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Nintendo can’t keep up with Switch demand, even using airplanes

Published May 1st, 2017 11:03PM EDT
Nintendo Switch Sold Out Shipping
Image: Serpell-Rand/REX/Shutterstock

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Rather than using the more affordable sea freight to ship its Switch console during the first month of sales, Nintendo was forced to revert to more expensive air shipping, a new report reveals.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Nintendo switched back to shipping its consoles by sea in April, which explains why it still can’t meet the huge demand for the Switch. Not that shipping it via air was a better solution, as Switch shortages were experienced in various markets ever since the Switch went on sale in early March.

“We carried some of the Switches by plane in March to serve our customers more promptly,” a Nintendo spokesperson said, without revealing what markets were serviced by air. Analysts speculate that the Switch console was delivered by aircraft to the US and Europe.

“Air is a big profit-squeezer because it could cost additional ¥5,000 per unit,” or about $45, Ace Research Institute analyst Hideki Yasuda said. Even so, future use of airfreight might be possible as interest in the console remains high, the analyst explained.

Meanwhile, the Switch is selling out in hours, not days, GameStop told Forbes late last week, just as it was getting ready for the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe launch.

The Journal notes that Nintendo sold 2.74 million Switch consoles in the first month, even though it planned to sell some 2 million units during the period.

Clearly, Nintendo has a lot more Switch shipping to do.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.