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GameStop expects Switch shortages all year

Executives tell investors each shipment sells out in hours, "we're going to be chasing supply this entire year"

GameStop's already on the record saying the Switch could eclipse the Wii in the long run, but today executives drew another comparison to Nintendo's best-selling console. Speaking to investors on a post-earnings conference call today, GameStop chief operating officer Tony Bartel said he expects some Wii-like longer-term supply shortages.

"The demand is incredibly strong for this," Bartel said. "As soon as we get any in our stores, it's out within hours. We anticipate we're going to be chasing supply this entire year."

As for what will make the Switch interest more sustained than that of the Wii U, executives said that Nintendo has more high-quality games coming within the first year and good third-party support, neither of which they saw on the Wii U.

Even if Switches remain scarce at retail for the entirety of 2017, the system would still have a ways to go before matching the difficulties Nintendo fans faced in getting a Wii. That system launched in late 2006, and retailers like GameStop had difficulty meeting demand for the hardware two full years later.

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