- Retailers across the board – including Amazon, Walmart, GameStop, Target, and Best Buy – are sold out of the popular Nintendo Switch and have been for months.
- “Nintendo Switch hardware is selling out at various retail locations in the US,” a Nintendo representative said of the shortage. “But more systems are on the way. We apologise for any inconvenience.”
- The console isn’t expected to be back in supply until summer at the earliest, and a resupply at GameStop’s online storefront this week sold out nearly instantly – a testament to the ongoing demand.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Nintendo is over three years in to the Nintendo Switch’s life, but the console remains a hot commodity with over 55 million sold.
And now, amid a global pandemic, the console is sold out at most major retailers.
Nintendo confirmed as much in a statement: “Nintendo Switch hardware is selling out at various retail locations in the US, but more systems are on the way. We apologise for any inconvenience.”
A recent resupply of the Switch at the world’s largest games retailer, GameStop, highlights just how serious the situation is: The console sold out nearly instantly.
Some folks were able to snag one, some were met with checkout errors, and others simply reported it was already sold out. At least one Insider staffer attempted – and failed – to buy a Switch during the brief availability window.
“I got it in my cart, and got through the checkout process,” he said, “Once I clicked ‘place order,’ I got red text telling me the quantity I’d chosen was no longer available.”
GameStop declined to comment.
Meanwhile, the console has remained unavailable at major retailers – from Target to Best Buy and Walmart – for months.
Resellers on Amazon were charging double or more for the Switch, which has a $US300 MSRP. Used Switch consoles are going for just shy of $US600 on Amazon currently:
So when will Nintendo be able to catch up with demand for the Switch?
Probably not in May, and maybe not in June either, Niko Partners Senior Analyst Daniel Ahmad told Business Insider. “April is going to be a fairly rough month in terms of supply,” he said. “It’s not going to recover.”
According to Ahmad, the supply situation could improve by late May or, more likely, June.
“We think that by May, and especially June – the end of Q2 – things will be back to normal with supply,” he said. “And that’s because right now, production is ramping up. So we’ll start to see the effects of that come late May, June – certainly by the end of Q2.”
Nintendo confirmed as much in a recent investor presentation. The company said that, “delays in production and shipping are gradually recovering.” It also warned against the potential impact of the pandemic should current projections change. “We may be affected if there continue to be issues involving the procurement of necessary components,” the company said. “In addition, if the impact of COVID-19 is prolonged or worsens further, it may disrupt the product supply.”
Nintendo’s Switch console was already popular before the coronavirus pandemic, but Nintendo was handily keeping up with demand.
Up until March, you could walk into most of the retailers mentioned above and walk out with a Nintendo Switch. But as the coronavirus pandemic spread in the US, and retailers closed across the country starting in March, supplies of the Switch became just as scarce as toilet paper at the supermarket.
Between the huge launch of “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” on March 20 and the increased demand for in-home entertainment, the Switch became increasingly hard to find.
Worse: Supplies of the system were already hindered by the shutdown of manufacturing in China during February, when “there were no consoles produced,” Ahmad said. About 90% of Nintendo’s Switch consoles made for the US come from China, he said.
Though production has largely resumed, Nintendo is still playing catch-up from the pause in production – thus, there are no consoles available to buy at the moment. “Because of this initial impact in February, and the fact that sourcing every single part is going to be more difficult now, that is leading to some of the supply issues you’re seeing,” Ahmad said. “And of course the increase in demand is beyond I think what even Nintendo expected.”