Nintendo Switch Units Were Carried By Plane Due To Unexpected High Demand

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May 1, 2017
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To meet unexpected high demand in its first month on the market, Nintendo Switch units were carried by plane.

That’s what a Nintendo spokesman told the Wall Street Journal. The unusual and costly transportation method was used to serve customers more rapidly, but Nintendo switched back to traditional, less expensive sea freight last month. The full WSJ article is only accessible for subscribes, but luckily, the article was posted on the NEOGAF forums:

We carried some of the Switches by plane in March to serve our customers more promptly,” a company spokesman said. He said Nintendo switched back in April to less-expensive sea freight to replenish store shelves.

Nintendo didn’t say where the planes were used, but analysts and others briefed on the logistics said the flights took Switch machines to the U.S. and Europe from factories in China.

Ace Research Institute analyst Hideki Yasuda said further use of airfreight was possible because the item remains hard to find at retailers globally. “Air is a big profit-squeezer because it could cost additional ¥5,000 per unit,” or about $45, he said.

Waseda Business School professor Atsushi Osanai said it was worth the price to get the product off to a good start. “It is important that companies sell as many units as possible, as quickly as possible, while customer interest is high,” he said. The initial months are critical for a game machine, because strong hardware sales drive interest from software creators, and a wealth of software titles in turn generates interest in the hardware.

As stated by Nintendo, the Switch has been the company’s fastest-selling platform to date, even beating initial Wii and GameBoy Advance sales. According to retailer GameStop, the Switch has been selling out instantly within hours, and the platform could very well “eclipse” the Wii.

Do you own a Switch yet? Are you planning to purchase one? Leave a comment below.

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