Nintendo is offering a interesting and rare limited time offer exclusively for Nintendo Switch Online members. They are selling Nintendo Switch Game vouchers from now until July 21, 2019 that can be redeemed for digital versions of select games on Nintendo.com or the Nintendo eShop on a player’s system, and they are valid for up to a year after purchase.
For $99.99 you receive both vouchers, which can be used for games such as Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and the new Super Mario Maker 2, each with an MRSP of $59.99, netting you a savings of $19.99. The current list of eligible titles is extensive, and seems like it will grow in the future. While Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order is not an option that can be selected on the general information page, since it does not release until July 19, 2019, it is an option if one clicks on "Learn more" and then "Purchase."
This seems like a win-win situation for Nintendo and players as it seeks to amplify its base of customers who are Nintendo Switch Online members, both in that it offers a reasonably good discount to players and locks in their purchase ahead of time. Players meanwhile benefit because historically speaking, Nintendo games do not tend to go on sale or drop in price very often unless they see some kind of re-release under the rebranding of Nintendo Selects. In addition, the eShop indicates that you will also receive 500 gold coins, though that may not be correct as it does not appear in any of the promotional material.
While this is great news for players who prefer to purchase all of their content in a digital-only format, this deal is not for everyone. Many players still covet the physical purchase, complete with game and case. They prefer this for reasons like they have slow download speeds, or data restrictions per month, and of course, to add to other cases to show off a collection.
The move may be part of a larger strategy by Nintendo to phase out physical sales in favor of digital. Doing so would eliminate significant overhead and costs that must cut into the final price. By selling digital copies at nearly the same price as physical copies, they are sure to make more in terms of overall profit.
At the very least, it is a nice gesture by Nintendo for die-hard fans who are dedicated to certain franchises. Those fans who always buy a Zelda or Super Mario game are sure to appreciate the discount on a purchase they were going to make anyways.