The Nintendo Switch reached new heights of popularity after global communities started social distancing. But now, that demand is resulting in Nintendo Switch shortages at major retailers.
Going into 2020, the Nintendo Switch was already surpassing previous Nintendo consoles, bolstered by the launch of the Switch Lite. But due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the handheld-console hybrid has seen a boom in popularity, heightened even further by the popularity of Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
In Japan, crowds are still lining up for Switch consoles. Ring Fit Adventure has also seen a surge in demand as a workout alternative for those stuck indoors. Eurogamer reports shortages at UK retailers like the official Nintendo UK store and GAME, and in the United States, retailers like Amazon and Target are running out of Switch stock.
ヨドバシカメラ梅田の大行列は、どうぶつの森のゲーム購入者が並んでるみたい。このコロナの感染予防言われてるのに、ギュウギュウで並ばせている、ヨドバシやばすぎる！並んでるやつも、外出自粛要請は知らんのか。クラスター感染でるねこれ。ネット販売でいいやろ。てか、店員もマスクしろよ pic.twitter.com/DDjfYzgrXC- SANJI (@1rDriussff7WFWP) April 4, 2020
The issue was noted by Nintendo in Japan where the company released a statement (via Twitter) on the shipment of new Switch consoles, saying only those who reserved a Switch would be receiving a unit. This is only for Japanese customers, but it's still recognition of the high demand for the console. Nikkei reports that while operations at factories have recovered to a certain point, according to its source they have yet to return to full capacity. Nikkei also notes that while this has affected shipments to Japan, shipments in the U.S. and Europe will "continue as normal."
Both Eurogamer and GamesIndustry.biz were provided statements by a U.S. Nintendo representative on the region's stock: "Nintendo Switch hardware is selling out at various retail locations in the U.S., but more systems are on the way," the statement reads. "We apologize for any inconvenience."
If you're looking for a Switch console and only finding resellers, that's at least a glimmer of hope. But the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are stretching out across the hardware side of the industry; one UK retailer told GI.biz that PS4 and Xbox One consoles are also being ordered, and are also "in short supply right now."