The World Health Organization is doubling back on what it declared earlier by encouraging people to stay home and play games. Moreover, the agency is collaborating with high-profile gaming companies to promote the #PlayApartTogether slogan. Now, market analysts are reporting increasing demand for video game systems. In fact, some have already sold out such as the Nintendo Switch and its Lite model. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect production and shipments, it is unclear when restocks will arrive. Due to the shortages, Japan is observing increasing retail prices for the 3DS.

What makes the Nintendo Switch a popular choice among gamer is its versatility. Thanks to its hybrid nature, it can be played while docked on a TV or in handheld mode. Prior to its launch in 2017, the 2DS and 3DS were the most popular platforms due to its portability. As retailers no longer have enough stocks of the current-generation system, Japanese consumers have probably opted for the older platform.

Local retailers in Japan are allegedly selling the 2DS XL $129 as of this writing which priced at approximately $93 earlier this year, confirms Nintendo Life. As for the 3DS, the price varies with resellers now selling it for more. In 2019, the dropping popularity of the aforementioned systems actually prompted a price reduction across the country. Demand for the Nintendo Switch is still quite strong and will likely sell out immediately once new shipments arrive.

In a related report last week, one gaming establishment conducted an online lottery for a chance to purchase a Nintendo Switch. The overwhelming number of interested parties purportedly overloaded the store's server. It was not indicated if the event continued after the issue was resolved, but it does provide an overview of how difficult it is to find available units due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Nintendo 3DS 2DS
The Nintendo 3DS XL, the Pokémon special edition 2DS and Rowlet, which is not a handheld console Nintendo

Before SARS-COV-2 was declared a pandemic, it was reported that Chinese consumers were buying out the Nintendo Switch and "Ring Fit Adventure." Some retailers even imported stocks from other countries just to meet the demand as local inventory was already sold out. The company assures the gaming industry that it is working with the supply chain to produce and ship more of its hybrid console. For now, Japanese gamers might settle for the 3DS or 2DS.