You Can Buy Cheaper Nintendo Switch Games From Another Country
Given the strength of the dollar these days, many U.S.-based shoppers are looking to overseas retailers for better deals on products, and one of the best places to save money right now is on the Nintendo eShop. We’ve already...
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Given the strength of the dollar these days, many U.S.-based shoppers are looking to overseas retailers for better deals on products, and one of the best places to save money right now is on the Nintendo eShop. We’ve already covered how to buy games from other regional eShops so you can access games, demos, and other content that isn’t released in North America, or even play new games early.
Since the Nintendo Switch isn’t region-locked, it’s a simple process, and depending on which games you buy, you might save quite a bit of money while the exchange rates are so favorable for U.S. customers.
Okay, so what kind of savings can you expect? Well, it depends on the current exchange rate and the game. You can find third-party and indie games for super cheap this way, but Nintendo rarely puts its first-party releases on sale, especially not on the eShop. Luckily, you can get them cheaper if you buy from another country.
Let’s take a look at a few popular Nintendo-published Switch games. Given exchange rates at the time of writing, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is normally $60 USD on the U.S. eShop, but the full-price purchase on the Japanese eShop is just ¥7,678 ($53 USD), and the Brazilian version is R$231.89 ($55.63 USD).
Kirby and the Forgotten Land is also $60 USD on the U.S. eShop, but just $79.95 AU ($51.37 USD) in Australia, £50 ($53.56 USD) in the UK, and ¥6,500 ($44.87 USD) in Japan.
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Super Mario Odyssey, once again $60 USD on the North America eShop, is only ¥6,578 ($45.51 USD) in Japan, $79.95 AU ($51.37 USD) in Australia, and £49.99 ($53.56 USD) in the UK.
You can check the current prices of these and other games at the website eshop-prices.com, which is an excellent resource for finding the lowest-possible regional prices on eShop games.
You can clearly save a few bucks by buying games from a different country’s eShop right now, but there are some caveats to keep in mind before you do. Most importantly, there are going to be regional localization differences based on where you buy the game from. Localization differences can be as innocuous as having British English spellings instead of American spellings if you buy a game off the UK eShop (like “colour” versus “color”), or you could wind up with games that are only playable in specific languages like Japanese or Portuguese. That might be fine for simple games, but anything with lots of dialogue or text will be unplayable. Just because your Switch can technically play games from any country doesn’t mean you can.
Similarly, some online features might only work if your IP address matches the game’s original region, and may not work even if you use a proxy connection or VPN. Make sure you do your research before buying these games to make sure you can actually play them properly.
The other issue is actually buying the games. Since you can’t normally use payment cards issued from U.S. banks to purchase content on non-U.S. eShops, you need a workaround. The simplest solution is to buy eShop credit in another country’s currency. Websites like Play Asia, eShop-Prices, and Nintendo Life’s code store are excellent resources, and you can find full instructions in our guide for making a regional eShop account, buying digital credits, and purchasing games.