Is it worth buying a Nintendo Switch ahead of the Black Friday Nintendo Switch deals? Considering all the ads for mind-blowing, good-enough-to-make-you-wrestle-other-people-in-the-store deals each year, it's a fair question. And the answer is… well, it's complicated.
OK, so that's not very helpful. But bear with me. In normal circumstances, I wouldn't recommend buying a Nintendo Switch before Black Friday. Actually, I wouldn't recommend buying anything tech-related in November before the sales kick off. Whether it's Black Friday gaming laptop deals or TV offers, you'll almost always get the best price on the day itself (retailers usually hold back their headline discounts until then). However, the normal Switch hasn't been easy to get hold of over the last few weeks.
When is it? November 26
How long does it last? At least three days, but it unofficially starts mid-November
Much like PS5 stock and Xbox Series X restock offers, the semiconductor shortage - and stores presumably holding deals back for Black Friday - means that consoles are few and far between. Unless you want the cheaper Switch Lite, anyway. Thanks a bunch, COVID.
Should I wait until Black Friday to buy a Nintendo Switch?
Let's not beat around the bush - if you see the standard Switch console in stock for its normal price, grab it. The Nintendo Switch is notoriously hard to find at the moment (particularly in the USA), so any deal is a good deal. While full Black Friday deals are on the way and certain bundles have already been confirmed, they'll sell out fast. With that in mind, don't hesitate if you see a fair offer beforehand. And by fair offer, we mean 'in stock' and selling for $299 in the USA or £259 in the UK. Any extras are a bonus.
It's a similar story with the new OLED model. It's been almost impossible to buy Nintendo Switch OLED since launch, so pounce on any offers that don't have an inflated price (for reference, it should cost $349 for US fans or £309 across the pond). There won't be a benefit to waiting until Black Friday.
The Nintendo Switch Lite is a different matter, though. The handheld-only console has been widely available throughout the past few years and will almost certainly enjoy a discount for Black Friday. With that in mind, it may be wise to hold off on buying one until the end of November at the earliest.
Wondering which of those consoles to go for? Although it's obviously subjective (and frustrating, considering the stock shortage), I'd recommend choosing the standard Switch over the other two if your budget can stretch to it. Despite being more expensive than the Lite, it can be used both on your TV and in handheld mode. By contrast, the Lite is handheld only.
While that may not sound like a big deal, it's a massive difference in practice. Particularly when multiplayer gaming comes into the picture. The standard Switch allows you to play together on the big screen rather than having to huddle around a tiny display, and that gives it a lot more versatility.
As for the OLED, it's worth buying if you can afford it but isn't such a huge step up that you should ignore bog-standard Switch bundles. As we mentioned in our Nintendo Switch OLED review, the differences mainly lie in the brighter, more vibrant screen and a slightly improved kickstand (if you want more detail, head over to our guide on Nintendo Switch OLED vs Nintendo Switch). That lack of a killer new feature, and the fact it isn't the 4K-ready Nintendo Switch Pro we'd all been expecting, makes the OLED a complex beast that won't be worth the extra cash for many people. Seeing as the benefits of OLED are only applicable in handheld mode, those who mainly play on TV won't see a benefit.
Will there be any Nintendo Switch Black Friday sales?
We are expecting some Black Friday offers on Nintendo's console, but the only one that's confirmed right now comes from Nintendo itself. To be precise, the company will be offering the normal Switch with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and three months of Nintendo Switch Online for $299.99. As the official website points out, that should save you $70 overall.
Otherwise, we're still in the dark. You can practically guarantee a deal or two from other stores, but those offers haven't been made public yet.
Still, it's possible to make some educated guesses based on last year's reductions. Namely, I wouldn't be surprised if the GameStop bundle with accessories or Walmart's own Mario Kart, Switch Online, and console combo for $300 returned. Similarly, there are good odds that the Switch Lite will enjoy another bargain like 2020's Animal Crossing and Mario Kart bundle (available for just under £250 at Amazon UK).
Basically, watch this space. It's worth keeping an eye on GamesRadar or your favorite retailers as we march toward Black Friday, because Nintendo Switch stock can drop unexpectedly. Our team will be on hand to give you all the advice you need whenever things kick off, including good discounts we've found on all things Nintendo.
In the meantime, it's worth taking a look at our Nintendo Switch bundles page for more buying advice. It's not a bad idea to swot up on the best Nintendo Switch accessories or the best Switch games either - that way you'll know what to prioritise when you finally get your shiny new console.
For more offers, drop in on our guide to Black Friday gaming deals. It'll keep you in the loop on all those juicy discounts when the sales event gets going in earnest.