Bloomberg are reporting that Nintendo may have problems shipping Switch hardware as the coronavirus outbreak has caused a production bottleneck. ‘People with knowledge of the company’s supply chain’ have told Bloomberg that there is a ‘limited supply’ of Chinese manufactured components being delivered to the Switch assembly plant in Vietnam.
Due to the time taken to construct and ship the final hardware it is likely the consoles will be in short supply sometime around April, bad news for Nintendo as they are set to launch Animal Crossing: New Horizons on March 20th and that should cause a spike in Switch sales.
Nintendo had already warned of hardware shortages in Japan due to the outbreak. “We will continue to work to deliver products as soon as possible while paying close attention to the effects of the new coronavirus infection, and we look forward to your understanding,” Nintendo said in a statement in Japanese via Google Translate.
Senior Analyst at Niko Partners Daniel Ahmad, has a warned the Coronavirus may disrupt the manufacture of many other items.
“China is important for manufacturing of some game hardware, phones and other components, and we believe that the entire supply chain of manufactured goods will be impacted — much more than just games,” Ahmad told CNBC.
“When looking at games consoles specifically, we note that 96% of video game consoles imported into the U.S. in 2018 were produced in China. Whilst companies such as Nintendo have moved some manufacturing abroad, China still accounts for the majority.”
The virus outbreak has caused delays right across the gaming industry. PUBG Corp has announced it is postponing the PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds eSports event PBS Berlin, all Overwatch League events have been cancelled through February and March in China, and Private Division have delayed the Nintendo Switch port of The Outer Worlds, which is being handled by the Virtuous team in, you guessed it, China.