- Nintendo has apologized for shortages of its Pokemon Go Plus gaming accessory at retail outlets such as Gamestop, Toys "R" Us and Wal-Mart.
- "Demand far exceeded our expectations and production has not caught up, leading to product shortages," a Nintendo official noted. "We apologize to the consumers and distributors affected by this. We are planning to expand production as needed, and will continue to produce and ship additional units."
- The Pokemon Go Plus can be worn as a wristband or clipped onto clothing, and allows players to hunt for Pokemon without having to stare are their device screens the entire time. Nintendo began shipping the accessory Sept. 16, but stores quickly ran into availability issues.
Pokemon Go continues to be a big hit as apps go, raking in about $2 million daily. Although it had fallen pretty far down Apple's App Store rankings after a whirlwind month or so when it seemed like everyone was downloading and playing it, game developer Niantic last week launched a Halloween update that sent the app shooting back up in the rankings.
Retailers have been in on the benefits of the sustained interest in the game. Gamestop was one of the first to see a big boost from the Pokemon Go craze, but McDonald's also became the first paid sponsor, and more recently, a study showed that almost 60% of Pokemon Go players would be likely to enter businesses offering game-branded discounts.
With the launch of the Pokemon Go Plus, retailers — both those sponsoring the game and those able to sell the accessory in their — storesmust have been salivating again. That makes the product shortage out of Nintendo pretty disappointing, especially as it has happened right around the same time as the seasonal promotion that has re-ignited interest.
The accessory itself sounds like a pretty good idea — a way to keep players logged into the game and playing, but not having to keep their faces in their phones so constantly that they walk into traffic, or worse. There also might be an additional benefit for Pokemon Go retail partners, as players who enter their businesses on the hunt for Pokemon have a chance to look around a bit, and maybe even buy something. But a lot could hinge on Nintendo's ability to ramp up stock of the Pokemon Go Plus as quickly as possibly while the game is enjoying a resurgence.