It’s no secret among industry insiders that Nintendo single-handedly revolutionized gaming culture in the U.S. After the video game crash of 1983, it was Nintendo’s stringent quality control and commitment to understanding the North American market that resurrected home gaming consoles after the decline of Atari. That said, the company isn’t always perfect, a point which has borne out in their difficulty to adequately meet retail demand with their products. Thankfully, the company announced they intend to ramp up production in an effort to meet customer demands, though it may not happen in time for the 2017 holiday season.
Since its release in March of this year, the Nintendo Switch has been a massive hit with both gamers and critics. The unique system works as a sort of hybrid, capable of both being connected and played on a tv or converted to a portable tablet-like mode for use while on the go. Nintendo was heavily leaning on the system to succeed after its predecessor, the Wii U, failed to connect with a large audience. The Switch has proven to be the fastest selling console in the company’s long history, with Nintendo moving 7.6 million units after only being on the market for roughly six months. Unfortunately, the company has struggled to keep up with demand, a problem worsened by this year’s release of new games in both the Super Mario and Legend of Zelda franchises.
Eager gamers are in luck, as Nintendo announced they will be significantly increasing production of the Switch. According to the company, they will produce at least 17 million units by the end of 2017, effectively doubling production for the latter part of the year. In 2018 Nintendo hopes to increase this to at least 25 million, with production set to ramp up significantly by April. This could easily be extended to 30 million or beyond, though that will ultimately depend on sales through the 2017 holiday season.
The company is clearly going all-in on the system, a fact demonstrated after their announcement to begin suspension of the now-outdated Wii’s online shop. A surprising hit in its own right, The Wii still has its own loyal following of gamers, despite being superceded by both the Wii U and the Switch. Nintendo announced near the end of September that starting in March of 2018, users would no longer be able to purchase the special currency needed to buy games from the Wii’s webshop, though they would have until 2019 to spend any remaining points. Likewise, gamers will soon lose the ability to transfer their previously purchased games from the Wii to the Wii U. That said, with the company’s plans to make the technically superior and massively successful Switch more readily available, gamers have little reason not to finally make the upgrade.