Where to buy the Nintendo Switch

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The Nintendo Switch will be released on March 3, 2017, and it’s likely going to be very hard to track one down. This list will give you a good idea about what retailers may have the units, and which retailers are a waste of time.

The system has been out of stock when it comes to pre-orders for some time, but companies like Nintendo love that photo-op with long lines of smiling fans waiting for their chance to buy the hardware, and we already know that some of the launch units are being held back for walk-in customers on the day of release.

Your hunt may not be in vain, but I also wouldn’t want to get your hopes up; Nintendo is sure to have problems meeting demand during the first day, no matter how the system does in the long term. The good news is that Nintendo is going to ship two million systems worldwide at launch, so there is always at least a slim chance you can luck into one.

So where are your best chances?

GameStop

GameStop will have systems available for walk-in customers, but they will be in “limited supply.”

GameStop will also be selling two bundles on its website:

Our advice? Get to the midnight launch as early as possible and be ready to wait.

Target

The pre-orders are sold out, and the system is just listed as “coming soon,” on the website, with no information about whether they’ll have any supply for walk-in customers.

It does look like the retailer is going to be offering a buy-2, get-one-free deal beginning on March 5, but that excludes Switch games.

Best Buy

Pre-orders are gone, but select locations will be opening at midnight to sell the system and accessories.

“Console, games and accessories will be available at 12:01 a.m. local time,” the official site states. “Plus, while supplies last, get a free Zelda poster.”

Call at least three days before launch and ask if they’ll have any stock for walk-in customers. Ask when they expect the line to begin. Call many locations in your area to get as much information as possible, and then get pick where you think you’ll have the best chances of having a good position in line, or they will have the best stock.

Amazon

The pre-orders were there one second, and gone the next. The online retailer has no information available about when the system will be back in stock, but the gray market will likely be happy to sell you one at a huge markup the moment they go on sale.

You can also sign up to be emailed when they get the systems in stock, which at least gives you a fighting chance when that second wave of hardware hits.

Walmart

The pre-orders are gone, and the idea of a midnight launch is a little moot when so many locations are open 24 hours anyway. It’s likely that many locations will get at least a tiny supply to sell at midnight, so call a few locations at least three days ahead to try to figure out your best chances.

Nintendo World Store

I mean, you have to be in New York City, but the Nintendo World Store is going to be ground zero for the launch of the Switch. Nintendo hasn’t said much about what it has planned, however.

“The Nintendo Switch launches at Midnight!” the official site says. “Stay tuned for more details!”

Nintendo is going to want a big line and a big party, so it’s almost guaranteed they’re going to have some systems to sell during the midnight launch, but that’s also going to be the most challenging line.

So to sum it up

We don’t know how much stock Nintendo is holding back for the physical launch of the system, nor how many have been pre-sold. We’ll be updating this post as we get more information and retailers announce plans, but if you’re serious about your quest I would begin calling local retailers now to see if they have any information about how they’re handling lines or stock, and call daily until they know for sure.

Happy hunting.

Ben Kuchera

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