech chops, and infinitely expandable and hackable for those who do want to go deeper and dig around with what else it has to offer.

Swappable face and backplates, plus open 3D models of each hardware component, mean that community-developed hardware add-ons and modifications are totally possible, too. The modular nature of the device means it can probably get even more powerful in future too, with higher capacity battery modules and improved development boards.

I’ve definitely seen and used devices like the GameShell before, but few manage to be as accessible, powerful and customizable all at once. The GameShell is also fast, has great sound and an excellent display, and it seems to be very durable with decent battery life of around three hours or slightly ore of continuous use depending on things like whether you’re using WiFi and screen brightness.