Nintendo has had an incredible couple of months since the launch of their newest hardware. The Switch is set to outsell the Wii U within its first year, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is already being considered one of the best games on modern consoles. There’s just one problem: not enough supply to meet the demand. The constant issue most gamers have run into with the Switch is simply that they can’t get their hands on one without spending a fortune to a reseller or getting lucky at a retailer. Now, Nintendo has made promises that they would up production and ship out more units of the Switch, but now we’re starting to see how exactly they worked to satisfy the incredible demand.
“We carried some of the Switches by plane in March to serve our customers more promptly,” a spokesperson for Nintendo told The Wall Street Journal. This is an unusual step for the company who traditionally supplies the western markets by shipping everything by sea. Analysts have said that shipping by air can be a far more expensive way to move units, up to ¥5,000 (US$45) per unit, so it is impressive to see that Nintendo was more than willing to take that extra step to supply their customers – and it is definitely a move that has paid off.
Nintendo planned to sell 2 million Switch consoles by the end of March, the first month it was commercially available. They shattered that expectation, instead selling almost 3 million and might have hit that mark had they known ahead of time what a success it would be. It’s hard to say exactly how many of those came in on aircraft, but we can only assume the dent it would have made if they hadn’t made the decision. They did return to using boats for unit transportation in April and the exact sales numbers aren’t out yet, but all indications are that they are still going as strong as possible with most retailers still out of stock online as of the writing of this article.
The Switch is only just getting started, and it’s good to see Nintendo actively working to get their product into the hands of everyone who wants one.