The president of Nintendo has warned of Switch shortages in 2021, due to issues securing the necessary materials for production. The Nintendo Switch saw shortages in 2020, due to a spike in demand caused by the pandemic and the lockdowns.
The pandemic caused issues with the production of components that are needed for hardware, as well as inhibiting the ability to deliver parts to different locations. At the same time, the lockdowns increased the demand for entertainment that could be enjoyed at home. One game that benefited from this situation was Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which launched when the first lockdown began. New Horizons became the second best-selling Switch game within the space of a year, thanks to the incredible demand caused by people being stuck at home. The price of Switch units also shot through the roof on the second-hand market, as Nintendo couldn’t keep up with the demand.
It seems that more Switch shortages are on the way. Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa told Nikkei (via. Video Games Chronicle) that the company had enough materials to produce necessary semiconductors in the short term, but that retailers could face delays in the coming year. Furukawa has said that Nintendo might not be able to meet all of its Switch orders in the future.
The demand for the Switch keeps increasing each year. The system officially outsold the Nintendo 3DS earlier this year, and it’s poised to outsell the Game Boy Advance and the Nintendo Wii in the near future. It’s facing competition from the PS5 and the Xbox Series X/S, but those consoles have also faced severe stock shortages since launch, and they don’t seem to be ending anytime soon. It seems that Nintendo will have Switch units throughout the early part of the year, but it will struggle in the future.
The biggest question about Furukawa’s statement is if it also applies to the rumored Switch Pro. There are a lot of leaks circulating regarding an upgraded Nintendo Switch unit that is due to be released in the future. If Nintendo is struggling to keep the base Switch units that have been around since 2017 in stock, then what does it mean for the more powerful model further down the line? Microsoft and Sony have struggled to produce enough consoles to meet demand during the last holiday season, and Nintendo fans could be in for the same shortages with the Switch Pro in the future.
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Source: Video Games Chronicle, Nikkei