The Supply Chain Crisis Is Now Creating a Nintendo Switch Shortage, and Let’s-a No

The Supply Chain Crisis Is Now Creating a Nintendo Switch Shortage, and Let’s-a No
Image: Nintendo, Kotaku Australia

Nintendo sold 33 per cent fewer Switch units than expected in Japan during the April-June quarter. Supply chain issues dogging the country’s electronics industry are seemingly to blame. Worse, the downturn could presage a growing Switch shortage as the holiday period looms.

As reported by Nikkei Asia, Nintendo sold 840,000 Switch consoles in Japan during the aforementioned quarter, well below its expectations. Competitor Sony Group missed its own PS5 sales targets by 26 per cent, shipping around 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 characteristically tight-lipped about the supply chain issues, though Nikkei Asia believes Switch shortages stem from an inability to procure components related to the Switch’s Bluetooth functionality. These components are found in the main Switch unit, but also in its wireless controllers. Also in short supply: analog chips used for controlling electrical currents.

Though Nikkei’s source indicates Nintendo is negotiating to secure the components it needs, it’s up against giants in the smartphone and automotive industry who are also desperate for parts. That’s to say nothing of Sony, also in the hunt and determined to fast-track PS5 production.

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

Not being able to get enough Switches on shelves in time for Q4 would be a real worry for Nintendo, which is winding up for some high-profile software launches later this year. Both Splatoon 3 and Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, system sellers both, are arriving before the end of the year.

What will be a worry for Australian players is whether these Switch shortage troubles find their way to us. It’s already difficult to get PS5 and Xbox Series X hardware, and it’s likely to stay that way through Christmas for what will be the third year on the hop. Adding a Switch shortage to that list creates a nightmare scenario for retailers, who will be banking on hardware sales to drive software and peripheral add-ons during the manic holiday period.

Given our relative proximity to the Japanese market, it’s certainly something to keep an eye on if you’re planning to pick up a Switch this Christmas. This could very easily spill over into our region as well.