Nintendo is preparing to boost production of Switch in an effort to meet the huge increase in demand for the console seen in recent months, which has lead to a scarcity of stock and, in some cases, hugely inflated prices.
The company is said to have struggled with stock since February, as social distancing measures introduced in China and Southeast Asia began to impact its supply chain. Shortages were exacerbated as demand climbed following the successful launch of Animal Crossing: New Horizon in March, and jumped still further as social distancing measures swept across the globe, leaving millions homebound and searching for entertainment.
As retail supplies have continued to dwindle – the console has been regularly out of stock across all major UK retailers for weeks, which some are now attributing to swift purchases by automated bots – certain resellers have taken advantage of the situation, charging as much as double the console's retail price, as Eurogamer's Emma Kent discovered.
Nintendo of America recently acknowledged a lack of units at retailers but offered assurances that "more systems [were] on the way". Now, Nikkei reports that the company is looking, based on one knowledgable supplier's account, to increase production of the Switch by around 10% this year compared to the 20 million units made in 2019.
Nikkei says Nintendo has asked suppliers and contract assemblers to ready for additional production in the April-June quarter, with some suppliers having reportedly received revised parts orders as much as 50% larger than those originally placed.
Nintendo says it hopes suppliers "will be responsive to the production increase", but acknowledges that "for procurement of some parts, the outlook remains uncertain, and we can't forecast exactly how many Switches can be supplied".
All being well, domestic deliveries of Switch should resume for online pre-orders some time between late April and mid-May. Hopefully shortages will begin to ease elsewhere soon after.