Until Nintendo ramps up production and shipments again, finding a Switch for a reasonable price is going to be near-impossible. You can patiently wait it out, or you can take the route this person claims to have and build your own Switch for about $200 using replacement and repair parts bought from China and online auctions.
It sounds too good to be true, but we’ve seen successful attempts to build popular electronic items like this before. Most famous was engineer Scotty Allen, who lives in China and was able to find all the parts needed, either original or third-party substitutes, to build a fully functional iPhone from scratch. The iPhone’s immense popularity made finding the necessary parts relatively easy (it wasn’t quite as easy when he built an Android phone from scratch) so it’s safe to assume that given the Switch’s success—and its history of breaking—there has to be a growing market for replacement parts for the console.
Known simply as Sarbaaz37 on their imgur account, the hardware hacker has shared a detailed post with pictures documenting not only all the parts required for a build like this, but also their cost and the complex process of assembling a Nintendo Switch from scratch. To be clear, this isn’t a project for an amateur who’s just desperate to play Animal Crossing. Sourcing the parts is the first complicated step, which Sarbaaz37 estimates took a little over a month, followed by the build itself, which requires some real expertise in electronics.
There are lots of opportunities to royally screw up your do-it-yourself Switch, and with a price tag that still comes out to about the same as buying a Nintendo Switch Lite, you have to question if the whole thing was actually worth it, especially given that Nintendo has promised the console shortage might soon be over.