Nintendo has been one of the greatest names in video gaming for as long as home video gaming has existed. They changed the game with the introduction of the classic Nintendo Home Entertainment System in the 1980s, took things to the next level with the Super Nintendo, and peaked with the N64. They lost their way a little when Sony released the first PlayStation, but they found a way back into our hearts by taking a different route and giving us the Wii. More recently, they’ve started a new craze with the invention of the Nintendo Switch.
If you’ve been trying to buy a Nintendo Switch recently either for yourself or a child, you’ll know two things about it. Firstly they’re extremely popular, and secondly, they’re out of stock almost everywhere. Demand is outstripping supply almost everywhere, and even when they do return to stock, their prices can be vastly inflated. We’ll put it bluntly; if you’re dead set on getting a Nintendo Switch, we don’t think it’s possible to guarantee that you’ll get your hands on one this side of Christmas. We’ll tip our hats to you if you can manage it, but we think it’s unlikely.
Don’t despair if you’re one of the many people who wants a Switch and can’t find one at the moment. There are other ways to get your gaming fix that don’t involve buying a Switch, and also don’t involve spending big money on a more powerful gaming console. Try one of these alternative suggestions instead, and you might soon find that you’ve forgotten that you ever wanted a Switch in the first place!
Super NES Classic
The whole point of the Nintendo Switch is to play comparatively simple games with a classic feel. If that’s what you’re after, why not go back to the golden age of gaming and get yourself a Super NES Classic? Nintendo started selling these miniaturized versions of their classic console in 2017, and they’re still in stock in many places today. Relive your youth by playing some of the 21 games that come packaged with the console, including “Starfox” and a special edition of “Street Fighter 2.” It should go without saying, but obviously, “Super Mario World” and “Mario Kart” are included, too, as is “Donkey Kong Country” and “Legend of Zelda.” For an average price of less than one hundred dollars, what’s not to love?
Google finally made its debut on the gaming stage last year with the launch of Stadia. The platform is still finding its feet, but it’s come a long way in less than twelve months. The format of Stadia is borrowed from (or inspired by) the format of online slots websites. The success of online slots comes from the fact that they took casino games out of physical casinos and put them on the internet, breaking the connection between the game and the cabinet. These days you’ll find online slots websites everywhere, and they make huge amounts of money. Google is hoping to achieve the same thing with Stadia, which breaks the link between games and consoles. All the games are stored on a remote server, and you access them through the internet. That means all you need is a controller, a screen to play games on, and an internet connection. Brand new games are launched to Stadia every month, and they’re the same as the games your friends are playing on their more expensive PlayStations. Stadia isn’t as popular as online slots are just yet, but it’s working on it. Join the movement!
This is a controversial suggestion. We’re not suggesting that you go out and buy a brand new iPad if you don’t have one already; that would probably be more expensive than buying yourself a Switch. If you have an iPad already though – even an iPad that’s a few years old – you’re probably underestimating its potential as a portable games console. Controlling video games using the iPad’s touchscreen interface isn’t easy, but you don’t have to reduce yourself to that. When Apple pushed the upgrade to iOS 13, it included support for a variety of wireless gaming controllers. That means you can use almost any controller you can think of to play games on your iPad – and you’ll find those games through Apple Arcade. Apple’s relatively-new gaming platform – which bears some comparisons to Google Stadia – is available for a subscription price of five dollars per month and includes access to a huge library of games. You’ll never look at your iPad the same way again!
Nintendo 3DS XL
We know what you’re thinking. The 3DS XL is the Nintendo handheld console that came before the Nintendo Switch. Why would you go back to an older piece of technology because you can’t get hold of the newer version? The answer is that Nintendo hasn’t ended support for the 3DS yet. They’re committed to supporting the platform through to the end of 2020, and will most likely continue through to the end of 2021 as well. The older versions of the 3DS are a little dated and lightweight now, but the 3DS XL comes with enhances controls, extended battery life, and a library of literally hundreds of games to play with. You won’t get bored of it for a long time, and it’s just as capable of providing you with a good time as a Nintendo Switch is. Best of all, they’re still available on the open market, and they often come in at around half the price of a brand new Switch? All the fun at half the price is an amazing deal, and one you ought to consider if the Switch won’t appear at your nearest store.
Those are just four alternatives in a world that offers many more. The next generation of consoles is almost upon us, and when it arrives, you’ll find that the price of the current PlayStation and Xbox nosedives even though the machines will still be supported, and new games will still be released to them for at least the next twelve months. If portability is more important to you, you can play Stadia games through your phone. What could be more portable than that? If you really want a Switch and your heart is set on it, we hope you find one soon. If you’re prepared to settle for something else, we hope we’ve proved that there are options out there for you.
Laila Azzahra is a professional writer and blogger that loves to write about technology, business, entertainment, science, and health.