Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa has warned that supply of the Switch is likely to be low moving into 2022. Furukawa says the company likely won't be able to produce as many consoles as it would like to and may be unable to keep up with consumer demand.
What has Nintendo said about low Switch supply?
This news comes to us via gaming analyst David Gibson on Twitter (thanks, Nintendo Life). Gibson points to an interview given by Furukawa to Japanese newspaper Kyoto Shimbun. In the interview, Furukawa says that as Nintendo had feared, the company will "not be able to produce as many [Switch consoles] as we want to". Earlier this year, Nintendo resorted to air freight transportation to meet demand in the US, and used rail transportation for Europe to respond to escalating consumer demand for the Switch. However, these wouldn't be appropriate solutions to problems on the production end; if there aren't enough consoles, no amount of distribution is going to solve that.
Despite this potential problem in 2022, Furukawa says that sales of the Switch were strong in 2021. Furukawa points particularly to the new OLED Switch model, which was announced in July and released in October. It's likely that a release schedule featuring several high-profile Nintendo properties like Metroid and Pokemon is also responsible in part for this success. Furukawa isn't wrong about the console's strong performance; earlier this month, the Switch set sales records in the UK and Europe. It looks like the Japanese gaming giant might struggle to replicate this performance next year if there are indeed supply shortages.
Why is Switch supply likely to be low in 2022?
Furukawa doesn't give a specific reason for difficulty producing Switch consoles in 2022, but we can make an educated guess. The principal cause of low Switch supply in 2022 is likely to be the ongoing semiconductor shortage. Intel has already warned (thanks, PCGamer) that the shortage is likely to impact production of its tech until at least 2023. This is also the problem causing ongoing difficulties with supply for both PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles, although the Series S is more widely available.
Time will tell whether Furukawa is right and Switch consoles will be harder to come by in 2022, but it's looking likely. You might want to think about picking one up soon if you've got your eye on one, because it could be about to get a lot more difficult. Furukawa doesn't specify which models he means, either, so it's likely all Switch production will be affected, including that of the base Switch model and the cheaper Switch Lite handheld-only model. Watch this space for more info.
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