In context: With millions out of work and staying home, the gaming sector has been one of the few areas of industry that has not felt the pinch brought on by quarantine orders. In fact, it has seen the opposite with a spike in demand for games and gaming consoles.
Nintendo is reportedly planning to boost Switch production to meet the higher demand. According to the Japanese newspaper Nikkei Asian Review, the company is preparing to increase the number of units made in 2020 by about 10 percent over 2019. That should equate to an additional 2 million consoles if we go by the 20 million Switches produced last year.
Nintendo has been having a hard time keeping up with Switch demand going into 2020. Back in February, problems in the supply chains related to social distancing forced it to delay shipments of its handheld hybrid in Japan. However, supplies in the West have been a problem as well, with unscrupulous scalpers using bots to automatically purchase inventory as it hits digital shelves.
Suppliers indicated that they were told to anticipate increased manufacturing output, starting in the second quarter. Some assemblers reported receiving parts requisitions 50-percent higher than what they originally ordered.
While the goal is to see an increased production of 10 percent, Nintendo acknowledged that some parts might be hard to obtain in the face of continuing pandemic mitigation efforts. Assemblers may also be unwilling to hire the extra staff needed for the extra output. So ultimately, the company cannot promise a substantial increase in unit shipments.
If Nintendo cannot meet Switch demand, consumers will be left with essentially two options — either pay nearly double to a scalper or create their own DIY Switch out of replacement parts.