Gamestop Expects Shaky Supply of Switch for the Year

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Gamestop Expects Shaky Supply of Switch for the Year

Say what you will about the Nintendo Switch, but it's not only selling well, but it's still selling well. Gamestop reports that, by and large, when a shipment is received it sells out within hours. That's unusual in and of itself, but it gets stranger: Gamestop expects this issue to continue through the remainder of the year.

It's the largest physical game-specific retailer on Earth, so it knows from where it speaks when it comes to issues of demand. It's been seeing gaming sales on the decline of late--with digital games becoming increasingly in vogue, buying physical games has less of an impact than it once did--seeing any kind of gains must be welcome. But even Gamestop itself didn't see this kind of demand coming.

GameStop's CEO Paul Raines commented: "There’s a lot of excitement about the Switch, but there’s also a lot of caution. We’re very cautious simply because of limited allocation. We don’t really have an aggressive forecast built-in for the Switch. We’ve learned with Nintendo not to do that.”

What's more, GameStop is on average selling one copy of the new Zelda game for every Switch that it sells, which makes it clear that Zelda's the kind of launch title that most every console needs.

Naturally, observers are looking for Nintendo to make the same mistake it did with the Wii U, in that it offered a noteworthy game platform but didn't follow up with much in the way of games to play on it. Nintendo's already got a few titles lined up here, like the next Mario Kart entry, the new Splatoon, and the next release in the long running Mario franchise, Super Mario Odyssey.

It's the same thing many have said all along. Sure, gamers are clearly giving Nintendo the benefit of the doubt on the strength of an impressive launch title, but Nintendo's going to have a long way to go in order to keep this momentum going. If the Switch turns into another Wii U, then Nintendo may have a much, much harder time of selling the system that comes after the Switch. This is probably going to be a make-or-break for Nintendo's console hopes going forward, and it's got to ready a great response to the market in order to win.

Still, all it will take is a good roster of games, and if that's in place, the Switch may well be the next Wii, rather than the next Wii U.

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