Nintendo is looking to boost production of its Switch console by 10%, according to a new report. The console has been selling out for while now, but the current global health crisis has intensified demand for the Switch as people face months stuck indoors.
Japanese business outlet Nikkei learned about this from suppliers, noting that the current pandemic led to issues with Nintendo's supply chain. Nintendo is apparently looking to produce 22 million Nintendo Switch units in 2020.
Despite its best intentions, though, Nintendo can't be certain just how many Switch units will be produced. "We hope [suppliers] will be responsive to the production increase, but for procurement of some parts, the outlook remains uncertain, and we can't forecast exactly how many Switches can be supplied," a Nintendo representative told Nikkei.
The report notes that lockdown restrictions in Malaysia and the Philippines could slow down deliveries of certain parts. In Japan, Nintendo has suspended shipments of the console, but plans to resume fulfilling orders from late April. It's a welcome announcement given the recent difficulty finding a Switch console, especially one at a reasonable price – in part due to automated bots reportedly hoovering up supplies.
Bloomberg notes that Nintendo originally planned on slightly decreasing its Switch output this year, which isn't an unusual move for a console that released over three years ago. An increase four years into a console's lifespan is unusual, but these are unprecedented times. Animal Crossing's popularity on the console has also contributed to increased demand.
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How long until you can buy a new Switch?
It's hard to predict this based on uncertainty around Nintendo's supply chain, but hopefully we'll start to see more Switch units available by early summer. With so much uncertainty around how long lockdowns will last around the world, it's also unclear how much demand will fluctuate in that time.
If you want a Switch Lite, a handheld-only console which doesn't plug into your TV or feature detachable controllers, they're a little easier to find. Here's where you can pick one up:
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Samuel is a PR Manager at game developer Frontier. Formerly TechRadar's Senior Entertainment Editor, he's an expert in Marvel, Star Wars, Netflix shows and general streaming stuff. Before his stint at TechRadar, he spent six years at PC Gamer. Samuel is also the co-host of the popular Back Page podcast, in which he details the trials and tribulations of being a games magazine editor – and attempts to justify his impulsive eBay games buying binges.