Video game retailer GameStop has said that it expects to have a shortage of Nintendo Switch stock all year round, because the new home/handheld console hybrid is just that popular. The forecast comes just a few weeks after GameStop’s senior director of marketing, Eric Bright, said that the Switch has had the ‘strongest console launch in years.’
Speaking during a post-earnings conference call with investors earlier this week, GameStop chief operating officer Tony Bartel again stressed that the “demand is incredibly strong” for the Nintendo Switch. The retail executive said that “As soon as we get any in our stores, it’s out within hours. We anticipate we’re going to be chasing supply this entire year.”
GameStop executives compared the Switch to the Nintendo Wii (the world’s fifth best-selling games console), as that console was constantly out of stock too. Given that GameStop’s Bright also recently suggested that Nintendo Switch sales could ‘eclipse the Wii,’ the comments from Bartel and co. come as little surprise.
For those who have yet to get their hands on a Nintendo Switch since the console launched on March 3, the news that the system is still going to be hard to find will be disappointing. While Nintendo has doubled Switch production to keep up with demand (the company only expected to sell two million units during the console’s launch month), it seems likely that even this will not be enough.
It’s no wonder why prospective Switch owners on social media have begun to share tips on how to import the console from abroad, taking advantage of what little stock remains in retailers across the globe. And undoubtedly, those who mocked one fan for camping out for 30 days to buy a Nintendo Switch may feel as though that fan had the right idea.
But what’s frustrating for consumers is gold for Nintendo. Before the console launched, investors expressed concerns that the company had not packed enough ‘must-have’ features into the Switch to make it a surefire seller and some had doubts that it would not sell as well as the sales-starved Wii U, let alone its massively popular predecessor the Wii. But with retailers like GameStop flabbergasted by the demand, Nintendo will be glad to see that the Switch has gotten off to such a great start and will be thinking of ways to make that continue, and to get console stock onto store shelves even quicker.