The outbreak of COVID-19 has sent shockwaves throughout the world, primarily resulting in mass lockdown procedures. This has had an effect on a variety of facets of life, but for Nintendo, it has meant slowed production of new Switch units. Many of the parts needed to produce Switch consoles have seen reduced numbers being created due to the factories they’re being built in having to abide by the lockdown measures. Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa recently addressed this situation during the Q&A session of the company’s latest press briefing. There, Mr. Furukawa said that there are “signs of gradual improvement”, and that the company is expecting “the impact of COVID-19 on production will subside to some degree by summer and the volume we will be able to produce throughout the year will align with our sales forecast units for this fiscal year.”
While this is great news, Mr. Furukawa isn’t 100% sure that this is exactly what will happen. Right after he mentioned the possibility of seeing an improvement, he then warned that the impact could be “prolonged”, and if so, Nintendo would miss its sales targets for the fiscal year.
Switch still weathers the storm
Switch units have seen an increase in demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As millions around the world have been ordered to stay home, many have been looking for new ways to stay entertained. As a result, the Nintendo Switch (and gaming products in general) saw a big uptick in interest from shoppers. This has led to stock shortages in big markets like the USA, Europe and Japan. Some nefarious folk have used this as an opportunity to perform some serious price-gouging on Switch units, such as selling new SKUs for $500 in the USA, and charging an extra $100 for used flagship models in Japan over new units. If more Switch systems can be manufactured, then supply can start matching demand. But, for now, things still have not stabilized.