The first person in line for the midnight release of the Nintendo Switch had been there four long weeks.
YouTuber CaptainNintendoDude waited the 28 days since Feb. 3 at the Nintendo Store in Manhattan, until at last he could count down to the clock striking midnight, like it was New Year’s Eve for Nintendo’s newest console.
It was an extreme measure, but he was willing to endure it in order to guarantee a Switch. Nintendo executives said Friday, as sales of the Switch began, that you won’t have to work nearly that hard to buy yours.
All across the country, the hype had been building for the Switch, with preorders quickly selling out at major retailers like Amazon, Walmart and GameStop. This time around, Nintendo took precautions to make sure it wouldn’t have a situation like the NES Classic on its hands.
The NES Classic, a nostalgic remake, has been sold out for months because of heavy demand and supply shortages. The Nintendo Wii also faced supply problems more than a year after its release. With that track record and the sold-out preorders for the Switch, many people worried they would have to wait for the new console if they didn’t get it at launch.
Not this time, says Doug Bowser, Nintendo’s vice president of sales.
The company is boosting its production and expects a steady flow of Switches heading to stores for several months, according to Bowser. If you miss out on a Switch on the launch date, he said, rest assured that more are on the way.
For Friday’s Switch launch, Nintendo shipped out 2 million units worldwide, anticipating the high demand. There’s no exact number on how many more Switches Nintendo will be dispersing, but Bowser said that constant production means people should be able to get their hands on the console.
“They’re going to be available through March, and we’re also increasing production,” said Marc Franklin, Nintendo’s public relations director.
It’s still too early say how many Nintendo Switches have been sold since it launched at midnight. But Bowser expects fans to continue buying the console as Nintendo rolls out games like Splatoon 2, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and ARMS.
So far, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has been one of the most popular launch titles, and for good reason. CNET sister site GameSpot gave the title a perfect 10, calling it a “breathtaking masterpiece.”
Nintendo decided to space out its heavy hitters, with Breath of the Wild as its haymaker for the launch. Instead of herding a pack of strong titles right out of the gate, Nintendo is going for a steady pace of releases throughout the year. That means for launch, players will have to play the Zelda title and 1-2 Switch while they wait for more games.
For Nicole Perez, a mother of two, that’s not an issue at all. She’s excited for Super Mario Odyssey, but the 1-2 Switch has been her favorite so far. She was playing it Friday morning with her 9-year-old daughter and 14-year-old son at Nintendo’s New York City event.
“I like doing the dance with my daughter, I also like the safe crack,” Perez said. “I’m more old-school, so I’m more into Mario, but I know my son loves Legend of Zelda.”