As everyone locks their doors and gets ready for an extended period of time in their homes social distancing and self quarantining, a common question is being posed on social media everywhere: what’s the best way to get a good workout in at home?
There are a lot of ways to avoid the gym and get an in-home workout in thanks to YouTube guides and videos of yoga and other body weight training, but one video game-aided workout will be unavailable unless you already own it. Nintendo’s Ring Fit Adventure for the Switch is the best exercise video game ever made, and it’s abruptly sold out in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The game, which is an adventure title that makes you work out with a squeezable ring and a Switch JoyCon attached to your thigh, has you complete workout tasks to run through courses. It immediately caught the attention of the video game world by storm when it was released in late 2019. People were speedrunning it. Everybody wants it right now, because it’s something you can do at home during a time where we’re being told to stay home. But it’s become impossible to find right now for a good price.
As Polygon reported, Nintendo says the game is sold out everywhere. This game shortage is not just coronavirus panic-related, as it’s been close to impossible to find at a decent price for more than a month, with prices on Ebay ranging well over $100 and sometimes into the $200 range for a new or even used copy. But with people officially indoors for the time being, there’s simply no copies of the game anywhere to be found now. The Polygon story tells a sad tale of when they thought they had a copy only to have it dashed.
Nintendo confirmed the shortages in a statement to Polygon on Thursday, acknowledging that “the Ring Fit Adventure game is selling out at various retail locations in the Americas.” The company added, “We are working to provide more units as soon as possible and apologize for any inconvenience.”
I’ve been trying to buy Ring Fit Adventure myself for a month now, going back weeks before COVID-19 became a nationwide crisis in the U.S.; I just wanted it for personal fitness reasons. In mid-February, I thought I’d successfully placed an in-store pickup order at a Best Buy in the Bronx. But I was forced to cancel it shortly afterward when the electronics retailer notified me that the game wasn’t actually available at that store, or at any Best Buy within 250 miles of New York City. At the moment, no GameStop locations within 100 miles of the 10 most-populated U.S. cities — New York; Los Angeles; Chicago; Houston; Phoenix; Philadelphia; San Antonio; San Diego; Dallas; and San Jose, California — have Ring Fit Adventure in stock, according to the retailer’s website.
To Nintendo’s credit, they warned fans that there was an expected delay on products with the COVID-19 outbreak worldwide. This is a serious issue and we can’t just demand that Nintendo meet our needs while they themselves deal with this outbreak home in Japan. Demand is high right now due to the climate, but it’s also a problem that consistently happens with Nintendo.
When the Wii was at its peak it was impossible to find as well. The Nintendo Switch had similar early console release issues. The NES Mini was extremely difficult to get for its entire lifespan and the Super Nintendo Mini took months to become widely available. This is a consistent problem that Nintendo has had throughout the last decade. When a product has high demand they can’t seem to match it, let alone amid a shut-in rush.
Let’s give them benefit of the doubt here and assume they didn’t expect Ring Fit to sell the way it has. But it did sell well and the COVID-19 outbreak happens and all of a sudden everyone in the U.S. wants one as well as all the people in Japan, where it was already sold out. Now they have to mass produce new items in the middle of a health crisis. All of this could be absolutely true, but at the end of the day it’s a missed opportunity for a company that has a chance to benefit.
Unfortunately this means anyone who wants a Nintendo-aided workout needs to hook up their Wii U or original Wii to get a quick tennis match or home run derby in to get a good sweat on while they’re stuck indoors. Still good options, but not the best one that was once on the market.