GameStop Claims Nintendo Switch Demand Will Outstrip Supply Through 2017, Zelda Sold With Every Unit

Do you remember when Nintendo of America Chief Operating Officer Reggie Fils-Aime said back in December that his company would boost NES Classic Edition production to meet the Christmas shopping rush? “All of our key retailers are letting consumers know when to go to stores to get it,” said Fils-Aime. “So, as we sit here today, two weeks before Christmas, I think consumers are going to be able to get their hands on it.”

Still to this day, finding an NES Classic Edition in stock at a retailer is next to impossible. We thought that perhaps Nintendo would learn its lesson for the launch of the Switch console, and Nintendo said all the right things to alleviate fears of gamers who worried about not being able to secure one at launch (or even in the weeks to follow). 

Nintendo Switch Box

“So what I would say is this: Two million for essentially the first month is a huge number, especially when you look and see that this is not peak seasonality,” said Fils-Aime in mid-January. “This is essentially the first three weeks of March. Our focus is making sure that the consumer who wants to buy a Nintendo Switch can buy a Nintendo Switch.”

Well, here we are three weeks after the launch of the Nintendo Switch and we’re likely to see people camping out in tents in front of Toys R Us stores tomorrow morning.

Nintendo Switch

Further in that vein, GameStop isn’t giving us any hope that Nintendo Switch supplies will improve throughout the rest of 2017. GameStop COO Tony Bartel explained in an earnings call last night that “Demand is incredibly strong for [the Nintendo Switch], and then, as soon as we get into our stores, it's out within hours. And so we're going to be -- we anticipate that we're going to be chasing supply this entire year.”

CEO Paul Raines added that GameStop stores plowed through their initial allotment of consoles within two days of launch. “We have had multiple replenishments since the launch, all of which have sold out in hours.” He went on to cite a Wall Street Journal report, which indicated that Nintendo will double production from 8 million units for the next fiscal year to 16 million. However, that still won’t be enough to meet demand by all accounts.


Raines further stated that the Nintendo Switch has seen an incredibly high attach rate with both software and hardware. The average GameStop customer bought 5.5 products to compliment their new consoles. And when it comes to Zelda: Breath of The Wild, the attachment rate is near 1:1, which means that nearly every Switch buyer picked up a copy of the game. Given how favorable reviews and fan reaction to the game has been, this should come as no surprise.

GameStop is also looking forward to some big releases from Nintendo over the next few months to help drive foot traffic to stores. Those games include Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Super Mario Odyssey and Splatoon 2. While those games will definitely sound like music to the ears of hardcore Nintendo gamers, that’s all for naught if you can’t get your hands on a Switch.