If you are undecided on the Nintendo Switch, or just want to see what all the fuss is about, there’s a number of ways to try the console before you buy it on or after March 3. Currently, only select cities have Switch demos planned, but we expect major retailers to start receiving demo kiosks throughout the Switch’s launch window.
Nintendo’s has partnered with six major retailers — GameStop, Best Buy, Amazon, Toys “R” Us, Walmart, and Target — to sell the Switch. Of those six, only GameStop has started receiving Switch kiosks in stores across the country. From speaking with multiple GameStop stores, the kiosks, as of now, only let customers interact with the Switch’s touch display to play game trailers. We’ve reached out to GameStop to find out if and when it expects to receive playable demo units.
The other five retailers don’t have Switch kiosks in stores… yet. We spoke with Target and Best Buy, and will provide updates as we hear more. We also contacted Amazon, Toys “R” Us, and Walmart, but have yet to hear back.
After the Switch press conference in January, Nintendo’s console-handheld hybrid went on a multi-city tour across North America. So far, four of those events have come and gone, but there’s still two left from the original slate. Plus, Nintendo recently announced three additional events, which are framed to showcase the Switch’s portable, play anywhere design.
Blue Cloud Movie Ranch (February 23, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. PST): An invite-only event in Santa Clarita, California, that will feature an appearance from WWE superstar and meme, John Cena. To score an invite, you apparently have to be a prominent YouTuber. Fortunately, this is the only exclusive event remaining on the schedule.
Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture (February 26, doors open at 8 a.m. PST): If you live in the Bay Area and want to try the Switch the weekend before it launches, this is your chance. Nintendo has stressed that there will be limited space, however, so you’ll want to arrive at least an hour beforehand if you plan on attending.
Snowmass ski resort (February 27, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. MT): If you live in Colorado, or are just looking for an excuse to play video games at a ski resort, the Switch will be playable to the public in Aspen.
Flatiron Plaza (March 3, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET): The New Yorker media was the first to get their hands on the Switch in January, and now residents of the Big Apple will get the opportunity to demo it on launch day.
Raleigh Studios (March 5, doors open at 10 a.m. PST): Sure, it’s after the Switch’s launch, but considering how hard the console will likely be to find in its early days, this Los Angeles event may be just what L.A. residents need before deciding if the search for the Switch is worth their time.
The Switch will also be playable at PAX East in Boston starting March 10, and at SXSW in Austin starting March 16.