For the most part, it’s been a good year for Nintendo. In March, the company successfully launched the Switch, a device that helped reinvigorate Nintendo following the disastrous Wii U. And 2017 has seen the release of some of the best-regarded games in Nintendo’s history starting with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and, soon, Super Mario Odyssey. This goes along with the release of the miniature SNES Classic, and further forays into mobile like Fire Emblem Heroes and next month’s Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. “Broadly speaking, it’s been a strong year and a strong launch for the Nintendo Switch,” says Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aimé.
But even within one of Nintendo’s most important years, a lingering issue remains: supply. For many, the Switch remains hard to find in stores, even months after launch. A quick stock check at Best Buy suggests that supply and demand are finally starting to level out, thankfully. And while the SNES Classic fared much better than the original NES Classic, which was near impossible to purchase, it’s still nowhere near readily accessible to walk-in consumers at most electronics stores. For Fils-Aimé, this ongoing problem has been the one sticking point in an otherwise extremely positive 2017.
“We place very high expectations on ourselves.”
“Whenever we launch a system, we place very high expectations on ourselves,” he explains. “I wish we would have more hardware. Our inability to meet demand is not something that is satisfying in any way, shape, or form. And we’re working hard to satisfy as much demand as possible.” Fils-Aimé says that the company has made changes to its supply chain to improve the situation, and notes that we’ll likely hear more on the subject next week, when Nintendo announces its financial results. “I expect that our chief executive Mr. Kimishima will comment on this,” he says.
Supply has been an ongoing problem for Nintendo. Back in August, Fils-Aimé admitted that “sometimes we get it wrong” when it comes to meeting demand for hardware. In September the company even issued a press release noting that it intended to launch more units of the SNES Classic than it originally anticipated. And for those who missed out on the NES Classic, the company is bringing back the previously discontinued device next year — and it plans to have a lot more units to sell next time around.
“We know that there are many consumers who want that system and have not been able to purchase it,” says Fils-Aimé. “Certainly we’re not happy to see the re-seller prices on that system. And so bringing it back, and bringing it back in significant numbers, is something that’s important to us.”