An ongoing global shortage of electronic parts forced Nintendo to scale back production of the Nintendo Switch. According to a Nikkei Asia report, Nintendo will produce about 20% fewer units for the fiscal year ending in March 2022. This amounts to about 24 million units total. 30 million were originally planned. These figures include the updated Nintendo Switch OLED version, as well as the handheld-only Switch Lite [Thanks, Nikkei Asia].
The Switch crunch Nintendo is facing is reflective of a worldwide supply shortage emerging due in part to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. A variety of factors, combined with a surge in demand for the silicon chips and semiconductors used to manufacture all types of electronic devices has resulted in chip makers unable to meet demand. It takes time to establish new factories and chip foundries for the complex components. So, the lag is affecting the production targets of everything from game consoles to automobiles. The shortage is expected to continue into 2022.
Nintendo informed its suppliers about the cuts to production targets. It is also assessing the impact of the component shortages. Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa noted that demand for the Switch was still strong, and that the company was “unable to manufacture as many consoles as it wanted.”
The supply issues are also reflected in hardware sales. Statistics from Famitsu report a 37% drop in sales for September 2021. That’s the same month Sony’s PS5 (another console affected by the chip shortage) upended the Switch’s position at the top of the US hardware sales charts.
That said, Nintendo is still the overall leader in game console unit sales. With over 89 million Switches sold to date, Nintendo is on track to outdo its previous best-selling console, the Wii.