In the weeks since the coronavirus pandemic began and much of the world has been confined to their separate houses, Nintendo Switch hardware has been notoriously difficult to find. This has been chalked up to increased demand as people look for ways to occupy their time from home, but another factor appears to be playing an outsized role: automated buying bots.
Vice reports that one of these automated tools is free, and specializes in purchasing Nintendo Switch hardware from Walmart and Best Buy. Though it was created for resellers to snatch up stock before regular consumers get a chance, some people appear to have also turned to it to get their own personal Switch. A Discord set up to help guide users through the process has had up to 1,000 users in recent days, according to the report.
The shortages at retail stores have also led to inflated reseller prices, with sellers sometimes asking for hundreds of dollars more than the suggested MSRP. The Switch Lite has been slightly easier to find in regular retail channels, and bundles are currently still available through GameStop. Right now you can also find a Switch Lite at Best Buy, and keep an eye on our frequently updated guide on where to buy a Switch.
This isn’t the only Switch item that’s been seeing shortages. Ring Fit Adventure has become especially popular as players look for ways to stay active without heading to the gym, and it’s also seen significant reseller markups.