As the Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite continue to sell out, demand for its games have also increased considerably. The situation is bad enough that some retailers in both the US and UK are running out of physical copies of the year's biggest exclusive title, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, with copies selling on eBay for much more than the standard retail price.
It's not worth paying over the odds for Animal Crossing, especially when you can buy the game digitally for a more acceptable price and get the game without waiting for delivery. Below, we'll show you where to buy Animal Crossing: New Horizons for a sensible price, both digitally and physically.
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Where to buy Animal Crossing: New Horizons: get the game right now, in digital or physical copies
If you're happy to go digital, and you've got an internet connection and a Nintendo Account, get the game right now here:
Animal Crossing: New Horizons on Switch (digital copy) | $59.99 at Amazon
Amazon US is out of stock on physical copies as we write this, but digital copies are available. There's no saving on the retail price, but the game code will be added to your library on Amazon after purchase.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons on Switch (digital copy) | £46.99 at Amazon UK
Amazon doesn't have physical copies of Animal Crossing in stock at the time of writing, but if you're happy to settle for digital, buying this will grant you a code you should be able to access right away.
Physical copies of Animal Crossing: New Horizons are available at some US and UK retailers, just not everywhere, and stock is sporadic. If you really want a physical copy, do not pay more than $59.99/£49.99. The game will eventually come back in stock everywhere, and they'll be easier to restock than the console itself given that they're just game cards in plastic boxes. Here are some places where you can still get physical copies:
Animal Crossing: New Horizons on Switch (physical copy) | $59.99 at GameStop
If you really need to have a physical copy of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, GameStop still has them in-stock to ship at the retail price.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons on Switch (physical copy) | £49.99 at Game
At the time of writing, Game appears to have Animal Crossing in stock at the recommended retail price. Considering some copies are selling on eBay for more than £60, this isn't bad, though waiting a while will probably bring that price down by a few pounds.
Why it's worth buying Animal Crossing: New Horizons digitally
Redeeming a Nintendo code is very simple. In most cases, retailers will email you the code straight after purchase, and all you have to do is access the Nintendo Store on your Switch or Switch Lite, and select 'Redeem code' from the menu on the left-hand side of the screen. The only considerations are whether you've got enough storage space for the game (6.4GB of free space is required) and an internet connection. You'll need a Nintendo Account linked to your Nintendo Switch to redeem the game digitally.
Once you've entered the code, though, the game is added to your account and it'll download right away, assuming you have the storage space. If you eventually want to delete Animal Crossing and redownload it later, you can do that too.
Are there downsides to buying Switch games digitally?
Buying a game and having it delivered to you straight away is so convenient. Physical copies are great for collectors and the cases look nice, plus retailers can set competitive prices for physical copies, but if you just want to play a game, it's hard to go back from instant downloads.
The big drawback in forgoing physical is you won't be able to loan out your cartridge to a friend or resell the game when you're done with it. If your friends all pick up their own copy (and they should, if you all want to play together), this is less of an issue.
The only other possible, distant concern with buying a game digitally instead of physically is that, one day, Nintendo could theoretically decide to turn off the digital store on Switch. Nintendo did this very thing with the Wii and DSi digital storefronts, and Nintendo is planning to turn off the ability to redownload Wii software at some point in the future.
It's not impossible that could happen again with the Switch store many years down the line, though given that downloads are more fundamental to this console than they were to the Wii, hopefully that will never be the case. Either way, a physical copy would mean you won't have to worry about that.
In the here and now, it's not worth worrying about, and hopefully the unifying of Nintendo's various online operations on Switch and 3DS means there'll be more continuity to the software you own in future. Microsoft has done a great job with this on its Xbox consoles, and Nintendo should take note.
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