It’s new hardware day, and for most of us that means reconciling with our terrible planning skills. If you, like me, didn’t think you wanted to preorder the new Switch because, eh, how much better could it be, only to now find yourself cursing at the FOMO gods, fear not. It’s not as dire as you think.
Online, chances are slim that you’re going to find any retailer showing availability for the OLED Switch today. But if you’re willing to hoof it to a store, your chances are very good.
Don’t bother calling ahead if you’re reading this early Friday. I tried several local NYC GameStop stores on Thursday night, all of which said they wouldn’t know their non-pre-order stock numbers ahead of launch. Meanwhile, this morning, when I called several others, nobody picked up! I tried my local GameStop on a lark anyway, and was pleased to find that, despite getting there a little bit after opening, they still had several units just fine. They even asked me what color I wanted. During a time of perpetual unavailability, it was a nice change of pace.
I share this to ratify a tip I’ve gotten from several GameStop sources, who say that many stores will see a healthy stock IRL this weekend. The stores aren’t being open about this availability because, workers say, they fear being harassed. So even if GameStop dot com tells you that your local shop doesn’t have anything, it’s worth trying your luck anyway. From Saturday onward, though, things are likely to get dicier--so do your homework. Local Facebook groups and Discords might help you determine availability near you.
Folks appear to be having similar experiences at other big retailers as well, including Target, while Best Buy confirmed ahead of time that brick and mortar stores would have stock this weekend. What’s unclear is degree of availability; you’ll likely find something if you’re quick this weekend. We don’t know if stock will continue to be healthy as time goes forward.
Because, with the holiday season around the corner, it seems likely that the OLED Switch will suddenly become a hot commodity for everyone. And when that happens, scalpers are sure to follow. Given how the launch of nearly all other new hardware is going of late, it’s worth putting some effort in securing the item now, rather than cursing your luck later.
There’s no guarantee, of course. From what I’ve heard, stores might not have a ton of stock. But if you’re willing to trek out early, you might find what you’re looking for. Kotaku readers, do report back on how it goes!
As for what, you ask, should be played with your shiny new Switch? The new Metroid might not be a bad bet. Remember, there aren’t necessarily JoyCon improvements or better battery life to be found here. The biggest draw is the nicer, extremely bright OLED screen. For many, that may not justify dropping more than a base Switch model would cost, especially if you already have a system. But for folks buying a Switch for the first time, or anyone who was already thinking of purchasing a replacement or upgrade, the new hardware is definitely the nicest version of the portable console you can get.