Outside retail holidays like Black Friday and Amazon Prime Day, there are not lots of big discounts on Nintendo consoles – Switch, Switch OLED and Switch Lite. This is due in part to their popularity, the ongoing global pandemic and its supply chain problems, as well as Nintendo’s reluctance to frequently downsize its products.
But if you manage to find them for sale, which one should you choose? We have advice that can help, as well as the best ways to pick one up. Below are all the best Nintendo Switch deals and bundles we’ve found. We’ve also rounded up the best Switch games to get you started as well as accessories you might want. Read our Switch Tips and Tricks to Get the Most Out of Your Console.
Updated October 2021: We’ve added Switch OLED, split the differences between all three models, and updated the rest of the guide.
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Which switch should you buy?
When the switch came out, in 2017, there was only one model. Now there are three and it can be confusing to choose the right one if you are not into how they are all different. Let’s sort through each one.
This is the cheapest switch (8/10, WIRED recommends), but it is also significantly limited in its capacity. It is a device so the controllers are not removable. It cannot be connected to a TV, which means you can only play it in handheld mode. It’s the smallest and lightest of the three models, making it great for travel, but that means it has the smallest touch screen: 5.5 inches. If none of this is a problem for you, then the $ 100 you save is worth it. You will not be able to play certain games that require motion controls, e.g. Super Mario fest, unless you decide to buy Joy-Con controllers and pair them with the system (you will also need some kind of kickstand). To see if a game works well on Switch Lite, look for a “handheld mode” icon on the eShop or on the back of the physical game box.
The next step up is the standard Switch (7/10, WIRED recommends), which has been sold as hotcakes since 2017. Technically updated Nintendo Switch in 2019 with slightly better battery life, but otherwise the system is pretty much the same. It has a built-in stand on the back of the LCD display to support it, Joy-Con controllers that you can remove, and a dock that you can connect to your TV to seamlessly switch from handheld to large screen.
The new OLED switch (8/10, WIRED recommends) is very similar to the original switch, but its upgrades make it easily worth the extra $ 50. The most notable thing, of course, is the screen. Unlike the LCD screens in the other two models, the OLED panel has pixels that individually light up and go out, allowing for truer blacks and better color contrast. Your games will look much nicer. The screen is also larger – 7 inches compared to the standard switch’s 6.62 inches – but smaller edges around the screen mean that the two are almost identical in size.
If OLED has not sold you, the kickstand does. The original switch’s kickstand is flimsy, hard to open and does not really balance the display as well. On the OLED, the kickstand covers the entire length of the console. You can even adjust it so that the screen sits at different angles. It is much more stable and versatile. Further improvements include 64 GB of storage instead of the measly 32 GB in the original, slightly better sound quality and an Ethernet port in the dock, so you can connect it to your router for faster internet speeds without having to use a separate dongle as on the original switch .