The semiconductor shortage that is affecting everything from computers to car production is also hitting the video game industry, and according to Nintendo, that could lead to Switch console shortages later this year.
In an interview with Nikkei (via VGC), Nintendo CEO Shuntaro Furukawa said that while the company has the materials it needs for “immediate production of semiconductors” necessary for Nintendo Switch units, that could change later.
“However, in Japan and other countries, demand has been very strong since the beginning of the year, and there is a possibility of shortages at some retailers in the future,” Furukawa added.
Thus far, it has been a perfect storm of difficulties in acquiring a new game console. This has been true particularly for the Switch’s main competitors, the Xbox Series X|S and PS5, which released last November but have been extremely tough to find. Retailers’ supplies were limited out of the gate, and many brick-and-mortar businesses weren’t stocking the system at all. Online, resellers using bots were able to snag many of the systems and put them on eBay for two or three times their MSRP.
In Nintendo’s case, the Switch is still struggling with stock. Amazon won’t be shipping the standard Switch bundle with red and blue controllers until mid-May. Other sellers looking to capitalize on the shortage can get away with charging more in the meantime.
Should a major materials issue arrive in 2021, it would come in a year where Nintendo is releasing several first-party games. These include Pokemon Briliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, Mario Golf: Super Rush, and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD.