The Nintendo Switch, like everything else that can lighten the mood during this incredibly tough time, is in short supply. And as soon as retailers like Best Buy, Amazon, and Walmart gets it in stock, it quickly sells out. It can be disheartening to miss out on the opportunity to buy a Switch — but fear not! The purpose of this article is to help you do just that without paying more than it would usually cost at retail.
We’re keeping a lookout across the web to find where, when, and how you can buy a Nintendo Switch (the one you can dock to your TV or remove for portable use) or a Switch Lite (the portable-only version of the console) as well as any bundles that seem like good deals.
Keep in mind that stock — even Switch consoles that are preowned or refurbished — will likely continue to sell out quickly during the pandemic. But we’ll do our best to keep this article up to date with the latest in-stock offers, and we’ll tell you when each offer was posted. When something gets sold out, we’ll try to let you know.
The Switch Lite is the smaller, portable-only version of the console that comes in a few different color options.Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge
Where can I buy a Nintendo Switch or Switch Lite right now?
- Walmart has stock of the regular Switch with red and blue neon Joy-Con for $299 (updated 8/4)
- GameStop and Best Buy receive new supplies of the Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite consoles fairly regularly, and it’s a good strategy to keep these pages open so you can quickly add one to your cart when they come back in stock
- Amazon and Walmart have been sold out for a while now, and are usually among the first to sell out when new stock arrives
If you’re not against buying a preowned or refurbished console, you’ll want to check out GameStop. Another good place to look is Nintendo’s own online store where it sells refurbished Switch consoles. Those have been sold out recently, but there’s no telling when it will restock the page with some repaired, refreshed consoles.
Oddly enough, Nintendo has its own official seller page on eBay, which usually hosts refurbished Switch consoles, though it has been closed “until further notice” due to the pandemic. Still, that’s worth keeping an eye on, too.
You can buy games on Switch cartridges or store several digital downloads purchased through the eShop on a microSD card.Photo by James Bareham / The Verge
What accessories do I need to buy for the Nintendo Switch?
Frankly, the Switch comes with everything that you need to get started and have fun. However, a few extra purchases can help you get a little more out of your console, and in some cases, help it weather the wear-and-tear that it’ll undoubtedly get.
First off, a microSD card will help you extend your Switch’s default 32GB of storage. Amazon, Best Buy, and other retailers regularly sell cards with up to 512GB of storage for around $90. A 400GB microSD card will cost you around $60, and with each game ranging in download size from 1GB to tens of gigabytes, the card has enough space to store several of them.
The Switch doesn’t include a screen protector, so make that one of the first things you buy.Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge
Next up, get a tempered glass screen cover. The display on the Switch and Switch Lite is covered in plastic, and it’s just asking to get scratched as soon as you take it out of the box. Save the heartbreak by getting an affordable, easy-to-apply glass cover at Amazon.
If you want to play online with friends, ensure that your saves are backed up in the cloud, and get access to a slate of on-demand games from the original Nintendo console and SNES console era, you’ll want to get a Nintendo Switch Online subscription. It’s $20 per year for a single user on a console, or $35 for up to eight users on different consoles each year.