The global chip shortage is rippling through all areas of technology, and its chokehold on electronics doesn’t seem to be easing up anytime soon. Nintendo is just one brand that continues to suffer due to the shortage, as a report from Nikkei Asia reveals that Nintendo is slashing the number of Switches it’s producing even further and falling short of original projections by 20 percent.
While Nintendo insists the chip shortage didn’t cause the Switch OLED to miss out on 4K video support, the squeeze could keep the company from meeting its updated projection. Nikkei Asia reports that instead of producing the 30 million Switches it initially planned on, Nintendo will only push out 24 million units by the end of March, which is short of the 25.5 million number it gave to investors in May. In a brief statement, a Nintendo spokesperson told Nikkei Asia that they’re aware of the semiconductor shortage, and they’re evaluating the “impact” on its production.
As Nikkei Asia notes, the Switch has seen a 37-percent decline in sales this September when compared to the same period last year. Demand for the Switch rapidly increased during the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, as people looked for ways to keep busy while staying at home. The Switch took the spot as the top-selling console in the US from 2019 to the beginning of 2021, only to be surmounted by the PS5, which sold fewer units than the Switch but made more money.
It also doesn’t help that Nintendo just released the Switch OLED model in October — a slightly upgraded version of the Switch that comes with a better screen and more storage. A newer model typically means more demand, something that Nintendo probably should’ve considered before launching the Switch OLED during a chip shortage.
Scalpers already bought out and attempted to resell Switch OLED preorders for outrageously high prices, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if they targeted what remains of the Switch stock in the coming months. After all, scalpers have already benefitted from the chip shortage, digging their greedy claws into the Xbox One X and PlayStation 5 — the Switch OLED could be their next feast.