Holiday gift guide 2019: Nintendo Switch consoles, games and accessories

Here's what to keep your eye on in the world of Nintendo Switch this holiday season.

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We’re already well over two years since the initial release of the Nintendo Switch, but it’s still shaping up to be one of the hottest gifts this holiday season. Since 2017, Nintendo’s handheld/console hybrid has seen a vast number of accessories and games to enjoy. We’re going to dive in to make sure you’re fully informed when picking out a Switch for the Holidays.

Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite consoles

This year, Nintendo began producing Nintendo Switch consoles with some slight upgrades from what originally released two years ago. These new consoles sports a better battery life thanks to a stronger CPU. Nintendo themselves haven’t made a lot of noise about this “new” version of the Switch, so it’s important to make sure you’re grabbing the correct one. The latest version of the Nintendo Switch can be identified by its red packaging. The console costs $299 and can be found at various retailers such as Target, Walmart, Best Buy, or Amazon

Recently released, the Nintendo Switch Lite is a more simplified version of the console. Currently at $199, the Switch Lite is quite a decent cost alternative if you aren’t looking to shell out a few hundred bucks for the main system. However, be aware that the Switch Lite has several limitations. Some of the most notable differences being that the system cannot be docked, meaning it can only be played in handheld mode. Additionally, the joy-cons are non-detachable. Although the Switch Lite is an inferior version of the console, it’s a great gift for younger gamers during the holidays. 

The Switch Lite currently comes in three colors: blue, yellow, and grey. There’s also a special edition Switch Lite themed around the newly released Pokemon Sword and Shield. This special edition is light grey, with blue and pink buttons. The back of the device features artworks of Sword and Shield’s respective legendaries, Zacian and Zamazenta. More information can be found on Target’s website

Nintendo Switch games

The best thing about the Nintendo Switch is that it allows you to play games in a variety of ways. In that same fashion, the system has garnered quite a library of playable titles in its short lifespan. Let’s highlight some of the must play games on the Switch. 

The Legend of Zelda: The Breath of the Wild - This “open air” RPG completely redefined a franchise, while pushing a genre to new limits. This installment in Nintendo’s hallmark franchise is full of secrets and surprises. In fact, Breath of the Wild was awarded Shacknews Game of the Year back in 2017.

Super Mario Maker 2 - This sequel builds (pun intended) smartly on the Wii U exclusive that came before it. Use a plethora of tools to create your very own Mario level and share it with the world. Or, hop online and see what everyone else has come up with. SMM2 is great for all ages and is a bottomless well of replayability. 

Pokemon Sword and Shield - These titles mark the beginning of Pokemon’s eighth generation. Explore the Galar region alongside brand new creatures while discovering secrets in Pokemon lore. 

Things don’t stop there. There is an inordinate amount of video games available to play on the Nintendo  Switch. From third party titles to Nintendo’s own exclusive franchises, here are some more titles we recommend you keep your eyes on while doing your holiday shopping:

Nintendo Switch Accessories 

Once you’ve got a Nintendo Switch and a solid library of games, it’ll be important to make sure you get the proper accessories. Different cases, controllers, and memory cards can greatly enhance the experience for Switch owners. Here’s what we recommend picking up.

Nintendo Switch Pro Controller

Although the joy-cons are an innovative and fun way to play, many will gravitate toward a more traditional controller. The Pro Controller offers this with a wireless accessory that resembles that of other home consoles. This device is comfortably designed and is still compatible with motion controls. You can snag one for $62.99 at target, $61.89 at Walmart and Amazon.

Nintendo Switch SD cards

As with most physical media, video games are migrating to entirely digital formats. Unfortunately, the Nintendo Switch only has about 32 GB of internal memory, which is extremely low if you plan to collect your games digitally. Having a sizable micro SD card is simply a must have for any Nintendo Switch owner. If you plan on going partially digital and partially physical with your gaming library, a 128 GB micro SD card should suit you just fine. If you plan on going entirely digital, you’re much safer leaning towards a 256 GB micro SD card.

Nintendo Switch cases

With it being a portable console, you’re going to want a decent case to transport your Nintendo Switch around. There’s a lot of pieces and components to the Switch; some small, some fragile. It’s vital to have a case that safely stores your device. The Nintendo Switch Game Traveler Deluxe Travel Case can hold the Switch tablet along with several games and is perfect for quick commutes. It can be found at Target for $17.79 and $19.99 at Walmart. The Nintendo Switch Game Traveler Deluxe System Case is far bulkier, but can hold the Switch tablet, the dock, charger, accessories, and games. This case can be found at Target  and Amazon for $34.49.

The Nintendo Switch is an essential gift for gamers of all ages. With a constantly growing library of titles and ways to play, it’s hard to go wrong with a Nintendo Switch this holiday season.

Donovan is a young journalist from Maryland, who likes to game. His oldest gaming memory is playing Pajama Sam on his mom's desktop during weekends. Pokémon Emerald, Halo 2, and the original Star Wars Battlefront 2 were some of the most influential titles in awakening his love for video games. Donovan is currently studying broadcast journalism at Bowie State University with hopes to join the Shacknews team full time after graduation. He is a huge Star Wars nerd and film fanatic that will talk with you about movies and games all day. You can follow him on twitter @Donimals_

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