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Nintendo shipped Switches by airplane to meet red-hot customer demand

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It probably cost a lot more than shipping them by sea

Nintendo Switch hardware Nintendo

Nintendo projected a shipment of 2 million Switches for the new console's March 3 launch. The company actually shipped 2.74 million, and the Wall Street Journal reports that the company turned to air freight — a costlier means of distribution — to get them into consumers' hands.

An analyst told The Wall Street Journal (via Kotaku) that air freight could have added $45 per console to Nintendo's costs in getting the Switch to market.

Nintendo didn't say what markets were served by the air shipments; analysts think they went to the U.S. and Europe. In April, Nintendo resumed sea freight shipments, the cheaper, longer and more preferred option for getting goods around the world.

The Switch has been in heavy demand since its launch. Last week GameStop and other retailers announced that the console was back in stock, although in limited quantities. Some are offering their stock in-store only and not online.

The 2.74 million Switches shipped since March 3 comes after 2.3 million NES Classic Editions produced and sold since November, then abruptly discontinued in mid-April.

Last week, Reggie Fils-Aime, the president and chief operating officer of Nintendo of America, said the company "didn't anticipate how incredible the response would be," to the NES Classic, and said production was shut down because "We've got a lot going on right now and we don't have unlimited resources."