How to buy a Nintendo Switch - and where it's actually available

Where to buy Ninty's new console, and which bargains to look out for

The jury might still be out on what the Switch will do for Nintendo’s fortunes but, for committed Mario and Zelda fans, it’s surely a must-buy.

We've now tested it in a full, giving it a glowing four-star review which can be read it all its glory here.

But even if our verdict has won you over over, there's still the question of how to buy it. Before you say ‘with money’, that’s not what we’re talking about.

See, the Switch is currently hot property - with few, if any, online retailers holding back stock. What does that mean? If you order now, you'll be waiting a few weeks before you can actually play - and there are barely any bundles to speak of.

What’s more, there’s always the question of whether you should wait a while for better offers and more releases.

Got your wires crossed about buying a Switch? Let us help.

2) Consider an import

This one will need a bit of calculator handiwork but, if conditions align, it can sometimes be cheaper to import a console.

The good news is that the Switch is region-free, so all games and hardware should work worldwide.

The bad - and boring - news is that you’ll have to factor in exchange rates, shipping and import taxes to work out whether getting a new Nintendo machine from afar is really worthwhile.

It’s been done before, though - and, with the dollar currently stronger than the pound, if you’ve got some American greens stashed away, now could be the time to spend them.

Sadly, at the moment the Switch shortage is hitting stores worldwide - with US buyers clamouring to get their hands on the latest Ninty machine, too. All of this has pushed third-party prices up towards the US$430 mark, meaning it's probably still better to wait, unless you're truly desperate - in which case you might as well stump up for a re-sale console here in the UK. At the moment, that'll cost you something like £330.

Alternatively, you might want to keep an eye on Gamestop: its site isn't entirely clear, but the suggestion seems to be that stock is incoming - with trade-in offers and a couple of bundle deals listed.

3) Clue up on the games

There aren't that many games available for the Switch at launch - but the ones that do exist are generally pretty good. Want proof? Our 7 of the best Nintendo Switch launch games feature will set you right.

There are now several bundles available but most don't seem to work out much cheaper than just buying the console and game separately, and availability is limited, anyway.

Of the games themselves, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is available in both standard and limited editions, with the latter presently cheapest at Argos, at £80. Meanwhile, 1-2-Switch will set you back £35 from Argos, while ports of existing games Splatoon 2 and Mario Kart 8 will cost £60 and £50 respectively.

4) Pick your peripherals

It might lack a full complement of games at launch, but there’s no shortage of accessories to pick up for your Switch.

Again, it’s worth taking a second to consider what stuff you actually need - because a lot of it doesn’t come cheap.

A Pro Controller, for example, will set you back £65 from Game, while an additional pair of Joy-Cons - necessary for multiplayer gaming on your telly - costs a not insignificant £75 from Amazon.

There are all sorts of straps, skins and wheels, too - though, with few, if any, savings going on multi-buys, it might be better to wait until you’ve tried the Switch before coughing up for more than the bare bones.