Demand for Nintendo Switch was expected to be high: It’s a new console, and Nintendo hardware can be notoriously difficult to get at launch, as we continue to see with the NES Classic Edition. That made it no surprise when the system quickly sold out. But there also seems to be an inordinate amount of demand even for the system’s controller.
As with Wii U, Nintendo plans to offer an optional, more traditional gamepad for Switch called the Pro controller. Whereas the system, its games, and extra Joy-Con controllers have all gone up for preorder in the past few weeks, the Pro controller had not. This was potentially related to Nintendo waiting for it to receive approval from the Federal Communications Commission, which it did this week (via My Nintendo News).
An Amazon listing for the controller emerged shortly thereafter, and earlier today it went up for sale (via Wario64). Despite costing $70, it appears to have sold out on the Amazon US site in less than half an hour. The item is now listed as “currently unavailable,” with no indication of when there will be more.
The Pro Controller features off-set analog sticks, similar to that of an Xbox controller, along with motion controls, Switch’s “HD rumble” technology, and the ability to read Amiibo figures. It’s charged with a USB-C cable that comes included.
This wasn’t your only chance to secure one for launch day on March 3–other retailers will likely list the item for preorder, and it’s always possible Amazon will have more before then, too. But it seems at least possible that Pro controller supply will be constrained at launch.
Speaking recently with GameSpot, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime explained why the NES Classic Edition has faced supply shortages and claimed things should be smoother for Switch’s launch.
“We’re working to make sure that the supply chain [for Switch] is robust and there is a steady flow of hardware,” he said. “The one piece we can’t anticipate is the demand side of the equation but certainly from a supply, we feel like we’re going to be well-positioned.”
Two million units in total will be available worldwide in launch, a figure that Fils-Aime describes as a “huge amount” when considering March is not a holiday month, when demand would be even higher.