Editor's Note: Since we published this story, a reader informed us that GameStop has since reduced the old Switch's trade-in value from $225 to $200, bringing the net cost of the new model to $100 and making the original $25 trade-in promotion essentially nonexistent. We've verified this information on GameStop's website (opens in new tab).
Here’s how I did it:
How to get the New Nintendo Switch and trade your Joy-Cons
GameStop is currently having a promotion that will give you $225 in store credit for your old Nintendo Switch towards a New Nintendo Switch. GameStop originally offered $200 for the console, but a promotion surfaced recently that adds an additional $25 credit (opens in new tab) (the promotion ends on September 15). I called ahead to the GameStop near my apartment, and they confirmed that I could trade in my old Nintendo Switch for $225 toward the new one -- Yes!
But, my next question was going to make or break my purchase: “Can I transfer my save data in the store?” Fortunately, the GameStop employee confirmed that you can. So, I packed up my Nintendo Switch and drove down to GameStop. I was anxious. The real reason I wanted the New Nintendo Switch was to get rid of my drifting Joy-Cons. But what if they notice the drift and don’t accept the trade-in? What if something goes wrong and I lose my Fire Emblem save? I’m not about to replay 30 whole hours of this test-taking simulator.
When I got to the GameStop, the employee that assisted me didn’t even inspect my Switch, and he let me pay the new one off with the $225 store credit (phew). However, once I started to do the transfer, I discovered that you need to be connected to the internet on both devices. So, I reluctantly handed him my old Nintendo Switch running rampant with Joy-Con drift.
As he was typing the password for the Wi-Fi, I saw my drift acting up. I knew that he knew that I had Joy-Con drift because he quickly switched to touch controls. He said nothing. I'm not sure if it was because we were chumming it up over sci-fi strategy games and he wanted to be nice or if GameStop doesn’t actually have a policy on the condition of Joy-Cons.
Regardless, we started the update, which took a good 10 minutes, and then finally the transfer process, which extended our time together for another 15 minutes. Thankfully, the GameStop wasn’t very busy, and the staff was incredibly nice.
After that whole ordeal, I rushed home and put my physical copy of Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu into the game card slot. Let’s Go Pikachu does not feature cloud saving, so this was the ultimate test. I booted it up, Pikachu’s adorable face came across the screen, and the press play button appeared. I clicked “A” and after a short pause it read, “Continue your adventure?” Thank the Pokémon gods. My heart almost leapt out of my chest.
I even made sure to check the serial number on the back of the console to make sure the store didn’t rip me off. The back should read: HAC-001(-01), whereas the old model was HAC-001.
So, at the end of the day, I kept all of my saves, got a Nintendo Switch with longer battery life and traded in my crappy Joy-Cons all for just $75, which is cheaper than the retail price for a new pair of $79 Joy-Cons.
We hope that this painted an idea of the process to trade in your Nintendo Switch for the newer model. If you have Joy-Con drift, this deal is a win win. Just call ahead to your local GameStop and make sure you can do the transfer in-store.