Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa recently gave the world a piece of double-edged news.
Speaking to the Japanese publication Nikkei, he said the company has been able to procure enough semiconductors for immediate production of the Nintendo Switch. However, he also stated that “in Japan and other countries, demand has been very strong since the beginning of the year, and there is a possibility of shortages at some retailers in the future.”
Semiconductors are compact electronic devices that pass electricity between a conductor and insulator. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, console manufacturers have struggled with a shortage of semiconductor stock due to supply chain issues. Additionally, the pandemic has also led to a 155 percent increase in console sales worldwide, further aggravating the stock problem.
“It is difficult to say how we will deal with this [shortage of stock], but in some cases, we may not be able to prepare enough for orders,” said Furukawa in a statement given to Nikkei.
Other console manufacturers are in the same boat as Nintendo. Neither Sony nor Microsoft has met the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S demand since their initial launches, with the next-gen consoles selling out minutes after new stock is available.
In a recent interview with the Financial Times, Jim Ryan, Sony’s CEO, said that the company couldn’t guarantee that they’ll be able to satisfy the PS5 demand by the 2021 holiday season. However, he does see the short-stock situation improving over time.
Microsoft’s head of investor relations, Mike Spencer, said Microsoft expects the shortage to persist until the second half of 2021.
The semiconductor supply disruption is particularly significant to Nintendo, as it’s planning to launch the rumoured ‘Switch Pro’ later this year or early next year. The pro model reportedly features Nvidia’s DLSS technology and an improved 7-inch Samsung OLED screen.