Nintendo Switch Pre-Orders Delayed: Walmart Offers Gift Card, Amazon Stays Silent

You can still try to get a Nintendo Switch right at midnight from GameStop if you didn't pre-order one Nintendo

Nintendo Switch pre-orders have become something of a fiasco at Walmart and Amazon, as both retailers have perplexing reasons for why shipments were unexpectedly delayed on the day of the system’s launch. As of now, only one member of that troubled duo is offering a gift for your troubles.

The firestorm began Friday afternoon, when pre-order shoppers started seeing irregularities on their product order pages. The displays range from actual shipment delays to messages that simply said “arriving March 3 by 8 p.m., shipping soon.” As the hours passed, confirmation emails were not sent, credit cards were charged and buyers grew concerned.

At the time of writing, many Switch pre-orders have not been fulfilled via Amazon and the company has yet to offer an official statement on the confusion. However, a personal conversation with a support professional suggested to us that there was an unnamed “problem with the item” that kept it from arriving at its destination. Despite information pages offering a specific location for which warehouse the item was sent, there was “no record” of when the product would be available. However, it was stated that a fulfillment time of up to two weeks was possible.

As of now, consumers can cancel the order to receive store credit or possibly get a full refund with enough jostling.

For Walmart, the rollout was even more puzzling. Shipment emails for Switch pre-orders were sent Friday afternoon, only to be followed by a message a few hours later discussing “a delay in processing your order” due to an undisclosed “issue with this item.” However, as recompense, impacted customers are being sent a $20 gift card over the next five business days.

To add insult to injury, both Walmart and Amazon sold limited quantities of the Nintendo Switch later in the day to those without pre-orders.

The retailer names are different, but the story is the same. An unknown problem has left many of Nintendo’s most passionate fans feeling scorned after staying up late to make their purchase nearly two months ago. Without getting too deep into speculation, we’re curious as to what the holdup might be. Our best guess is that Nintendo promised a specific number of pre-order units before launch and wasn’t able to fulfill that request. After all, as we saw with the NES Classic Edition, Amiibo and Wii meltdowns, this hardware maker has a long history of supply difficulties. However, as a profiting retail partner, neither Walmart nor Amazon care to cast the blame. At the very least, it’d explain the vague responses we’re getting today.

If you can find one, the Nintendo Switch is available now for $299. Be sure to check out our hardware use guides on SD cards and eShop funds for more details.

Has your Switch pre-order been delayed? Why do you think Walmart and Amazon shipments are late? Tell us in the comments section!

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