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).
When is it? November 25
How long does it last? At least three days, but it unofficially starts mid-November
However, the Switch hasn't been as easy to get hold of over the last year or so. Much like PS5 stock and Xbox Series X restock offers, a semiconductor shortage (thanks a bunch, COVID) meant that consoles weren't as widely available. Things have improved dramatically since last year and the OLED is a more common sight on store shelves, sure, but we're still not quite back to normal. Unless you want the cheaper Switch Lite, anyway.
So, is it worth jumping the gun and getting a console if you see one in stock? Let's dig in.
Should I wait until Black Friday to buy a Nintendo Switch?
If this was last year, we'd recommend grabbing a console as soon you saw one in stock. However, things have changed a little since then. Even though the Nintendo Switch can still be tricky to get your hands on, it's so much easier to find than it was. As such, it's not imperative that you drop everything to get it - you'll almost certainly have another chance before long. And because Black Friday is well known for providing decent bundles, you should get a cracking offer with at least a game for no extra charge (or a small discount at the least) before November is through. With that in mind, we'd recommend holding off until Black Friday itself before pulling that trigger.
This goes for every model of Switch, by the way. The normal console and the Lite version always get bundles each year, while the OLED has been out for just under 12 months now so is a prime target for the same sort of offers.
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 none have been confirmed just yet. Still, it's possible to make some educated guesses based on last year's reductions. Namely, I wouldn't be surprised if a 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.