Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime is unable to commit to keeping the Nintendo Switch in stock over the holiday season. Speaking with Variety, Fils-Aime says the company is aware of the shortage and is “focused” on holiday supply. However, he stops short of clarifying whether or not Nintendo’s focus on the issue will produce the results that prospective Nintendo Switch buyers would like to know.
The Nintendo Switch has remained in a state of scarcity since it launched on March 3 earlier this year. Online retailers are entirely sold out and new waves of stock continue to disappear within hours of being made available. Even resale stock on eBay, which can cost anywhere from $50 to $200 extra, is selling well. The demand for the Nintendo Switch is still high, and while stock isn’t selling out in seconds anymore, the drought is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.
Total sales are unclear, with Nintendo’s last report at the end of June showing just under 4.7 million Nintendo Switches bought. Those numbers are buoyed by an estimated initial 2 million or more sales in March. So, April, May, and June likely averaged about a million sales each. Unless Nintendo ramps up production in the second half of 2017, it’s unlikely to sate demand with just another 5 to 6 million consoles added to the market.
Nintendo’s sales goal for the Nintendo Switch is 10 million in fiscal year 2017, which ends in March 2018. It’s readily apparent that Nintendo will pass that goal by a significant margin, just based off of its current sales reporting. At a rate of about a million sales each month, total sales might be closer to 14 million in Nintendo’s end-of-year fiscal reporting, but even that might be a conservative estimate.
For comparison’s sake, Nintendo Switch sales share some similarities to the PS4’s at launch. Both consoles sold more than 2 million near launch, and both averaged around a million sales a month post-launch. The PlayStation 4 finished its first year with over 18 million sales, and while Sony did struggle with supply initially, it started meeting demand past its 6-month milestone. The Nintendo Switch could diverge here, remaining sold out into and beyond the holiday season. At its current rate of production, 18 million first year sales seems out of reach, too.
If Nintendo is going to meet the holiday demand for Nintendo Switch, it will show well before the holiday arrives. It’s possible that stock starts being maintained by the end of September, though that seems unlikely. If that doesn’t happen, the drought could very well continue for the duration of the Nintendo Switch’s first year of availability.
The Nintendo Switch is currently available, albeit in extremely limited supply.