In the early morning hours of January 13th, Nintendo opened up pre-orders for their latest game system the Nintendo Switch. I waited for two hours after the livestream ended so that I could be one of the first to play a pre-order for the system. However, by 3am EST I hadn’t seen a single major retailer begin accepting pre-orders. I was tired so I figured I would try my luck in the morning, hoping they wouldn’t be sold out when I woke up(That’s always a bad assumption to make, especially with Nintendo.). My fears came to pass when I woke up and found that every major retailers had opened their pre-order pages not long after I had gone to bed, and when I called my local GameStop to check in with them, they still had some pre-orders left out of 30 total. However, I knew that there was no way I’d be able to make it down there that day, so I constantly refreshed websites like Amazon, hoping that pre-orders would open again, even if only briefly. As luck would have it, Amazon re-opened their pre-orders for the standard gray Joy-Con edition of the Switch and I pounced on that opportunity and got my order placed. Good thing too, because not long after my local GameStop opened the next day they sold out of their remaining pre-orders, I had arrived an hour too late.
Fast forward to this month and I’m constantly checking my order page on Amazon, trying to make sure that my Switch pre-order is still there. It is, and delivery is scheduled for March 3rd. However, I know better than to trust Amazon when it comes to a product with limited availability. See, last year I placed a pre-order for the Final Fantasy XV Ultimate Collector’s Edition less than 10 minutes after the release date was revealed. I managed to snag one of them despite there only being so many. However, as the months went on I realized that there was no way I’d be able to hang onto around $300 with no job, so I had to cancel it and order the Deluxe Edition from Amazon. I had to cancel it and re-order in September because my credit card changed and for some reason it wouldn’t let me change that information. Two months later, about a week before Final Fantasy XV was scheduled to release, my order page started to look kind of funky. The arrival date was no longer guaranteed despite me being a Prime member, it kept shifting around and the wording inconsistent. My fears were confirmed where, after chatting with customer service, they said they weren’t receiving as many of the item in question as expected and thus some orders, such as mine, had been delayed to an unspecified date in the future. So I ended up cancelling the order.
Now, I’m worried something similar will happen with my Switch pre-order. I placed the order when pre-orders briefly reopened. Since then the main product page has simply said “unavailable.” Which is to be expected when Amazon was only allotted so many. But I can’t be sure that the reason I was able to pre-order was because someone canceled. It could have been a fluke and they never removed my order from the system. That’s on top of the fact that my order doesn’t even say pre-ordered. It simply says “not yet shipped” with a March 3rd date. My Breath of the Wild pre-order on the other hand says “pre-ordered” and that it’ll arrive on March 3rd 2017. I placed both orders separately because I didn’t want to waste time adding a game to the order and then have it tell me they ran out while I was trying to add the game. But the fact that the Switch is simply an order and not labelled as a pre-order has me worried. I could end up with a game and no system to play it on for what could be months if Nintendo’s track record is anything to go off of. Sure I could trade it in to GameStop and get some of my money back, but I’ll just end up buying it again later anyway so I don’t really see the point in that.