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Nintendo Switch OLED restock tracker: Walmart has consoles available, but there's a catch

Switch OLEDs sold out pretty quickly in the Cyber Monday madness. Walmart is listing some from third-party sellers, but you'll be paying about $150 more than the regular price.

This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2021, our list of ideas, by topic, by recipient and by price, to help you discover the perfect gift.

Like its next-gen peers the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X, the new-and-improved Nintendo Switch OLED has proved pretty difficult to track down in the months since its release. Sure, these nifty handhelds are a hot item this season, but the larger issue is the ongoing global chip shortage that has seriously hampered production, according to Nintendo, with few signs of that changing any time soon. There were a few restocks leading up to the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping frenzy, but, as expected, those have all but vanished by this point. 

The only major retailer site with stock is Walmart, but that's actually being sold by a third party, at a heavy $142 price mark-up at time of writing. If you're truly desperate, however, it might be worth considering. While we have our sneaking suspicions of a few more possible restocks leading up to Christmas, no retailers have provided any concrete details about another wave of drops, so there's no telling when we'll actually see these consoles available again.

The Switch OLED comes in two color variants: There's one with white Joy-Con controllers and a white dock, and one with the traditional black color scheme and red-and-blue controllers. Though both versions are prone to selling out quickly, the white Switch seems to be the more popular due to its sleek new look. During restocks, the version with red-and-blue Joy-Con controllers tends to stay in stock longer than its white counterpart, so keep that in mind.

nintendo-switch-oled-1

The Nintendo Switch OLED sells for $350, $50 more than the standard Switch.

Nintendo

Switch OLED vs. original Switch: What's different?

While there had been rumors of a new Switch console with 4K visuals and major performance upgrades, that's not what we got with the Switch OLED. This new Nintendo Switch has a slightly larger 7-inch OLED display while delivering the same 720p resolution when not in its cradle and 1080p visuals when connected to your television. Despite the increased screen size, your favorite Joy-Cons are compatible with the console. 

For a full breakdown of what's new and different about this Switch, check out this OLED Nintendo Switch explainer from CNET's own Scott Stein.

A few helpful tips for buying a Nintendo Switch OLED

While we haven't seen many Switch OLED restocks lately, it's possible retailers have been stocking up for the holiday season rush. With that in mind, here are a few tips to keep in mind if you're on the hunt for a Switch OLED.

  • Only buy from official retailers; if you see someone selling this console on Twitter it's almost assuredly a scam.
  • Be sure to read the whole order page, as many retailers have started implementing two-stage purchasing systems to stop bots from placing the order instead of a person. Best Buy, for example, has you click "Buy" once to join the queue, and then you must wait for the button to light up again to actually add the console to your cart.
  • Don't give up right away! If something happens to your preorder and you're unable to complete the transaction, keep refreshing. Retailers have been intentionally releasing stock in small quantities to discourage bots from buying.
  • Seconds count when these consoles drop, so we recommend having an account set up on retailer's websites so you can bypass entering your payment info and jump straight to checkout.

Read moreNintendo Switch OLED: Why I'm not worried about burn-in

Where to order the Nintendo Switch OLED

Restocks of the console happen sporadically, and sometimes without any kind of heads-up. Our best advice is to keep a close eye on these retailers.

switch-oled-colors

The Switch OLED is available in two different color schemes, one being the new white option.

Amazon

Amazon's last restock was on Nov. 5, which pre-dates most major retailers who held out until closer to Black Friday. Its possible they were saving stock for the Christmas season, but we haven't heard anything about another wave yet. You can check current availability below.

Best Buy's last restock was on Nov. 18, but hasn't had any availability since then. You can check its listing in case of availability below.

Walmart is the only retailer that currently has OLEDs in stock (albeit at a markup). You can check the listing below.

While Target's doesn't have any consoles available to order online, depending on your location you may be able to pick one up in-person. You can check your local availability below.

GameStop last had the OLED Switch in stock on Nov. 29, one of the more recent drops. It's also worth noting that, in the past, the retailer has sometimes provided its PowerUp rewards members with early access to game and console drops, though there is no guarantee that will be the case here. You can check its listing for availability below.