If you want a Switch, you may have to switch

Nintendo faces supply chain issues. Will gamers remain loyal?

Jon Peddie
Image credit Arne Hückelheim


Nintendo’s Switch was the best selling game console in 2019—15 million units is significant and speaks to the enduring popularity of the Nintendo characters and game themes. And, they’d sell more if they could. 

Because of the shelter-in-place rules in most countries and most states in the US, the demand for the popular game console has exceeded supply. Retailers such as Amazon, Walmart, GameStop, Target, and Best Buy have reported that they have sold out of the popular console— and have been sold out for weeks. Japan’s entry into lockdown wiped all local Switch’s off the shelf in a few days.

“Nintendo Switch hardware is selling out at various retail locations in the US,” a Nintendo representative said. “But more systems are on the way. We apologize for any inconvenience.”

The situation was probably compounded by constrained supply chain just after China shut down, and that is coming back on-line. However, other Asian countries are still closed.

The big question for Nintendo and its suppliers like Nvidia is how this will affect the holiday shopping—are we seeing demand move forward driven by circumstances or are we seeing additional Switch gamers who otherwise would not have bought?

The other issue is will gamers who can’t get a Nintendo Switch, switch to another brand like Sony or Microsoft? And if they do will they go back to Nintendo and they can get one?

The pandemic is mixing up all the rules and expectations of people. We are approaching a new and forever changed world. We are switching our behaviors and lifestyles.

Follow up:

The saga continues: Switch Epilog