Nintendo’s Switch is more than three years in to its life cycle, but the console remains a hot commodity, with more than 52 million sold.
It’s more popular than ever right now, as millions of people around the world are staying home to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Unfortunately, the console is sold out at every major retailer. It’s nearly impossible to buy a Nintendo Switch right now without paying nearly double the $300 sticker price. It’s similarly difficult to find the handheld-only Nintendo Switch Lite.
Nintendo confirmed as much in a statement this week: “Nintendo Switch hardware is selling out at various retail locations in the US, but more systems are on the way. We apologize for any inconvenience.”
Look no further than the digital storefronts of Amazon, Target, GameStop, Best Buy, and Walmart for proof. In the case of Amazon, the only available option is resellers charging north of $550. In the case of the four others, they’re simply out of stock with no refresh date in sight.
So when will Nintendo be able to catch up with demand for the Switch?
Probably not this month, and maybe not next month either, Niko Partners Senior Analyst Daniel Ahmad told Business Insider. “April is going to be a fairly rough month in terms of supply,” he said. “It’s not going to recover.”
According to Ahmad, the supply situation could improve by late May or, more likely, June.
“We think that by May, and especially June — the end of Q2 — things will be back to normal with supply,” he said. “And that’s because right now, production is ramping up. So we’ll start to see the effects of that come late May, June — certainly by the end of Q2.”
Nintendo’s Switch console was already popular before the coronavirus pandemic, but Nintendo was handily keeping up with demand.
Up until March, you could walk into most of the retailers mentioned above and walk out with a Nintendo Switch. But as the coronavirus pandemic spread in the US, and retailers closed across the country starting in March, supplies of the Switch became just as scarce as toilet paper at the supermarket.
Between the huge launch of “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” on March 20 and the increased demand for in-home entertainment, the Switch became increasingly hard to find.
Worse: Supplies of the system were already hindered by the shutdown of manufacturing in China during February, when “there were no consoles produced,” Ahmad said. About 90% of Nintendo’s Switch consoles made for the US come from China, he said.
Though production has largely resumed, Nintendo is still playing catch up from the pause in production — thus, there are no consoles available to buy at the moment. “Because of this initial impact in February, and the fact that sourcing every single part is going to be more difficult now, that is leading to some of the supply issues you’re seeing,” Ahmad said. “And of course the increase in demand is beyond I think what even Nintendo expected.”