Nearing the expected end of its life, the Nintendo Switch will apparently be seeing a boost to production beginning in the next fiscal year. Coming off the past few years plagued by component shortages which hampered manufacturing, confidence is high that demand for the Switch remains strong, even this late in the game.
Parts shortages, scalpers and the COVID-19 pandemic have bogged down console production across the gaming industry, but the pressure has finally begun to ease. The PS5 was perhaps the worst hit, with Sony Interactive Entertainment president Jim Ryan only recently expressing that PlayStation 5 shortages were finally over. Though not as badly affected, Switch consoles certainly took a hit as well. In fact, Nintendo lowered its sales forecast for the current fiscal year to 19 million as recently as last November.
But despite the hardships, expectations for the Switch in 2023 are high. Nintendo is reportedly going full steam ahead on Switch production starting in April, the beginning of the next fiscal year. According to unnamed sources who spoke to Bloomberg, Nintendo has been reaching out to its production partners, informing them of plans to ship an increased number of consoles. According to Nintendo executives, last year’s downturn came as a result of supply shortages, not a decrease in demand.
However, this runs counter to the expectations of industry analysts, who say that the diminished sales figures were low even considering those shortages. And with rumors of a Nintendo Switch 2 floating around, consumers eyes are looking more to the future. A boost to current generation console production this late in a platform’s life-cycle is a risky move. The analyst Bloomberg spoke to referred to slower sales for the Switch as “unavoidable,” saying that people will likely hold off buying the older system.
Next-gen console expectations aside however, the Switch is likely in for a strong year, which may well move the needle in the company’s favor in terms of platform sales. Fire Emblem Engage releases on January 20, and early reviews are looking very positive. Two of Nintendo’s landmark franchises, Pikmin and The Legend of Zelda have big releases slated for 2023. Plus, the console has long since branded itself as the best place play a wide variety of indie games, garnering it even wider attention, and that reputation likely isn’t going anywhere. Suffice it to say that Nintendo has certainly set itself up for success when it comes to busting late-life console expectations.
Though it would certainly be a surprise if the company met the high bar set for itself, the stars may just align for Nintendo. And whatever the future hold for the Switch, players have lots to look forward to.