The supply chain crisis is now causing a Nintendo Switch shortage, and let’s say no


Nintendo sold 33% fewer Switch units in the April-June quarter than expected in Japan. Supply chain problems that haunt the country’s electronics industry appear to be to blame. Worse, the downturn could foreshadow a growing Switch shortage as the holiday season approaches.

As reported by Nikkei Asia, Nintendo sold 840,000 Switch consoles in Japan in the aforementioned quarter, well below expectations. Competitor Sony Group missed its own PS5 sales targets by 26%, shipping about 200,000 units. Between the two, concerns continue to grow that both hardware makers will struggle to get consoles on shelves in time for the busy October-December quarter.

Nintendo has remained eloquent about its supply chain issues, though Nikkei Asia believes Switch shortages stem from the inability to purchase components related to the Switch’s Bluetooth functionality. These components can be found in the main switch, but also in the wireless controllers. Also scarce: analog chips for controlling electrical currents.

While Nikkei’s source indicates that Nintendo is negotiating to secure the necessary components, it is up against giants in the smartphone and auto industry who are also desperate for parts. That’s not to say from Sony just yet, also in the hunt and determined to speed up PS5 production.

Nintendo has previously stated that it’s open to tweaking the Switch’s core design to use whatever parts it can secure, but it’s hard to know if Nintendo is willing to continue with this in the medium term.

Not being able to get enough Switches on the shelves in time for the fourth quarter would be a major concern for Nintendo, which is wrapping up some high-profile software launches later this year. Both splatoon 3 and Pokemon Scarlet and purpleboth system vendors, arriving before the end of the year.

What Australian players will be concerned about is whether these Switch shortage issues will make their way to us. It’s already hard to get PS5 and Xbox Series X hardware, and it will likely stay that way until Christmas for what will be its third year on the hop. Adding a Switch shortage to that list creates a nightmare scenario for retailers, who will rely on hardware sales to boost software and peripherals during the manic holiday season.

Given our relative proximity to the Japanese market, it’s definitely something to keep an eye on if you’re planning on buying a Switch this Christmas. This can also very easily spill over to our region.

[Nikkei Asia]