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Gaming consoles hard to find in Las Vegas as cabin fever grows

Finding gaming consoles in Las Vegas can be harder than buying toilet paper.

Jerome Allen planned to purchase a Playstation 4 at a Walmart in Spring Valley on Sunday, but was dismayed to find the store was sold out. Other gaming consoles, including the Xbox One S, Nintendo Switch and handheld Nintendo DS, were nowhere to be seen as well.

Popular games such as the new Animal Crossing, released on March 20, were gone and there were only a few controllers in stock.

“They don’t have anything here,” the disappointed Spring Valley resident said, adding he was looking to get into gaming while stuck inside during the COVID-19 pandemic. “It’s wiped.”

Across the valley, video game consoles are in short supply. Hardest to find appeared to be the Nintendo Switch. By Monday afternoon, all the Targets in Las Vegas were sold out of the systems except for one that had “limited supplies,” according to the company’s website. Nintendo Switches were also unavailable at Walmart, Best Buy and Gamestop, according to the companies’ websites.

Customers are not allowed to enter Best Buy and Gamestop in Las Vegas, but both offer curbside pickup as well as online delivery.

Even Amazon has sold out of the Nintendo Switch consoles, which retail for $299.

Turning to a reseller can be pricey. Nintendo Switches were going for more than $400 from resellers on Amazon and local Craigslist ads.

Similarly, the Nintendo Switch Lite — a lighter handheld version of the device — was only available at four of 14 area Targets, according to the company’s website. Seven Targets were also sold out of Playstation 4s and the remaining only had a few left in stock. Most Xbox One S console bundles were also sold out at area Targets.

The trend gave GameStop an unexpected boost, as console sales were projected to fall with new Xbox and Playstation gaming systems slated to debut later this year.

“The COVID-19 outbreak has led to changes in how consumers work, play and learn and over the past few weeks,” said George Sherman, GameStop’s chief executive officer in a news release. “… While still early, we are pleased with the progress we have made to date in our initiatives to stabilize, optimize and transform the business, specifically the strengthening of our balance sheet.”

The Review-Journal reached out to Nintendo, Target and Gamestop, none of which responded by deadline.

Contact Alex Chhith at achhith@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0290. Follow @alexchhith on Twitter.

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