Nintendo is set to ramp up production of the wildly successful Switch for the upcoming Holiday season.
Plagued by supply shortages since launch, Nintendo seems to finally be getting its act together by ramping up production of the Switch, the runaway hit console of 2017.
The increase in manufacturing was not just to meet demand but also to stem the tide of “customer tantrums”, as reported by The Financial Times newspaper. The Times reports that Nintendo could manufacture a staggering 18 million units by the end of the next fiscal period next March, although Nintendo is sticking with their earlier forecast of 10 million units.
Conservative estimates from Nintendo could be taking into consideration supply side shortages of components, such as LCD screens. However, suppliers of Switch components are similarly increasing their sales forecasts as Nintendo announces its intention to boost production. Both GameStop and Best Buy are reporting smashed sales records thanks to the Switch.
The expanded production comes at an important time for the Switch, as Capcom has recently announced a version of their popular series Monster Hunter XX will be hitting Japan this summer. Also expected titles include Splatoon 2 and Arms in late Summer, Skyrim and FIFA in Winter, and the return of the classic Nintendo mascot Mario in Super Mario Odyssey just in time for Christmas.
The holiday season will be a key test for the Switch to see if its sales are strong enough to continue into 2018. With Zelda: Breath of the Wild as thus far the only game really driving sales, it remains to be seen whether Nintendo will develop the Switch’s library to the point where it will define gaming for a new generation in the same way the Gameboy and Gameboy DS did. Staggering the release of the major titles mentioned above will help, but it will need a strong back catalog from smaller, independent developers in order to maintain its sales momentum for the foreseeable future.
News of surging Switch manufacturing seems to confirm earlier reports that Nintendo is killing off its other wildly successful console, the NES Classic, in order to focus on the Switch. Why Nintendo couldn’t just build both is a pointedly unanswered question, but it does show how willing the company is to limit its own supply in order to both gauge customer interest and ensure that every unit built is sold.
With E3 just around the corner, expect more Nintendo Switch game announcements.