As you know, South Koreans have been fighting over Nintendo Switch systems since the debut of Animal Crossing: New Horizons and the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
Things have become much more intense because May 5 is Children’s Day, and now the hottest product in South Korea is none other than Nintendo Switch.
Here are some key points from various reports from South Korea about the fight for Nintendo Switch (translated by NintendoSoup, republication not allowed without credit):
- On April 30, 2020, a large retailer in Yeongtong-gu attracted close to 1000 people who wanted to purchase a Nintendo Switch. The day before the store opened, the retailer announced that they would restock 45 Nintendo Switch systems on April 30. Hundreds made their way to the store in the morning before it opened, and about 300 lottery tickets (those who have a winning number will win a chance to buy the product) were distributed to those in line. A spokesperson for the retailer said they have never thought such an incredible number of people will appear.
- Many Korean blogs have been reporting on the Nintendo Switch shortage and hysteria in South Korea, with unbelievable quotes such as “as the employee lifted the shutters (to the store), the shutters crashed”, “A student fell and was getting stepped over by the crowd”, “Which stores are getting Switch restocks?”, and “There aren’t any restocks today”. There are even reports in Seoul, the capital city, that people are “going on expeditions” in various parts of the city to monitor the stock situation.
- Similar to how Japanese retailers started offering the Nintendo Switch online, rather than in-store, to combat the coronavirus, Korean retailers have started following the same approach as well. Korean retailer E-Mart started opening Nintendo Switch lotteries through their app and website in mid April 2020.
- On May 4, 2020 in Anyang city, company employee Che heard that the Lotte department store at Pyeongchon was going to restock 25 Nintendo Switch consoles. She headed out to the store at 5am in the morning, and there were already 30 people in line. Che said, “I wanted to give a Nintendo Switch as a present to my son, so for a couple of days, I would head out to the downtown department stores in the early morning in hopes for finding one. But alas, I couldn’t buy it.”
- The scalper/resale price of a brand new Nintendo Switch is going for about 500,000 won (USD409) in South Korea (the MSRP is about USD300). At e-commerce platform “Used Products Funa”, there are hundreds of listings of used Nintendo Switch Animal Crossing: New Horizons Edition sets going for about 500,000 won (USD409). A Korean said “as my son kept pestering me for a Nintendo Switch, and I don’t think I could buy one by lining up, I always checked Used Products Funa everyday. But still, it’s impossible to find a used Nintendo Switch Animal Crossing: New Horizons Edition going for 500,000 won.”
- As shortages continue for the immensely popular Nintendo Switch Animal Crossing: New Horizons Edition, on April 20, Nintendo of Korea said on their Facebook page that the Animal Crossing: New Horizons Edition system is “not a limited edition system, and restocks will arrive in April, May and beyond”, and that “the suggested retail price is 360,000 won”.
- Many Koreans have commented on the current Nintendo Switch hysteria in South Korea as well. Since summer 2019, there was a “boycott Japanese products movement”, with some supporters in the movement saying that “Nintendo products aren’t Japanese”, “It’s impossible to not buy Nintendo products”, “There is no choice, but I have to buy this (Nintendo) game, because there isn’t a Korean company that makes (games like Nintendo). I love my country, but I can’t resist (buying Nintendo games).” Now in 2020, some have said “Thank goodness that the No Japan movement has ended, I wanted to go to Japan but was frightened how others will look at me.”
What do you think?