Nintendo insists Switch shortages are not strategic

Ben Parfitt
Nintendo insists Switch shortages are not strategic

The accusation that Nintendo deliberately undersupplies its products is one the company has faced for years.

However, like the majority of 'false scarcity' claims, it's all very unlikely. And indeed, Nintendo of America's senior director of corporate communications Charlie Scibetta has insisted to Ars Technica that there is nothing deliberate about the Switch's ongoing stock shortages.

"It's definitely not intentional in terms of shorting the market. We're making it as fast as we can,” he claimed. We want to get as many units out as we can to support all the software that's coming out right now.

Our job really is to get it out as quick as we can, especially for this holiday because we want to have units on shelves to support Super Mario Odyssey.

"We anticipated there was going to be demand for it, but the demand has been even higher than we thought. We had a good quantity for launch, we sold 2.7m worldwide in that first month, said we're going to have 10m [more] by the end of the fiscal year...

Unfortunately, we're in a situation right now where as quick as it's going into retail outlets it's being snapped up. It's a good problem to have, but we're working very hard to try and meet demand."

Scibetta added that it was hard to predict how long the shortages would continue for.

In a separate report, IHS Markit games director Piers Harding-Rolls agrees that hardware stock is the most pressing challenge for the console.

With this improving pipeline of content, it is now clear that the major challenge to potential sales of the Switch in 2017 is product availability, with pricing being a secondary consideration during the early adopter phase,” he added.

Following the strong launch, Nintendo confirmed that production capacity was to be increased to respond to demand, but this takes time to come online and impact the supply chain. It is also unclear at this stage how big a jump in actual production volume can be expected.”

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