Nintendo President Says Semiconductor Shortage Is Affecting Switch Already
The company can't make as many systems as it wants to because of the global shortage.
The Nintendo Switch appears to already feeling the effect of the global semiconductor shortage. In a statement to reporters, Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa said production has been hindered by the situation, seemingly making it seem worse than was implied a few weeks earlier. And it doesn't look like there's a clear end in sight for the problem.
Just last month, Furukawa warned of the possibility of shortages in the future but said for the time being, it had the supplies needed for "immediate production of semiconductors" to use with Nintendo Switch systems. It's not clear if this situation has changed or if Furukawa's later statement is simply more conservative, but the Switch remains tough to find. It isn't on the same scarcity level of the PS5 or Xbox Series X, but it's still routinely out of stock in stores.
Nintendo's latest financial report included a projection for future sales figures, but these assume that it can obtain the parts it needs to continue making the Switch. Should they become even harder to acquire, that could change.
To date, the Nintendo Switch has sold nearly 85 million units, making it one of the company's biggest successes. As far as home consoles go, only the Wii has sold more units, and the Switch could feasibly pass it within a year or two. Over 587 million games have been sold, as well, which means the average Switch owner has purchased around seven games.
If you haven't purchased a new game console yet, it may remain difficult to do so for the rest of 2021. In addition to the semiconductor shortage, bots are making the situation worse, and for the newest next-gen systems, the loss Sony and Microsoft take on each sale means they likely aren't in a rush to massively ramp up production yet.
The components shortage is having big impacts on lots of industries--not just high-tech manufacturers like Apple or AMD, but also automotive manufacturers making electric vehicles. The problem has gotten so widespread that it's prompted attention from President Biden, who has launched an investigation into the problem.