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The cheapest countries to buy a Nintendo Switch

The price of the iconic handheld console is different in each country, especially for a tourist.
By
January 5, 2024
Nintendo Switch Header 17
Curtis Joe / Android Authority

Like its distant relative, the Game Boy, the Nintendo Switch has cemented its place in history as one of the definitive handheld gaming devices. Its popularity is such that after almost seven years on the market, it’s still regularly at its $300 retail price in the USA, before sales tax. Globetrotting readers may have been looking for a way to pass the time on long-haul flights and noticed that the Switch isn’t the same price in the country they’re passing through. So we’ve compared some countries and asked the question, where’s the cheapest place to buy the Nintendo Switch?

This comparison should particularly interest tourists. That extra sales tax you pay in the US usually only applies to residents, and it’s the same for lots of other nations. This means that if you’re on vacation and you want to buy the Switch, you can often either claim back the sales tax for that region or avoid it entirely. It’s an enticing prospect, but are the savings worth hunting out? That’s what we’re going to explore.

We’ll keep things simple by doing a like-for-like comparison of the price of the standard model of the Nintendo Switch. We could do the same for the Switch Lite and OLED models, but you can be pretty confident that the cheapest and most expensive countries for these versions will be broadly similar to those of the original.

Let’s get into the numbers.

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Japan and Russia are the cheapest places in the world to buy a Nintendo Switch. Both places are just over $200 if you avoid the sales tax. Uruguay is the most expensive place to buy it at over $600.


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What are the cheapest countries to buy a Nintendo Switch?

We’ve laid out the price of the Nintendo Switch in each country in the table below. The local prices don’t include the sales tax of that state that you’d pay as a resident, as we’re looking at it from the point of view of a tourist. We’ve then converted those regional prices into the equivalent value in USD at the time of writing.

RankCountryPrice (w/out tax)Price in USD
Rank
1
Country
Japan
Price (w/out tax)
29,980 JPY
Price in USD
$207
Rank
2
Country
Russia
Price (w/out tax)
19,024 RUB
Price in USD
$208
Rank
3
Country
South Korea
Price (w/out tax)
327,272 KRW
Price in USD
$249
Rank
4
Country
Norway
Price (w/out tax)
2,879 NOK
Price in USD
$280
Rank
5
Country
Australia
Price (w/out tax)
426 AUD
Price in USD
$286
Rank
6
Country
Italy
Price (w/out tax)
270 EUR
Price in USD
$296
Rank
7
Country
New Zealand
Price (w/out tax)
477 NZD
Price in USD
$298
Rank
8
Country
Canada
Price (w/out tax)
400 CAD
Price in USD
$299
Rank
9
Country
Hong Kong
Price (w/out tax)
2,340 HKD
Price in USD
$300
Rank
10
Country
Taiwan
Price (w/out tax)
9,314 TWD
Price in USD
$301
Rank
11
Country
Germany
Price (w/out tax)
277 EUR
Price in USD
$303
Rank
12
Country
Sweden
Price (w/out tax)
3,119 SEK
Price in USD
$304
Rank
13
Country
United Kingdom
Price (w/out tax)
248 GBP
Price in USD
$316
Rank
14
Country
Indonesia
Price (w/out tax)
5,000,000 IDR
Price in USD
$322
Rank
15
Country
United States (inc. tax)
Price (w/out tax)
330 USD*
Price in USD
$330
Rank
16
Country
Finland
Price (w/out tax)
306 EUR
Price in USD
$335
Rank
17
Country
Malaysia
Price (w/out tax)
1,603 MYR
Price in USD
$346
Rank
18
Country
Singapore
Price (w/out tax)
477 SGD
Price in USD
$359
Rank
19
Country
India
Price (w/out tax)
30,476 INR
Price in USD
$367
Rank
20
Country
Saudi Arabia
Price (w/out tax)
1,381 SAR
Price in USD
$368
Rank
21
Country
United Arab Emirates
Price (w/out tax)
1,428 AED
Price in USD
$389
Rank
22
Country
Brazil
Price (w/out tax)
2,000 BRL
Price in USD
$410
Rank
23
Country
Mexico
Price (w/out tax)
7,672 MXN
Price in USD
$454
Rank
24
Country
Uruguay
Price (w/out tax)
23,606 UYU
Price in USD
$603

The asterisk by the United States price is to signify that this is the one entry in the table that includes tax. That’s what a US resident would pay. Sales tax in America varies by state, so we’ve used an approximate 10% increase to reflect an average amount of tax.

Based on the countries we looked at and the current exchange rates, the cheapest place to buy a Nintendo Switch is Japan. Russia is almost as cheap, with the portable gaming console costing just over $200 in each country when you take tax out of the equation. South Korea is the third cheapest country at $249.

Of the countries we looked at, Uruguay is the most expensive place to buy a Nintendo Switch. It seems hideously overpriced there at over $600, but there are undoubtedly reasons for this hefty price tag. We’ll discuss some of them below.

Is this the best price I’ll see for the Nintendo Switch in each country?

Almost certainly not. The only comparison we’re making — the only one we really can make — is how the official retail prices differ in each country. There may well be third-party vendors who advertise the Switch at a better price. But whether at home or abroad, you should always be wary about a price that seems too good to be true. It’s common for less scrupulous sellers to package up a reconditioned or second-hand model and tout it as being brand new. Buying from an official outlet is your best chance of avoiding such shadowy behavior.

Having said that, it’s very possible that you can find a good deal on the device. After all, it’s been available to buy since 2017. It could be going cheap in a clearance sale or a special offer as part of a promotional event.

Should I buy the Nintendo Switch from another country?

It’s not for us to tell you how to spend your money. If you’re passing through Japan and you need something to occupy you on long bus journeys, it might make complete sense to pick up a cut-price Switch. Just bear in mind that it might have a different software configuration, it would be very difficult to return if faulty, and any guarantee it comes with would be almost worthless once you’re back in the USA.

One thing is clear — there’s certainly no case to be made for traveling for the sole purpose of getting a cheaper Nintendo Switch. The $120 or so you’d stand to save would be way less than you’d end up paying in flight costs alone, never mind the rest of your trip expenses. Besides, you can often find deals on the device in the US that make the savings even more marginal. At the time of writing, the Nintendo Switch – Animal Crossing: New Horizons Edition is reduced from $347.99 to $319.99 on Amazon. That’s a modest offer in comparison to some of the discounts we see.

Why is the Nintendo Switch cheaper in some countries and more expensive in others?

Nintendo Switch Header 7
Curtis Joe / Android Authority

There are a great many costs to the manufacturer and retailers in bringing any product to market. They include labor, shipping, taxes, and much more. These costs are often very specific to the region of the world. It stands to reason that if the cost of getting the Nintendo Switch onto the shelves is wildly different between countries, the retail price should also be different. The marketing team will also have a say, with prices set to maximize profits for everyone involved.

Another huge factor is that we’re converting all of these prices to US dollars. The retail price of the Switch may not have changed much in seven years, but exchange rates have swung massively in that time. Japan might not have been the cheapest country in 2017, and in US dollar terms, it might not be by this time next week. Such is the nature of the global economy. We’ll revisit this article periodically to find out.


FAQs

The Nintendo Switch does go on sale from time to time. You never see it half-price, but you can often make modest savings on it, especially during Black Friday and Prime Day sales. Bundle offers are also a common occurrence.

The Switch Lite is the least expensive of the family. It retails for $199.99 in the USA.