Nintendo Switch Will Have Supply Problems For The Rest Of The Year, GameStop Claims
The Nintendo Switch sold 1.5 million units over its first week, showcasing the massive demand for hybrid console. Various retailers were instantly sold out on stocks of the Nintendo Switch, with subsequent restocks similarly quick to go upon being made available.
To shore up the supply gap, Nintendo is said to be planning to double the production for the Nintendo Switch, with a target of 16 million units starting this April. The figure is double the predicted sales figure of 8 million units by the end of the first quarter of 2018, which should give customers better chances of purchasing the elusive device.
However, a GameStop executive believes that, despite the reported production increase, customers will still experience a supply shortage for the Nintendo Switch throughout the year.
GameStop COO On Nintendo Switch Shortage
In the earnings call of GameStop for the fourth quarter of 2016, the company's COO Tony Bartel said that the demand for the Nintendo Switch remains "incredibly strong."
Bartel claims that whenever a GameStop location receives a restock on the hybrid console, the units are once again sold out within just hours, showing that the demand for the Nintendo Switch has not died down since its March 3 global launch.
Due to this persistent demand, Bartel believes that GameStop will be "chasing supply this entire year," which is bad news for customers still looking to get the chance to buy a Nintendo Switch. For those who were thinking that it would become much easier to acquire the hybrid console as weeks or months pass after its launch, it seems that GameStop believes otherwise, and that the supply shortage will extend through the holiday shopping season.
GameStop Thinks Highly Of Nintendo Switch
In the earnings call, Bartel also spoke of the high attach rate between the Nintendo Switch and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, widely considered as the flagship game of the newly released console. According to Bartel, there is an almost 1-to-1 attach rate between the Nintendo Switch and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which means that almost all customers who purchased the hybrid console also bought a copy of the game. However, it can be argued that this is because the rest of the launch games lineup for the Nintendo Switch is weak.
GameStop noted that there is a strong release schedule for upcoming games for the Nintendo Switch though. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe will arrive next month, with Splatoon 2 to be released in the summer. Super Mario Odyssey, a 3D Mario game, will launch in the fall.
GameStop senior director of merchandising Eric Bright said at the release of the Nintendo Switch that it was one of the "strongest and most successful" launches for a video game console over the past several years, as he promised that the retailer would continue replenishing its stocks for the Nintendo Switch.
Last week, Bright revealed that he thinks the Nintendo Switch has the potential to outsell Nintendo's most successful console, the Nintendo Wii. The Nintendo Wii has sold over 100 million, and Bright believes that the Nintendo Switch is on track to beat that figure.