ByAna Valens, writer at
Writer and games critic. As seen at the Daily Dot, Waypoint, Kill Screen, Bitch Media, and ZEAL.
Ana Valens

The Nintendo Switch is approaching fast. The console launches on March 3rd, and with a little more than a week away, retailers are already getting ready for midnight launch events.

Forgot to pre-order and interested in grabbing a Switch last minute? Don't worry. We've rounded up some information to help you decide who to go to for a Nintendo Switch.


For one, GameStop will have a limited number of Nintendo Switch consoles available for walk-in purchases. According to Polygon, the brick-and-mortar chain is planning a special midnight event where customers can grab a Switch, even if they didn't pre-order one.

However, Polygon warns that "the chances of picking up a Switch without a pre-order may be slim," in part because "most stores were getting allocations in the single digits." Bear in mind too that the "Circle of Life" program means new console launches are low priority purchases, so check in with multiple GameStops to see if any shop in the nearby area is willing to sell one.

But if you do get the chance to grab a Nintendo Switch, we highly recommend thinking about grabbing a bundle from GameStop.

Bundle 1 comes with the Nintendo Switch, a Switch Pro Controller, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. This bundle clocks in at $429.99. Meanwhile, Bundle 2 includes all of Bundle 1, but with Piggyback's strategy guide to Breath of the Wild added. That bundle is $454.99. Both are a pretty good deal, either way.

Best Buy

Not to be outdone, Best Buy is celebrating March 3rd in their own way with a midnight launch event. According to the official Best Buy website, a Nintendo Switch Midnight Store Opening will be going on for Best Buys across the United States.

Starting at 12:01 AM local time, your Best Buy of choice will have "console, games, and accessories" available to purchase. The biggest draw to the chain's event is a free Breath of the Wild poster available, with a gorgeous front and back print. Posters are limited in supply, so it's better to come sooner rather than later.


It's not exactly an in-store event, but Walmart is hosting a pre-order system that's worth checking out. According to Prima Games, you can visit your local Walmart and talk to the Walmart Pickup desk about putting down 10% to secure a Nintendo Switch pre-order. Theoretically, if your Walmart allows you to put $30 down for the console, you may be able to grab a Nintendo Switch on March 3rd, just in time for release.

This depends largely on stock and availability though, and your local Walmart may not be able to guarantee a Switch. So check in with your local retailer before making any serious plans.

Which Should You Pick?

So, between GameStop, Walmart, and Best Buy, who should you go to for a midnight launch?

It's hard to say for certain: each launch has pros and cons. Instead, it largely depends on where you stand.

If you already pre-ordered, you're pretty much set. Choose whatever retailer you pre-ordered at, attend the launch event, and have a blast. Due to the issue of availability and supplies, we recommend doing this regardless, even if you've already put money down: better to walk out with a Nintendo Switch at 12:30 AM than walk out empty handed at 5 PM.

If you have yet to pre-order, but would like to pre-order, we recommend going with Walmart. Now is the best time to hit up stores, so if you want a stable and (somewhat) assured launch, check them out.

If you won't be able to afford a Nintendo Switch until the 3rd, you want a bundle, or you want to risk your chances, go with GameStop: but make sure to go to their midnight launch. You might be able to walk out with a Switch if you're first in line, which means camping out for the event later that night.

If you're more interested in the Breath of the Wild poster than anything else, go with Best Buy. You may have a shot with picking up a console at the store, but it seems less likely compared to GameStop. But if you're more interested in swag, Best Buy is a great choice.

Did you pre-order a Nintendo Switch? Tell us where you bought yours in the comments below.


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