The Nintendo Switch has taken its rightful place beside hand sanitizer as toilet paper as a rare resource, meaning that the console has all but disappeared from store shelves, and profiteers are taking the opportunity to raise prices through the roofs.
Yes, it seems that a combination of supply chain shortages and the need to have something to do while being forced to stay home all day has resulted in a shortage of the most-recently-released game console. Unfortunately for Microsoft and Sony, whose new consoles won’t be coming out until later this year, Nintendo still holds the title for hot new game system, so the demand for the Switch has gone through the roof. Animal Crossing: New Horizons might have also helped.
Best Buy, Gamestop, and Target all have standard Nintendo Switch Consoles listed as “unavailable” both online and in-stores (assuming that there are stores open anywhere near you), and Walmart only has the console listed through third-party sellers, which are asking for over $430 for the $299 console. Amazon, similarly, only has third-party sellers listing the item at the same price range, and eBay sellers have also gotten the notice, as the lowest price available is about $420 with shipping included.
The portable Nintendo Switch Lite, which doesn’t allow players to connect to their television, doesn’t appear to be going through quite the same shortage. Some, though not all, models are still available at Best Buy, Gamestop, and Target. Third-party sellers are trying to charge more on Walmart and Amazon, though they’ve only raised the price by about $15-$20 in each place.
On Ebay, you can even still buy a used Nintendo Switch Lite at a discount.
There’s no saying how long the current situation will last, as there seems to be no end to the pandemic in sight. But while hand sanitizer and toilet paper will undoubtedly restock as soon as people stop buying every last bit of it that they can get their hands on, the global supply chain required for electronics means that it may be some time before the Nintendo Switch shortage can be overcome.
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