Nintendo has hinted that a Switch shortage could be coming. The company predicts that consoles could soon be scarce due in part to a lack of production parts such as semiconductors.
The current semiconductor shortage has led to production issues with both the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 since their launch. In speaking with Nikkei (as translated by Video Games Chronicle), Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa says that the issue may prevent the company from keeping up with increased demand.
“We have been able to secure the necessary materials for the immediate production of semiconductors for Switches,” says Furukawa. “However, in Japan and other countries, demand has been very strong since the beginning of the year, and there is a possibility of shortages at some retailers in the future. It is difficult to say how we will deal with this, but in some cases, we may not be able to prepare enough for orders.”
Players have already experienced Switch shortages over the past year as demand for the system has shot through the roof during the COVID-19 pandemic.
One of the many reasons for the growth of the Nintendo Switch has to do with the release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, a game that has shipped over 31 million units as of December 31, 2020. It’s already the system’s second-bestselling game, trailing only Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (which sits at over 33 million units shipped).
“Even though (Japan’s) state of emergency is over, people are spending more time at home than before,” Furukawa added. “As games with long life spans like Animal Crossing become more accepted, we believe this will have a significant impact on future development. We want to provide games that can allow communication between friends and families.”
This is particularly worrisome for Nintendo, as the company reportedly has plans to launch an upgraded Switch system sometime at the end of 2021, or possibly in early 2022. It’s said the new Switch system will include a 7-inch OLED screen, support 4K output, and offer better battery life.
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