There is no doubt we haven't seen the last of the Coronavirus sadly, and as days and weeks pass by, we will start to sense its real effect on businesses. As booming as the gaming industry looks with everyone at home, studios are struggling to deliver on their promised release dates and console manufacturers like Nintendo are starting to run out of inventory.
This is exactly what they are suffering from as Nintendo officially suspends Nintendo Switch's shipments to Japan with all their logistics and supply chain operations put on hold. On the other hand, for now, European and North America aren't affected by the decision, but it is all a matter of time on when their available inventory runs out.
A source from Nintendo was able to provide a simple statement to Nikkei that the demand outweighed the studio's supply to the region, and with the current restrictions, it was difficult to keep them relatively equivalent. Considering Nintendo has most their manufacturers based in China and Vietnam, who indeed are returning to work but with restrictions and extremely limited capacity.
We haven't been able to keep up the supply
That said, those who have already reserved a unit in Japan should expect to see it fulfilled in the near future.
Not only that, a Nintendo US representative referenced major retailers in North America are starting to slowly run out of units, however, the company promised more units are on the way. The Nintendo Switch sales figures took a dive over the past couple of weeks simply due to inventory slowly running out, and customers going for Xbox One and PS4 as available alternatives.
Nintendo Switch hardware is selling out at various retail locations in the U.S., but more systems are on the way. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Nintendo's most recent quarterly financial report revealed the handheld console managed to sell more than 52 million units since its 2017 debut. This puts it above Nintendo’s Super NES and Wii U sales, while representing only half of what the original Wii console sold at 101.63 million units. Most recent sales figures according to Famitsu suggest over 830 thousand units were sold between Feb. 24 and March 29, with possibly the final stretch of that period's sales contributed by Animal Crossing: New Horizons highly anticipated launch. Their next financial reporting has been delayed to May 8th in the wake of the announcement of the state of emergency in Japan, which likely also informed this decision.
Will Nintendo eventually have to take similar measures towards European and North American regions? Will other console manufacturers like Sony and Microsoft feel the need to do the same if the COVID-19 situation continues? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.