As the COVID-19 health crisis continues its devastation on the global economy and healthcare system, some remain steadfast. Medical personnel and those affiliated with essential services still soldier on amid the challenging circumstances. Meanwhile, despite the supply chain issues brought about by the coronavirus outbreak, manufacturers such as Apple, Samsung, Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo still commit to assemble and ship out their products. However, industry sources might have finally figured out why game systems such as the PS4, Xbox One, and Switch are selling out.

What was initially speculated about the alleged shortages appears to be caused by something else. Earlier this year, gaming industry analysts noted that the Nintendo Switch and "Ring Fit Adventure" were in such high demand in China. In fact, reports were pointing out that local retailers in the country have even been importing stocks. Now, even international markets have reported dwindling inventories of the hybrid console.

Even with the PS5 and Xbox Series X just a few months away from launch, the Nintendo Switch remains a hot item for consumers. Forbes claims that what was thought to be coronavirus restrictions in China as the reason for the hybrid console selling out from retailer is apparently not accurate. Due to the shipping delays, resellers are allegedly buying out the remaining units.

Moreover, each time there are restocks, the aforementioned individuals already have bots in place to automatically purchase units from online outlets such as Best Buy and Walmart. What was originally bought for around $299 before taxes will be eventually sold for around $400 to $500 which is a hefty profit in the resale market. Experts can recall that a similar situation happened when the NES Classic Edition debuted in 2016.

Ring Fit Adventure popular in China
The game has yet to be officially launched in China, yet consumers can still purchase it from other outlets. Photo: Nintendo

The upsurge of demand for video game consoles is currently credited to the pandemic. As governments enforce lockdowns to control transmission, people are urged to stay indoors. Even the World Health Organization is working with video game companies to promote the #PlayApartTogether initiative. Aside from the Nintendo Switch, Sony and Microsoft are likewise reporting shortages of the PS4 and Xbox One. It seems that while COVID-19 is a major international issue, it is turning into a profitable one for certain businesses.