With most of the world's population stuck at home due to COVID-19 related quarantine and social distancing policies, it's not surprising that many have turned to gaming in these trying times. Video games are an excellent way to pass the time at home, with multiplayer options even allowing gamers to keep in contact with faraway friends. Last week, Verizon reported that game usage was up a staggering 75% from pre-coronavirus numbers.
This spike in gaming popularity has resulted in record-breaking sales for a number of titles, including the recently released Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Doom Eternal. Unfortunately, the high demand for games and consoles has resulted in the Nintendo Switch is completely sold out at a number of US retailers.
Best Buy, Target, GameStop, and even Amazon have reported that they are entirely out of Nintendo Switch units. The lightweight, portable console is capable of playing a number of low-stress, family-friendly games, including the aforementioned New Horizons, making it a popular choice for purchase during the quarantine.
These Switch shortages continue even though Best Buy and GameStop have closed all or almost all of their physical locations and Target has implemented limited hours and early closing. Amazon's warehouses remain open, but they are prioritizing the shipping of "essential items"—a list that does not include Nintendo Switches or any other gaming consoles.
Would-be Switch purchasers have been met with "shipping delay" notifications since early February, with COVID-19 believed to be the primary cause. However, Nintendo reached out to The Hollywood Reporter to reassure fans that "more systems are on the way." They did not provide any concrete details such as when these systems would be available, where they could be purchased, or whether or not they would be able to be shipped with the focus on "essentials".
With so many upcoming Nintendo Switch titles—as revealed in this morning's surprise Mini Direct video—we can only hope that more Switches will be available for purchase soon.
Have you been spending your quarantine playing games on your Switch? What titles have been helping you get through these difficult times? Let us know!