Nintendo is planning to increase production of their Nintendo Switch console for the coming fiscal year, starting April 1, 2023 and ending March 31, 2024.
Our source claims that the company initially lowered their sales forecast for 19 million units in November 2022 because of component shortages. Now however, they see they are more capable of manufacturing more units and can address potential demand.
Nintendo has also told their suppliers and assembly partners of their plans, but have not yet projected any specific numbers when it comes to production of units.
These plans are being put in place in spite of industry forecasts that the console will see less sales in the coming year. As the industry as a whole is seeing less growth year on year, we are seeing multiple companies scale back their operations and plans in the new year.
It’s possible that Nintendo has made the calculation that the potential lower sales of their consoles and games will still be profitable for the company in the long run. It’s also possible they expect to defy industry predictions with the pending release of games like The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. Releases of major titles have been very successful for Nintendo, even the poorly received Pokemon Scarlet and Violet. They have also been a reliable driver for console sales, at least for most of the Switch’s lifetime.
Other major first party releases confirmed for the console include Pikmin 4, and Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe. There are also the still unconfirmed future releases of Advance Wars 1+2 Re-Boot Camp and Metroid Prime 4, and some potentially high profile 3rd party ports, including Marvel’s Midnight Suns, The Outer Wilds, and Minecraft Legends. We ourselves recently reported on the delay of Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End & the Secret Key to March 24, 2023.
On the other hand, these plans may be an indication that the Nintendo Switch successor still needs a little bit more work before it is ready for release. While all the game companies do start planning for the next generation of consoles as soon as when they release their latest device, Nintendo has not shown any teasers of the Switch’s successor, and not even any suggestions that they will show its successor to the public yet.
Nintendo’s hardware competitors have also intimated plans to increase production for their devices for the next financial year. Sony claims that they have caught up to demand for the PlayStation 5 and it should be considerably easier to find them in store. Valve, on their part, have been slowly improving global distribution of their Steam Deck consoles, following a rapid increase in manufacturing.
Nintendo can only extend the lifespan of their Switch console for so long. The aforementioned Steam Deck mirrors the Switch’s functionality, and boasts significantly more powerful hardware, albeit less portable in terms of size, weight, and battery. To add to that, there are many smaller competitors entering the same portable space the Switch and the Steam Deck are in, including both cloud gaming portables, like the Logitech G Cloud, and expensive, but expertly engineered Windows portables more powerful than the Deck, such as the GPD Win 4.
Nintendo isn’t likely to match Steam Deck’s power for their next console. However, they will be looking to bridge the power gap closer than where they are now. They cannot be too outdated to compete with other consoles, and they can get at least a slice of the modern games currently in development.