Congratulations Nintendo, you just won E3.
Against all odds, Nintendo stole the show from one major studio who was debuting a new console and another that is at the top of their game and brought an army of major upcoming titles.
Nintendo beat their competition by understanding that E3 is all about creating hype. They announced the long-awaited Metroid Prime 4 and hinted at the even longer-awaited Pokemon RPG for consoles. They debuted trailers for the return of Yoshi and Kirby. They even gave an extended preview of Mario Odyssey that has convinced some it will be the best game of the year.
Nintendo’s E3 was so good, in fact, that many no doubt ran out to their nearest store or jumped on Amazon to secure a Nintendo Switch and prepare for Nintendo’s unbelievably exciting future.
Those that did likely found the same thing. Either no Switch available to buy or Nintendo Switches that have suffered through so much price gouging that they could be the star of a Shakespearean tragedy.
Right now, it’s almost impossible to find a Nintendo Switch that isn’t being sold for at least $100 above its retail price. Since the Switch is a relatively new console, games are also still floating around the $50-$60 mark across the board. That means that at a time when the Switch is at its most desirable, it is also at its most expensive.
The most embarrassing part about the state of the Switch is that Nintendo isn’t even the one profiting from this high-price/high-demand infrastructure. They’re just watching as the entire gaming world is talking about their brand new console and making the same vague promises about more Switches arriving soon.
It’s a problem that Nintendo has had for years. They always seem to either underestimate the demand for a particular console, mess up the shipping process, or otherwise generate demand via enforced shortages. Whatever the reasons, Nintendo has historically failed in terms of getting systems on the shelves when gamers want them most.
This time, however, the shortage feels especially embarrassing. How does Nintendo not have a plan in place to immediately replenish Switch stocks wherever they may be low in the days following their biggest showing in years?
While it’s not fair to say that no other major game company suffers through these shortages, it is fair to say that nobody suffers through them as often as Nintendo.
That’s what makes this whole situation a real embarrassment. At a time when Nintendo has just proven that they are finally in a position to go toe-to-toe with the biggest names in the modern game industry and win by doing things their own way, they immediately show why it is that they can never seem to get ahead even when everything is going their way.
Sooner rather than later, store shelves will be stocked with Nintendo Switches just waiting to be snatched up by eager consumers. It’s just a shame that those who want a Switch the most either have to spend the days between now and then overpaying or hoping.
Poor Nintendo. After all these years of creating artificial shortage, it now cannot produce product to meet demand when it wants to. Perhaps now they understand the frustration they caused to their loyal fanbase. Zero sympathy.
Don’t get why people not just order a Switch online if they happens to be sold out in their area. It’s not like the Switch is sold out everywhere in the hole world.
The author seems to have missed the raft of articles about the reason for the shortages….
In short – It’s disappointing to see the lack of research in this piece as I thought it was going to offer another angle.
How can you win something if there are no sales to be made from your hardware….??
The switch is about as much a “fad” as the Wii/WiiU were and will fail out of existence here soon. They’re going to need to bring more to the table in the essence of a powerful console to have a foothold into something longer than a two-three year life-cycle… D
I don’t care what system they make. Never again Nintendo. First there was the NES Classic which remained basically impossible to purchase at retail price for the entire life of the product. Now it is reoccurring with the Switch. We’re a couple of months out until Christmas season which means even if they get their supply issues down for regular demand which they seem unable to do, they’s really be screwing over their prospective customers come October. Next will be the SNES classic, I have no doubt they’ll limit supply on that. Maybe this planned scarcity works for them, but I’m out. I can deal with a month or two of shortages, especially during the holidays, but consistently not having enough stock for any of your new systems for about a year shows that they don’t care about their fans. They’ve been in the business for over 30 years, there’s no excuse for their continued ineptitude or for taking their customers for granted.
If any of this scarcity was ‘planned’ it was a mighty fine job from Apple then…
Some facts, the original target was 2m sold by end of April. They then raised production as demand went up and sold over 2.4m.
March has never been the time to launch a new console so 2M was reasonable – although there was still a large amount of skepticism about Nintendo being able to meet those sales targets due to the poor sales of the Wii U.
When it became clear the Switch was selling out and selling very well, Nintendo tried to up production further – but are being held back due to Apple’s stranglehold on the supply chain. So, while Nintendo has had a poor history of stocking issues, this is not one of those times. If you need to blame someone, blame Apple for their stranglehold.
Lol @ Johnny Blaze
What? Blame Apple for making a successful product? Why don’t we all just admit that Nintendo have a history of under-performing hardware, and that the supply chain would rather deal with a winner like Apple as opposed to a loser like Nintendo.