The Nintendo Switch is excellent but nearly impossible to buy now. This is the case more or less wherever you live, and it's an incredibly frustrating fact of life at present.
You'd think that COVID-19 would be making manufacturing tricky, given that many workers are ill, and productivity has to take a hit in order to keep people safe. You'd also think that perhaps this same issue would apply to deliveries, as everything takes longer to get everywhere now.
On top of those two issues, you've got a huge increase in demand. More people are inside now, and more people inside means more people gaming, more people gaming means new consoles being bought, and thus, stock shortages.
What you might not expect is that some of the stock issues are due to bots buying up Nintendo Switch stock as soon as it's available. Why not throw in issues with robots to our current list of problems?
Nintendo stock shortages
So, it turns out that during one of the worst global issues in many of our lifetimes, people are just really committed to capitalism and making money.
As a result of this, some people have been buying Switches just to sell them on again at an obnoxious price. Yay, capitalism!
Motherboard did an investigation and found that one of the causes of all of this is Bird Bot, a bot designed to help resellers pick up specific items.
This time though, it's been turned into a way to grab a Nintendo Switch whenever it's in stock, and many people are using this to sell them to other people for a profit.
Read more: Nintendo Switch Pro could have two screens
Who is behind these Switch-selling bots?
It's been designed by someone called Nate, who said, "Me and my friends were talking about reselling Nintendo Switches, and at one point my friend, nicknamed Bird, told me I should make a bot. And here we are today". The Motherboard article itself is a fascinating and somewhat depressing read.
The idea that people would be choosing now to scalp people of their increasingly scarce money, especially when it comes to buying a games console, something undoubtedly useful in the current situation, is frankly a little disturbing.
It's natural that when things hit the fan that some people will show off the worst of themselves and some will discover the best. Profiting off of your ability to use a bot and take somebody else's money is definitely the worst.
It's hard not to feel as though this Switch reselling stuff is a needless display of callous apathy when the world needs more empathy. Maybe you should just build your own at this point.