NINTENDO Switch consoles could be even harder to find than usual this year.
A warning from Nintendo’s boss says a global chip shortage is causing havoc for the firm.
Nintendo’s Switch console is still in high demandCredit: Nintendo
Since last year, chips for phones, consoles, cars and other electronics have been in short supply.
It’s meant a number of products have been delayed, cancelled or released with limited supply.
The Nintendo Switch is already wildly popular and regularly sells out – especially around the holiday season.
Now Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa has warned that the Switch may be in short supply this year.
“We have been able to secure the necessary materials for the immediate production of semiconductors for Switches,” Furukawa said to Nikkei.
“However, in Japan and other countries, demand has been very strong since the beginning of the year.
A global chip shortage is causing mayhem for tech and gaming giantsCredit: Nintendo
“And there is a possibility of shortages at some retailers in the future.
“It is difficult to say how we will deal with this, but in some cases we may not be able to prepare enough for orders.”
The shortage first began last year, as chip-making factories were forced to shut down during the pandemic.
Some firms – like car makers – needed fewer chips as demand dried up.
But electronics sales soared as the world began spending more time at home.
Then once the world began kicking back into action, a backlog in orders put strain on the chip-makers.
Several products were delayed as the shortage ramped up, including two of last year’s iPhone models.
Nintendo Switch – what is it?
Here’s what you need to know…
The Nintendo Switch is a hugely popular video game console
It’s created by Japanese tech giant Nintendo, and is the successor to the Wii
Uniquely, the Switch can be plugged into a TV or used in handheld mode
When handheld, it looks just like a screen with joysticks and buttons either side
But when docked to a TV, the “Joy-Cons” on the side detach for wireless play
The Nintendo Switch launched in March 2017 and has quickly become one of the most iconic game consoles of all time
It supports popular games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Pokemon Sword and Shield, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Animal Crossing: New Horizons
As of December 31, 2020, Nintendo had shipped just under 80million Switch units
In September 2019, Nintendo launched a spin-off console called the Switch Lite – which is cheaper and handheld-only
Samsung has also warned that one of its top models may need to be pushed back.
The shortage has also been linked to a drought in Taiwan.
Chip-making is a liquid-intensive process, and Taiwan has reportedly imported water to help ease the supply strains.
Interestingly, Nintendo is expected to launch a new Switch model later this year.
The so-called Switch Pro is tipped to feature 4K gaming while docked to a TV for the very first time.
A global chip shortage could potentially limit stock of this device if it continues.
Alternatively, it’s possible that Nintendo could scale back existing Switch production to make way for more units of the new Pro.
However, Nintendo hasn’t confirmed any such Pro console exists.
Rival firms Sony and Microsoft has struggled with stock issues for their respective PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles in the past few months.
Sony has warned that these supply issues are linked to the global chip shortage, and may not be resolved until July.
In other news, The Sun’s favourite alternative to a games console is the Oculus Quest 2 VR headset.
Check out the wildly impressive Panasonic 65HZ1000 TV, which makes most tellies look rubbish.
And Dell’s Alienware R10 Ryzen Edition is a gaming PC powerhouse that crushes both the new consoles.
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