Following the unanticipated sales boom of 2020 brought on by COVID-19, Nintendo is reportedly ramping up Switch production this new fiscal year. Japanese publication Nikkei is reporting that production levels will soar to 30 million hardware units, the highest point the hybrid has ever seen.
Considering that the Switch just entered the fourth year of its lifecycle, this increase in production is a rather unprecedented move. Again, considering that interest is significantly higher after 2020 (so much so that there were shortages for a few weeks), it’s easy to determine why Nintendo is taking this approach. But, however, there’s still the mattered of the rumored “Switch Pro”.
Nikkei has added to its report that this scaled-up production is coming ahead of the alleged new “higher-end” model of the Switch family, which is said to have “higher image quality”. Earlier this year reports sprouted from Bloomberg detailing that the alleged new Switch model will feature a better display, smaller bezels, support for Nvidia’s DLSS technology and 4K output capabilities. Responding to VideoGamesChronicle, Nintendo has unsurprisingly denied all of these reports of production increases and the Switch Pro, saying “there is nothing we can tell you.”
Despite these reports of scaled-up production, it must still be noted that hardware manufacturers are currently being plagued by a global semiconductor shortage. This has affected a lot of companies such as Sony, Microsoft, Apple, and yes, Nintendo. Shuntaro Furukawa, the president of Nintendo, stated back in April that more hardware shortages for the Switch are not being ruled out due to the circumstances.
When asked about the Nintendo Switch’s future a few months ago, Doug Bowser, the president of Nintendo of America, stated in an interview that the company is keeping its business focused on the flagship Switch and Switch Lite. So, while his statement does line up with Nikkei’s report of there being a spike in production, it still casts a huge shadow of mystery over the possibility of a Switch Pro.
Switch’s continued success
E3 2021 is ramping up to go live as a digital-only event in June. Though most companies historically save big announcements for that time, such as a hardware reveal, Nintendo has actually not performed hardware reveal at the event since E3 2011 when the Wii U was first introduced. Thus, if there is a Switch Pro in the making, we may very well not see it until later this year. Perhaps it will similarly be revealed to how the existing Switch models were introduced: through YouTube videos.
Nintendo is keeping its cards close to its chest for the time being, a move that it is typical for the company. With the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S continuing to grow in popularity, the Switch is holding its own but it’s only a matter of time before the cries for new hardware become louder. Nevertheless, the Switch business is continuing to work out well for Nintendo, and, despite any hype for new hardware, sales momentum should remain healthy enough to keep the existing platform going at least for the next few years.
[Thank you, MyNintendoNews]