Nintendo is seeking to increase the production of this year’s Switch video game console in response to a rise in demand from homebound customers, Nikkei has learned.
The game maker based in Kyoto says it aims to manufacture around 10 percent more Switch series units in 2020, up from about 20 million last year, according to parts suppliers who are aware of the plans.
Nintendo suffered from a shortage of Switch due to problems with its supply chain, which forced it to halt shipments in Japan earlier this month temporarily.
We hope [suppliers] will respond to the rise in demand, but the outlook for the procurement of certain parts remains unclear, and we cannot predict exactly how many Switches will be shipped, a Nintendo representative told Nikkei.
Gaming is witnessing a global boom due to stay-at-home orders for the coronavirus. According to monitoring company Nielsen, playtime for gamers has risen 45 percent in the U.S. and 38 percent in France.
The Switch got a boost from last month’s release of “Animal Crossing: New Horizons.” According to the gaming magazine Famitsu, the famous game has sold 3 million copies in Japan during its third week.
The Switch supply chain has also grown to include China and Southeast Asia. Malaysia and the Philippines have placed social restrictions that could hinder component deliveries.
Some suppliers of parts have apparently issued orders for April-June which are more than 50 percent bigger than originally expected.
There are signs that procurement is going forward to counter supply chain challenges, an industry source said.
Since the problems emerged in early February, the Switch appears to be in short supply around the world. According to Kakaku.com Trend Check, a price comparison website, prices for the app on online shopping sites have climbed since mid-February.
The lowest price on sale was nearly 65,000 yen ($604), or approximately double the retail price indicated, earlier this month after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe issued an emergency order for parts of the country including Tokyo.
Nintendo had ceased domestic shipments for the Switch at that time. The company announced April 14.