[Update: 1/16/2017:] There’s a correction to the previous report. Analyst Daniel Ahmad explained in a follow-up tweet that the 500,000 SKU figure referred to the Wii U and was not the SKU pre-order sales stat for the Nintendo Switch. Ahmad deleted the previous tweets and explained the following:
@OneAngryGamerHD What I said is that back in 2012, GameStop had 500k reservations for WiiU at launch
That stat has nothing to do with Switch
— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) January 16, 2017
[Original article:] The hype for the pre-orders for the Nintendo Switch appears to be real. GameStop sold out of their initial pre-order stock and have already contacted Nintendo to get another batch ready.
According to market analyst Daniel Ahmad, GameStop’s initial batch went fast and they’ve already secured 500,000 SKUs for launch based on the pre-orders alone.
GameStop also sold out of its initial batch of Wii U’s early on too
After a waiting list etc.. they secured the total 500k units for launch
— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) January 15, 2017
IGN also confirmed the news, reporting that GameStop senior VP of merchandising, Bob Puzon, confirmed to them that their stock has sold out and they are working to secure additional units for their stores to fulfill the rapidly growing pre-order numbers.
Nintendo of America president, Reggie Fils-Aime had explained to Gamespot that they’ll be making sure that supply meets demand and that they won’t end up like in the NES Classic Edition situation where the device is still sold out from most retailers and they’re having a hard time keeping them in stock.
Fils-Aime explained that they have 2 million SKUs ready for the Nintendo Switch at launch. If GameStop manages to secure 500,000 more units that’ll boost that number to 2.5 million. We’re still a month and a half off from the Nintendo Switch’s release, so I’m sure Nintendo is happy about the figures so far.
The only major drawback to the system’s release will be the launch titles. So far they only have 1-2 Switch and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild as the heavy-hitters, but the latter is definitely big enough to force several million Nintendo Switch units off store shelves. The real challenge will be keeping a steady supply of software coming in throughout spring and summer, something that did not happen with the Wii U.
The other major factor is price… $299 is a tall order for casual consumers, so they’ll need strong word of mouth to keep the system selling well after the initial first quarter launch.