April 22, 2020

We’re in the midst of a great Nintendo Switch shortage

Switches are flying off the shelves, but Mario’s pipeline has a supply problem.

Sales of video-game hardware are surging, and the Nintendo Switch is grabbing the high score: An analyst said Tuesday that Switch sales in March were up more than 2x compared to last year.

Overall, spending on video-game hardware grew by 63% — to $461m. 

Switches are flyin’ off the shelves because we’ve all lost our freakin’ minds for Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the smash-hit game that’s morphed into its own quarantine universe.

But Mario’s pipeline has a supply problem

As our weeks of isolation drag on, we’ve switched from stockpiling TP to stockpiling ways to entertain our bored selves. That made the Switch the hottest commodity in the Mushroom Kingdom.

Major retailers are out of stock, and if you try to buy one through an Amazon reseller, you may pay almost 2x the usual $299. Entrepreneurial types/jerks are using a bot to snap up Switches as soon as they go on sale.

The Switch is essential isolation hardware

And Nintendo is pumping up production to meet the demand. It now expects to produce ~10% more Switch units this year, up from ~20m last year.

The company doesn’t actually make the console itself, but parts suppliers have reported orders through June that are 50%+ higher than usual.

If the Great Switch Shortage continues and you don’t want to pay a price-gouging Bowser wannabe, you’ve got options: One guy built a DIY Switch himself from used parts.

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