To say that Nintendo tends to underestimate demand for its new hardware is an understatement. And now they’ve acknowledged that this is the case with the Switch as well.
The company has admitted that it understimated who well the Switch would sell, bluntly putting it in a recent Japanese interview: “Nintendo has never expected the Nintendo Switch to sell this much”.
The company added that one of the main reasons as to why there are still shortages is not because they can’t increase production — they can, and they did — but as Nintendo puts it to Japanese news outlet Mainichi:
“It’s easy to increase the production capacity of the factory. The finished product needs to be delivered from the harbor to the rest of the world, and rushing shipping is an extremely difficult thing to do.”
The company added that it’s also difficult to get components because other companies like Apple (and Nintendo named Apple specifically) are competing for the same components.
And Nintendo wasn’t too optimistic about meeting demand in the near future: they plan to ship 10 million units this year, but said that “in reality there are 20 million people who actually want to buy one.”
Does this mean we can expect shortages to last until well into 2018? It’s going to take a while to manufacture (and ship) all those units to meet demand of an extra 20 million people who want one.