First came toilet paper, Purell, and Clorox wipes. Now, it's the Nintendo Switch.
If you go to popular shopping sites around the Internet or even try to find the Nintendo Switch on store shelves right now, you'll find a sobering fact: the portable console is out of stock. And if you want to buy it, chances are, you'll need to deal with price gougers who have pushed the price up to several hundred dollars more than the Switch's $300 standard price tag.
The news, which was earlier reported on by Business Insider, is nothing if not a surprising revelation. And it speaks to what has happened as people around the globe stay inside to fight the spread of coronavirus around the globe.
Indeed, when news first broke that coronavirus posed a threat to people and lockdowns were imminent, the first items out of stock were toilet paper, Purell hand sanitizer, and Clorox wipes. The Purell and Clorox wipes made sense: people wanted to sanitize themselves and their homes. The toilet paper shortage, however, has proven to be a head-scratcher for lawmakers like New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who said panic about getting toilet paper when markets are open isn't warranted.
But what about the Nintendo Switch? It has no value for keeping your home (or you) clean, so why is it in such high demand?
For one, kids are home and parents are trying to figure out what to do with them all day. Putting them in front of Nintendo's portable console may offer a little reprieve. Parents, too, might be sneaking in a little Mario time when the kids go to sleep to at least get away from all the bad news.
It's also possible that Nintendo is suffering from the same supply shortages that have challenged Apple and other big tech companies. With Covid-19 shutting down factories in China and elsewhere, supplies have been constrained, possibly making it harder for Nintendo to get units to store shelves.
Either way, one thing is abundantly clear: Nintendo has a major winner on its hand with the Switch.
But Nintendo probably doesn't like the price gouging going on, either. On Amazon, for instance, you can get a used Switch for $500. That's $200 more than its regular retail price. On sites like GameStop, Switch is sold out and Walmart has one available for $559. And you don't even want to look at prices on eBay.
So, if you're in the market for a Nintendo Switch, now's the time to hold off. Better yet, consider a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One--both consoles are readily available anywhere you look.