Switch 2 release delay could finally thwart gaming’s biggest scourge

OPINION: Reports say Nintendo may be holding off the Switch release to stop scalpers getting their mitts on hardware and jacking up prices for gamers. It’d be a great first step to combat a practice that shouldn’t be legal in the first place.

The latest scuttlebutt surrounding the Switch 2 release suggests it may have slipped to March 2025. New reporting over the weekend may tell us why.

The reputable Nikkei agency in Nintendo’s Japanese homeland is reporting Nintendo wants to ensure it has stockpiled enough consoles to satisfy demand when the console eventually does go on sale.

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The idea behind that, the report says, is to discourage the scalpers seeking to take advantage of the shortage to hike prices on the secondary market.

Even through it means we might be waiting a considerably longer period – maybe us much as six months longer than initially planned – for the Switch 2, I’d be all in favour. Scalping is an absolute scourge and has been out of control for years now.

For the first couple of years of the current Xbox and PlayStation generation the issue was rife, with scalpers using bots to quickly snap up batches of online stock, in order to sell them on for well above the RRP.

Nintendo fans looking to grab themselves a Switch console, particularly during the early months of the pandemic, were particularly hindered by the predatory practice.

Unbridled capitalism

Largely because the United States welcomes unbridled capitalism at all costs, nothing is ever done about this. It’s disgraceful that there’s a simple “supply and demand” rationale applied to these crooks.

The situation is not quite as egregious as the concert ticket palaver, where the scalper never even has to take possession of a physical product in order to make a fortune from ripping off genuine fans, but it’s not far off either.

So Nintendo looking to head this off at the pass by simple building as many Switch 2 consoles as it can to ensure everyone who wants one can get one would be a most welcome development.

This would represent real change. Historically, Nintendo has been more than ok with fostering a fevered demand for its consoles. The original Wii for instance was notoriously hard to get for a couple of years. The company was often accused of under-producing on purpose to keep demand sky high.

However, it was the Switch’s launch in 2017 that really sparked the issues with scalpers snapping up the supply Nintendo was able to get on the market and jacking up the prices to up to £400-£500.

Thankfullly, Nintendo has already made comments suggesting it will do its best to ensure scalpers don’t get their grasping little paws on the next-gen system.

“With regard to resale measures when launching new hardware, we recognise that the most important thing is to first produce and ship in numbers that can meet customer demand,” Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa said in July last year when asked how it would make sure the console would be purchased by those who wish to play games on it. “We will then consider whether there are any other possible measures that can be taken.”

Of course, Nintendo could also adopt the strategy Sony often did with the PS5 by inviting gamers to subscribe for the chance to buy the console direct from the manufacturer.

However, the company relies heavily on third-party retailers to stock consoles and games well beyond the post-launch scramble for hardware, and those sellers have zero concerns about who buys the console and what happens to it after it is shipped.

There’s only so much Nintendo can do, but making sure there are enough Switch 2 consoles to ensure the asking price remains the selling price in the vast majority of instances, would be a great step forward.

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