Nintendo to host Switch pop-up lounges at select airports

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Nintendo plans to host several Switch lounges in select airports.
Image: Nintendo

When it comes to gaming, few gadgets are better equipped for playing on the go than Nintendo’s Switch. The portable console has become one of the company’s largest successes to date and is now more popular than ever. Still, Nintendo isn’t slowing down its marketing efforts.

The gaming giant plans to host several pop-up Switch lounges in some of America’s biggest airports. There, travelers will be able to enjoy a few “Mario Kart” races while waiting on their flight or dive into “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” during a long layover.

Airport-able Fun

Passing time at the airport can be a grueling exercise. Unless you want to spend $25 on a sandwich for lunch, there isn’t much to do in terms of entertainment. Of course, some airports are beginning to recognize this.

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For instance, the Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) airport recently opened its Gameway attraction in two terminals. The space lets travelers rent a gaming cubicle by the hour so they can kick back and enjoy a console title while waiting on a flight.

Over the next few weeks, Nintendo will open its Switch On The Go experience lounges at four popular travel hubs. Dulles International Airport near Washington, D.C., Tacoma International Airport in Seattle, Chicago’s O’Hare, and Dallas Love Field are the lucky locations. Each lounge will be equipped with comfortable seating, charging ports, televisions, and, of course, plenty of Switch consoles.

Travelers will be able to stop by and enjoy hit titles like “Super Mario Odyssey,” “Super Mario Party,” “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe,” and “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.”

The games will be available to play in both TV mode and portable mode. As a bonus, the Switch lounges will be free to visit since they are part of Nintendo’s marketing campaign. They’ll also be more family-friendly than other airport gaming areas like DFW’s Gameway.

Perfect Travel Companion

The idea of setting up Switch lounges in airports is a brilliant one. Nintendo will get its signature console into the hands of bored travelers to showcase its entertainment potential. That is the perfect audience for the portable Switch and its library of fun, easy-to-enjoy games.

As such, Nintendo will also be using the lounges as a storefront of sorts. Visitors will be able to purchase their own Switch or Switch Lite console and an assortment of games from a kiosk at the lounge. It’s worth noting, however, that buyers won’t get to take their Switch with them. Instead, Nintendo will ship the products to their home along with a free carrying case.

The model is somewhat perplexing considering the fact that Nintendo could probably make a lot more money by having a stack of Switch consoles ready to sell on-site.

For those who aren’t interested in purchasing a new console, visiting a pop-up Switch lounge won’t just be an opportunity to play games. Visitors will also walk away with a free Nintendo-themed luggage tag and a coupon for $10 off any Nintendo purchase of $75 or more at Target.

The Switch lounges are a win-win for both Nintendo and bored travelers. They are expected to start arriving early next week in the airports mentioned above.

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