Gamers’ frustration with Nintendo continues to build as the company struggles to keep up with consumer demand for its latest product.
The NES Classic Edition, a miniature version of Nintendo’s first home console which comes with 30 built-in games, sold out at every store in Durham Region within minutes.
The lack of stock is forcing gamers to travel between sellers in the area, with hopes of snagging the $80 throwback item.
Lucas Ristoff, a second-year business student at Durham College and avid video game fan, spent an entire morning looking for the NES Classic Edition, but ended the day unsuccessful and empty-handed.
“I went to six different places but couldn’t find one,” he said.
The closest Ristoff got was at the first store he visited.
“The third person in front of me was the last person to get it,” Ristoff said. “I was so close, yet so far.”
He expressed frustration with that location, which was the Walmart on Harmony Road in Oshawa, because it was allowing those in line to purchase multiple units. This is unlike the policy of one per person at every other seller in the region.
According to a series of tweets from Nintendo of Canada, the company is trying to restock stores before Christmas.
There will be a steady flow of additional systems through the holiday shopping season and into the new year.
— Nintendo of Canada (@NintendoCanada) November 11, 2016
Dylan Morgan, an employee at EB Games on Baldwin Street in Whitby, says they expect to get a shipment three to five units per week, but receive more than 40 inquiries about stock per day. Additionally, it’s unclear how many they and other stores will actually get, as Nintendo isn’t telling them “anything at all.”
The shortage is not only affecting gamers in Durham Region, but all of North America as well. Retailers across the continent have been sold out since day one. This includes online stores such as Amazon, Target.com, and Bestbuy.com.
Second-hand sellers have capitalized on the hysteria, with some units being offered for sale on eBay for up to $3,000. However, it’s not confirmed if any have been sold at that price.
Many believe Nintendo understocks to create hype and buzz about its products. Although the company has never confirmed this marketing strategy, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aimé has implied the goal is to make releases as glamourous as possible.
Nintendo’s slow manufacturing and distribution process has affected the launch of the Wii, Wii U, amiibo, and now NES Classic Edition, which leaves some consumers pessimistic about the availability of the company’s upcoming hybrid-console, the Nintendo Switch, in March, 2017.