Finding a Nintendo Switch console to occupy yourself with has become increasingly difficult and it seems the coronavirus pandemic has made it all but impossible to do so without paying a hefty price. Part of the problem is the arrival of Animal Crossing on the Switch, as the special edition of the console was essentially sold out well before the game was actually released. But with the coronavirus keeping folks inside and the World Health Organization actually encouraging people to play video games, demand has gone up even further.
For people who would like to get into gaming the Nintendo Switch may not be a reasonable option thanks to the pandemic. The console appears to be all but impossible to find online at retail price, which for many is their only option now that visiting retail stores is not encouraged.
As of this writing the cheapest Switch available for purchase on Amazon starts at $469, hundreds of dollars over the $299 retail for the full-sized model. The only consoles available are all from secondary sellers, as the console is sold out through Amazon’s own vendors. Walmart has similar price gouging issues, and Forbes pointed out Best Buy has Switches available but apparently not able to deliver until the second week of April.
It’s not impossible to get a Switch if you really want one. Some stores like Target still have stock available in some models for in-store pickup, though going out to buy a video game console may not be considered an essential trip no matter what the WHO says. Those models, however, tend to be the Switch Lite, the cheaper more handheld version of the console.
There’s certainly something to be said about supply and demand here, or maybe price gouging during a global pandemic. But even when you take into account Nintendo’s fairly consistent supply shortages, it’s clear folks trapped at home are trying their best to keep occupied with new hobbies. Unfortunately for most, checking out Animal Crossing or Breath of the Wild won’t be an option unless they already have their console or are willing to pay a premium.