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.
Editor’s note: The first three batches of this bundle sold out in less than two minutes at 7pm, 7:30, and 7:45. Seriously. Walmart appears to keep making small amounts of the bundle available every 15 minutes. Check-in to see whether when the next one drops, then get ready to hit refresh.
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 unavailable at its normal retail price of $300 at Target, Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, and GameStop. But as of right this moment, Walmart is offering a revised version of a deal which sold out basically immediately over last weekend. The deal includes a Switch, as well as Mario Kart Deluxe 8 (a game that should need no introduction) and 3 months of Nintendo Online (which lets you access online multiplayer for a bunch of games), for the normal retail price of a Switch. It is, by far, the best Nintendo Switch Black Friday deal you’re going to see, and maybe the best Nintendo Switch deal you’ll see period. Seriously, don’t miss it.
Missed out on the Switch deal? Unfortunately, even if you were willing to pay full price regular Nintendo Switches are still largely out of stock everywhere. You can however purchase the Nintendo Switch Lite, which can play all of the same things but 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.