The Nintendo Switch was the breakout tech item of quarantine, and apparently, based on how quickly some of the first Nintendo Switch Black Friday deals have been going, it’s going to prove to be the breakout device of this year’s weird deal event too. If you’ve been waiting to purchase a Nintendo Switch all year, refreshing a GameStop page nonstop while your friends go on breathlessly about their Animal Crossing villages, well, your chance to escape the purgatorial FOMO is finally here. The Nintendo Switch is IN STOCK and DISCOUNTED. Yes, you read that right. Do not hesitate. Do not wait. Act fast.
No, the Nintendo Switch isn’t a particularly new device. It was first unveiled in October 2016 (aka a long-ass time ago) and hit stores the following March. The stakes for the Switch were high. Nintendo’s last console, the Wii U, wasn’t received particularly enthusiastically by serious gamers or the more casual gaming community that had flocked to the motion-controlled living room madness of the Nintendo Wii. In its first two months of existence, the Wii sold 435,000 units. The Wii U? 57,000. A pet theory of conspiratorial YouTube compilers is that this is because they abandoned the Wiis wacky ad strategy when promoting the Wii U (a somewhat dubious theory, for sure, but compelling all the same), but regardless, the company needed the Nintendo Switch to be a win.
To make a long story short, it had been a huuuuge win. The Nintendo Switch, which promised a hybrid experience—equally as good docked with a TV as it was handheld—became Nintendo’s fastest selling console. Its early slate of exclusive games were all absolute bangers and actually stood out compared to the pretty repetitive Call of Duty, Assassins Creed, mildly disappointing Star Wars cycle you got with the Xbox and PlayStation. By the end of last year, Nintendo had sold more than 52 million Switches, making it their third most popular console release ever.
Then, the pandemic. You know the story by now. Being forced to stay at home changed all of our habits. It made playing video games, something you could do safely with a bunch of people, seem a lot more interesting to a lot more people. For many of those people, the approachable Nintendo Switch (along with chill phone and computer games) were just what the doctor ordered. And if you didn’t already have one, it became basically impossible to get one.
Needless to say, Nintendo Switch stock has been spotty to nonexistent. It remains tricky to find for its normal price at most of the usual suspects, and when it is in stock it’s not always available for immediate delivery. But if you’re willing to wait a couple of months or actually go to a store to pick yours up, you do have a couple of options. Here they are.
If none of these suit you, and you don’t want to wait any longer, you do have one alternative option: the Nintendo Switch Lite. It plays all of the same games, but has a smaller screen and cannot dock with your TV. If you were pretty much only going to play alone or in handheld mode anyways, this isn’t a huge concession.