The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic resulting from the novel coronavirus has spread globally, and had a massive economic impact. For video games, the effect was pronounced and immediate. Games were getting delayed left and right. Game conventions were being pushed back. For disappointed and eager Nintendo fans, this meant that Switch console production was shut down, leading to a prolonged Switch shortage.
Nintendo’s supply problems began back in February when Foxconn, who helped manufacture components, had scaled back work at all of their factories. Thanks to the threat of COVID-19, there was a near-instantaneous Switch shortage, leading to many being unable to get the popular console. With many staying home during the pandemic, this led to a lot of bored gamers hunting for consoles online.
And as usual, price gouging was almost instant too. After months of uncertainty, the problem looks only to have gotten worse for many. Bots were even being employed to buy up Nintendo Switch stocks and resell them online. With consoles being sold for far more than $300, and bundles reaching $500 in some cases. It’s just absurd. Finally, there looks to be some relief on the way.
Future of a Switch Shortage
When Japanese media site CareerConnection asked Nintendo about the problem, they reported that things are getting better. According to statements from Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa, the production is finally scaling back up. “We could not manufacture [Switch] as planned until May but production has been largely recovering from June. We expect it to normalise around summer.”
And there have been suspicions that these issues could bleed over into game development as well. Nintendo has already released a new Animal Crossing game and a Pokemon expansion, so 2020 looks good from here. The plans for the rest of the year have been thrown around a bit but Nintendo leadership remains confident.
Furukawa said: “Currently, we do not see any impact on software set to go on sale this year, but there is a possibility that we cannot sell it as scheduled in the event of a second or third [coronavirus] wave.”
This has all led to a major boon for Nintendo financially. Nintendo stock price has ballooned to a 12-year high over the last few months. And projections look rosy as the Switch is now estimated to sell 75 million consoles by March 2021. So even though Ninty has said they’re pulling out of the mobile market, they shouldn’t be too worried.