Unfortunately, it seems that Nintendo didn't entirely anticipate the success of their new system and as such, there have been shortages in some locations, with customers unable to get their hands on the Switch. This has apparently been an issue primarily in Japan, but is reportedly affected other regions also. This high demand and short supply has also meant that some retailers are selling Switch consoles at a premium and with games already expensive to buy, eager Nintendo fans looking to purchase the company's new console after an exciting E3 event are coming up empty handed.
Nintendo (via Bleeding Cool) have now issued an official apology on their website. Written in Japanese, the roughly translated statement reads:
"Thank you very much for your continued patronage of our products.
The “Nintendo Switch main unit” which we released on March 3, 2017 has continued to be in short supply in the entire domestic market since its launch. We sincerely apologize to our customers and dealers for their inconvenience.
Currently we continue to ship every week and we are working to deliver the product to our customers. Also, in July and August, we will increase shipment volume, including continued shipment of “Nintendo Switch Splatoon 2 set”.
For Fall and beyond, we will continue to work to ensure that as many products as possible can be delivered to our customers towards the end of the year and further strengthening our production system, we appreciate your understanding."
Although the statement is clearly geared towards the company's domestic market, retailers in the United States and elsewhere have reported supply issues and shipments selling out within hours due to unexpected demand. The statement doesn't make it clear whether the increased supply this fall is for the Japanese market only or whether the issue will be addressed worldwide.
Nintendo's previous home console, the Wii U, had an infamously troubled launch and despite being a solid - if somewhat flawed - console, the release suffered from poor marketing and a lack of recognizable launch titles. It is perhaps because of this that the Switch's huge success has taken Nintendo by surprise. The sales figures will be hugely reassuring news for the company after the Wii U's failure and even if supply is an issue, it's better to be selling out that not selling at all.
With that said, it's difficult to see these issues as anything other than an own-goal for Nintendo. After a successful marketing campaign for the Switch and a variety of E3 game announcements that included Metroid Prime 4 and a Pokemon RPG, lessons have clearly been learned after the Wii U debacle. To be let down by not having enough consoles on shelves is hugely disappointing after Nintendo seemingly got the difficult stuff right this time.
The Nintendo Switch is available now...while stocks last.
Source: Nintendo (via Bleeding Cool)
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