Update: US pre-orders have been going up and down all night. If you’re looking for one, just keep checking at your retailer of choice.
Original Story: While we just got a full rundown of the Nintendo Switch, pre-orders are not yet live. While you can’t buy the console yet, you’ll want to know when they go live, as they will likely go very fast. With over 400,000 people watching the Nintendo Switch livestream event, nearly everyone is going to be rushing to get their money down to ensure that they get their console on March 3rd. We don’t yet have a US date for pre-orders, but we did learn that they will begin on January 21st in Japan. Expect US pre-orders to begin soon after.
Nintendo has had a very spotty history when it comes to retail stock, especially for new consoles. While the Wii U was on store shelves shortly after launch, that was mostly due to the low demand, rather than a supply constraint.
In contrast, the Wii was sold out across the US and the rest of the world for months following its hugely successful launch. There was definitely massive demand for the Wii, but it seemed that Nintendo also had trouble delivering enough units to match the desires of customers.
We also saw this with amiibo, which had many waves sell out immediately, even taking down major retailers’ websites, including Gamestop and Amazon. The demand has slowed for amiibo, but the NES Classic Edition became so hard to find that they were selling for hundreds more than their retail price on eBay and other services.
Will the Nintendo Switch pre-orders have the same problem? Well, no one knows just yet, but we should get an idea very soon. If the initial pre-order offerings sell out quickly, be ready for a rough launch in March, with shortages and stock issues for an undetermined amount of time.
Hopefully Nintendo has spent the last few months building millions of Switch consoles, and players can just walk into stores and grab the console that they want, when they want it.
Good luck out there, and have fun with your Nintendo Switch, if you are able to get one before they all disappear.