Apparently, when there’s a threat of a global crisis, people tend to overreact and start to panic buy essential items like masks and hand sanitizer in bulk. Then the worldwide toilet paper shortage happened as lockdown restrictions were beginning to be implemented in cities around the world. Though on the surface hoarding toilet paper seems like a silly way to deal with a respiratory illness, psychologists explain that it’s understandable human nature in times of a crisis with missed signals from officials. Now, with the world more accustomed to staying inside, there’s less demand for toilet paper and more demand for in-home entertainment.
Pandemic-Influenced Entertainment Trends
The global economy has been devastated as people retreat to their homes. Locally, public entertainment and hospitality industries such as movies and restaurants have seen a significant drop in patronage due to restrictions of large gatherings. China, essentially the world’s manufacturer, halted production to manage and contain the virus. This disrupted Big Tech companies that rely on China for their products, which include Apple, Samsung, and even Google. However, demand for the newest smartphones is low as people hold their purse strings tight with unemployment rising significantly as a result of the pandemic.
On the other hand, the demand for online entertainment services such as video, podcast, and music streaming has risen. Interest in the video game industry, especially, has risen with traffic for the top live-streaming platform Twitch shooting up 20%. And the demand for Nintendo Switch consoles is so high that there is now a global Nintendo Switch shortage that resulted in the creation of a checkout bot. As more people try to get their hands on a Switch, others have seen an opportunity to resell.
Why Is There a Nintendo Switch Shortage?
Even before the coronavirus, the demand for Nintendo Switch consoles was already high and then steadily grew with lockdown restrictions. And the release of the highly anticipated game Animal Crossing happened near the end of March, coinciding when most cities were beginning to impose restrictions – further increasing the demand for the Nintendo Switch. The supply couldn’t keep up with demand with Nintendo relying on Chinese manufacturers to produce them.
Now the price for a Nintendo Switch online is about double its original price and people are using the Nintendo Switch shortage to their advantage. A Discord group was created for people looking for a Switch by using a new bot that automatically buys the console as soon as it comes back in stock. This gives resellers the upper hand on grabbing all available consoles and then reselling them.
The Bird Bot
Named the Bird Bot, this open-sourced tool is available for anyone to use, but will be tricky for the average Internet user. The Discourse community has reached the thousands and members discuss tips on how to use the bot effectively and refining the bot’s ability to be more efficient in buying up the entire stock.
A Short Drought
Nintendo has announced that it will be raising production to 20% and that there will be more consoles available near the end of June.