UPDATE (12/2): It is past preorder season now, but that’s okay! Without any preorder bonuses making the bundle extra special, you can buy strictly on price – and it is currently selling at Walmart for $199 in Canada. Price-match that at Toys ‘R’ Us or Best Buy and you are golden! More deals and details can be found here.
If you’ve been keeping an eye on Nintendo news lately, you might have heard a few things about the growing buzz for upcoming Legend of Zelda installment, and A Link to the Past sequel, A Link Between Worlds.
Preorder buzz has lit up the internet, and fans from all over the world have been promised a bunch of nifty-sounding stuff that they’ll get if they preorder. But what are they getting? And where should they go?
This release has been made doubly confusing with several retractions from UK retailers as well as noticeable differences between bonuses in different international regions. And the retailers aren’t helping clear things up any, with big stores Best Buy and Walmart playing it pretty close to the chest as to what they are offering (if anything) with the preorder.
So this is the story.
Some months ago, news broke that LoZ fans in the UK would be getting some really cool stuff with their A Link Between Worlds preorders – namely, a little treasure chest that makes the distinctively Zelda chest-opening sound.
— Nintendo UK (@NintendoUK) October 14, 2013
Pretty cool right? This info was dumped all across the internet – everyone wanted one. If you wanted to search for info about a preorder bonus today, you would still be learning about this nifty little treasure chest.
GAME says “no.”
The very next day, UK retailer GAME took to Twitter to clarify a few things… namely that they wouldn’t be giving away the musical treasure chest as a preorder bonus.
“You may have seen last night @NintendoUK tweeted about a pre-order chest item for The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. We have no pre-order bonus to announce but BUT you can be sure we’re working with Din, Nayru & Farore to bring you something special… Until then, feast your eyes on this special LoZ: A Link Between Worlds #3DSXL available to pre-order tomorrow!”
Meanwhile, Nintendo UK did not retract their Twitter statement about the GAME preorder.
The Legend of Zelda 3DS XL Bundle
Also announced for UK release was the limited edition Legend of Zelda 3DS XL bundle which included a black and gold 3DS XL with the Triforce on both the front and back.
This comes bundled with a download code for A Link Between Worlds and retails for £199.99 which you can purchase on the Nintendo UK webstore. Note that this bundle DOES NOT come with the treasure box.
GAME Announces Collector’s Edition
Shortly afterwards, GAME alleviated UK Zelda fans’ disappointment by announcing a Collector’s Edition of A Link Between Worlds. This version DOES include the musical trasure chest that was previously called a preorder bonus.
Available for £49.99, the pack contains an artwork poster and a digital code for the Game Boy Color title Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX as well as the musical treasure chest.
Meanwhile, Nintendo UK is currently selling A Link Between Worlds (standard edition) through their website – and it does include the treasure chest as a preorder bonus. You can get it through their webstore for £39.99. Note that this edition will NOT contain the poster or Link’s Awakening.
For those of you who miss out on the preorder bonus, the Collector’s Edition will be on sale for a while, so UK fans will still be able to get their hands on one of the musical little knick-knacks over the holiday season for £10 more.
And what about North America?
On this side of the pond, we have some good news, and some bad. The bad news is that none of the releases (preorder or otherwise) appear to come with the little treasure chest. From any retailer.
The good news is that American fans will be able to get their hands on the Zelda edition of the 3DS XL.
A short while ago, a Black Friday GameStop flyer leaked via BFads which showed a bundle for the Zelda 3DS XL and comes preloaded with A Link Between Worlds. It was priced at $219.99 which GameStop later confirmed to Polygon was legit.
This bundle is not limited only to GameStop. It can be found at other retailers including Best Buy at the same price.
The NA release of A Link Between Worlds also comes with a preorder bonus, but it is not nearly as tangible or cool. Fans who prepurchase a copy of the game either alone or bundled with the 3DS will receive a Nintendo Store download code for The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages which is worth $5.99. (Note that I had to find this preorder bonus through the Best Buy video games promo page; it is not specified on the game’s page at all.)
UPDATE: It has been brought to my attention (only about a day later!) that the NA preorder bonus page for Best Buy has changed and I am kicking myself for not having screencapped it earlier. It looks like the preorder bonus download code is now available for single purchases of the game only whereas when I looked it said it would come with either a single purchase or when you buy it with any 3DS. Looks like we got shafted again.
There’s still time to preorder!
For those of you who are still interested in getting your hands on the Zelda 3DS, you may end up checking out the Amazon.com or Amazon.ca listings. The preorder option for this bundle is now gone, and has been replaced with Marketplace listings that range from 150-300% of the original cost. This is not your only option!
You can still preorder the Zelda 3DS through any of the regular retailers – and it will come with free shipping, to boot! GameStop/EB Games, Best Buy, Future Shop, NewEgg, and Toys ‘R’ Us are all still offering this bundle at the original $219.99 price. One reviewer on Amazon.com also suggests that it is available at Walmart, but it doesn’t look like it’s available there in Canada.
For those of you who really want to get your hands on that treasure chest, your best option is probably to buy the game (without the 3DS!) through the Nintendo UK store.
EDIT: One of my best friends brought up a very good point about that last suggestion that I made – region locks. Nintendo confirmed that the 3DS content would be region-locked a long time ago. £39.99 is a bit much for a game you can’t play and a cute knick-knack…