Imagine waking up at 5 a.m., and waiting outside in the frigid Canadian winter to secure a video game console before anyone else in the area.
This was the case for Sergey Kaydash on Jan. 13.
The 24-year old Durham College student, who is enrolled in the Media Fundamentals program, made sure he was first in line at EB Games in the Oshawa Centre to pre-order Nintendo’s new console, the Switch, because of product unavailability of the company’s last launch.
Some Nintendo fans are reluctant to believe the company will not repeat its past stock shortcomings with its new console.
The NES Classic Mini was released last November and caused hysteria amongst consumers throughout the holiday season. Due to a lack of availability, the product, which retailed in stores for $80, was being offered on eBay $3,000.
“I wasn’t going to run around trying to find the Switch like people did for the NES Classic,” Kaydash says. “I figured it was better to put in a lot of effort now, rather than worry about finding it later.”
According to the Nintendo fan, others did not start lining up at the Oshawa Centre store until 8 a.m. However, pre-orders were secured at all Durham Region shops by the end of the day.
Additionally, the Canadian online stores for Amazon, Best Buy, and EB Games sold out of pre-orders on the first day they were available. The “guaranteed pre-orders” are available on eBay for up to $900.
In an interview with internet gaming website GameSpot, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Amié addressed concern about a potential hardware shortage.
“With the Nintendo Switch, we’ve said that two million units will go into the marketplace for the month of March,” he said. “That’s a huge amount of volume.”
“We’re working to make sure the supply chain is robust and there is a steady flow of hardware. The one piece that we can’t anticipate is the demand set of the equation but certain from a supply [standpoint], we believe we’re going to be well-positioned.”
A common question among message boards such as Reddit is how the new system will account for previously purchased digital games, and how the company’s virtual console – a catalogue of “classic” games – will work. Fils-Amié could not comment on the specifics, however, he said with the introduction of the new user Nintendo accounts, it will make it easier for the company to tie purchases to the consumer.
Despite Fils-Amié’s “official word,” Kaydash remains skeptical the company will be able to keep up with the demand.
“This is Nintendo we are talking about,” he says. “But at least I’ve got my golden ticket, I’ll be fine.”