The world is not in a good place at all right now. With the coronavirus outbreak continuing to inflict major damage across several countries, the domino effects are being seen and felt in a variety of different ways. For the gaming world, one issue that has arisen has been limited stock of console units. As manufacturing in China has been severely impacted, shipments have slowed down tremendously. On top of that, with more people now being ordered to stay at home in country after country, demand has risen for products—entertainment devices included. These factors have combined into what is now a bit of a crisis for the Switch market.
If you look on Nintendo’s official storefront over on Amazon USA now, you will be met with quite the sight. For one thing, Nintendo itself appears to currently be out of stock. All of the available options as of the time of writing are from third-party sellers. What’s the real kicker, is that these third-party sellers are charging exorbitant amounts for a Switch. The lowest, as of March 23, 2020, at 11:29 PM, is $469.99. The highest, however, is a whopping $549.99 (and that doesn’t even include free shipping.)
A similar situation is being faced by the Switch Lite. Again, Nintendo itself is out of stock. Third-party sellers are offering prices that start at $219.99 (without free shipping), and are going as high as $299.99—the MSRP of the flagship Switch.
If you’re thinking this is just an Amazon problem, think again. Searching on Walmart.com reveals that only the Switch Lite remains readily available (for now). Ebay is also a mess with prices well above the $450 mark for brand-new flagship Switch units located in the USA. The Lite isn’t faring any better on that storefront either, as its prices are also currently inflated.
The madness continues over on BestBuy.com, which has slapped the “Sold Out” symbol across many flagship and Lite options. The remaining stock is either bundled or being sold at a higher price.
Finally, Target.com is all out of flagship Switch units, though the Lite thankfully is still going for its usual $199, for the time being.
A storm we saw coming
This current situation is not one that comes as a surprise if you’ve been keeping in touch with Nintendo’s statements. A few weeks ago, the company warned that shortages would begin to face the US and European markets, following the very quick trouble that arose in Japan with the depletion of flagship Switch units.
Now that the console drought has hit the West, it remains unclear when the situation will be rectified. Really, it likely won’t begin to die down until the coronavirus outbreak is contained—and that is a whole other story within of itself.
The fact of the matter is, Switch units are still out there, but if you don’t have one already then you’re going to need to hand over an arm and a leg in order to obtain one. Now certainly isn’t the best time to go shopping online for a system. But, unfortunately, visiting a local store in order to try and pick up a Switch may not be very easy either due to the lockdown conditions many are faced with.