The Wuhan virus, simply going by the catch-all term of “Coronavirus”, has been wreaking havoc across China and the world scene ever since its outbreak became wildly known back in December. Lately, it seems not a day goes by without another coronavirus-related story making major headlines. While this is more of a health issue than a gaming one, it has been having an effect on several industries, including that of video games. Particularly, customers flocking to the Nintendo Switch have been having some strange experiences over in Asian nations.
Hong Kong price hikes
Nintendo Switch only just recently released in China on an official basis, though that is where the majority of its manufacturing takes place. In the last few days, it has become known that Switch stock shortages will be expected for basically all markets. This has led to retailers over in Hong Kong to take drastic measures. They’ve begun to sell the Switch in bundle-only SKUs, which include two games, a screen protector and soft case. This has led to the price being drummed up to $4230 Hong Kong dollars, or $544 USD. That’s nearly triple the US MSRP of $299!
Retailers are taking advantage of the surge in interest in Switch seeing that stock will soon be hard to come by. A very underhanded move, but as far as these retailers are concerned, that’ll just guarantee bigger profits.
Switch Lite saves the day in Japan
A short hop over in Japan, the Switchuation remains rather similar. Nintendo actually warned the Japanese market first that there would be issues. After this announcement, Japanese customers scrambled to buy new units, and the Lite was the model to come out on top as the most popular choice.
This is notable due to the amazing pivot in unit sales compared to past weeks. From February 10-16, the Switch Lite sold 63,443 units (compared to 21,609 a week prior). Meanwhile, the flagship Switch sold only 16,869 units (it had sold a whopping 79,532 units a week prior). As the weeks move on, it will be interesting to see how far platform numbers as a whole drop as general stock count diminishes.