With nothing to do during the quarantine imposed to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, people are turning into gaming consoles to pass the time away. Aside from the surge in demand, Nintendo Switch has been experiencing a shortage in supply due to people reselling it for overpriced amounts.

According to IGN, these resellers are using AI-scripted bots to buy up new Switch stock as soon as it becomes available in online stores. Once they managed to get a hold of the units, they then put it on sale for almost double, even triple, the recommended retail value.

The shortage allows the people behind this new scheme to demand high prices for these consoles. Customers that are looking to pass the quarantine away playing at home have no choice but to buy these overpriced Nintendo Switch units. There had been reports that prices have gone up to as much as $500 on online stores, while “limited edition” units. Meanwhile, the Animal Crossing bundle can go up to $750.

Nintendo, however, is quick to notice the shortage in its inventory and is quick to address this problem. According to Techspot, a representative speaking for Nintendo’s U.S. division said that more units are on its way. While the rep apologized for any inconvenience brought about by the shortage, any specific shipment date was not mentioned.

The creator of one of the AI being used to automatically buy newly release Switch units said that it was a harmless bot and was not intended to monopolize reselling or inventory hoarding. However, it became used in a less-than-helpful manner as the quarantine hit and people are stuck at home, some with nothing to do.

Some people who don’t want to buy an overpriced Switch are seeking PS4 or Xbox One instead, which has been enjoying a surge in sales. That is not good news for the Switch, which is certainly looking to get supply chains normalized to get things rolling normally again since its production has been halted when factories in China were shut off amid the outbreak of COVID-19.

Strong demand for Nintendo's Switch consoles has boosted the video game giant's earnings
Strong demand for Nintendo's Switch consoles has boosted the video game giant's earnings AFP / Behrouz MEHRI