Switch may be three years old now, but the stock shortages that plagued the console’s early life in Japan don’t seem to have gone away.
Reports have been coming out of Nintendo’s homeland that the console is currently sold out at retailers like Amazon and Rakuten. Stores such as Nojima Online, Yodobashi and BicCamera still have units available, however.
While the stock levels are nowhere near as low as they were close to release – when people would literally be queuing around the block just to be in with a chance of bagging a system – it still shows how Nintendo’s system has maintained an impressive degree of demand, even after three years on sale.
Switch hardware and software was recently quite hard to find in the UK, too, but Nintendo seems to have solved that issue in recent weeks, especially when it comes to games.
I suspect there's going to be shortages again when Animal Crossing lands - not only is it one of the biggest games of the year, it will be a massive system seller.
Does not look like a price cut is on the cards anytime soon.
Adding the issue with nCov, I'm guessing shortages will be around for a little while.
This time Nintendo has a hit on their hands, but production complexity has ramped up as well.
The CPU is a UK design, the GPU is an American design, and the whole thing is assembled in China, which... has issues with those two right now. As well as issues of their own.
This time, both the systems and the cartridges are mercifully small, so the raw materials thankfully stretch a good bit longer.
The Switch has stock issues because Nintendo does it the Apple way, they produce as much they think they need so any shortage is artificial.
The good thing about it that it causes them not to overproduce, spares them money and there are no "lost Switch consoles begging for a new owner" on a shelf for centuries.
This is not to bash Nintendo, this is how a good business does work.
@Pod The CPU and GPU are one single chip though, so both can't be manufactured in different places. Tegra chips contain both the ARM CPU and the CUDA cores and are not manufactured by NVidia themselves. As far as I'm aware, NVidia are Taiwanese and rely on another Taiwanese company to get their chips made.
The Switch, since day 1, has suffered stock issues mainly, at a time anyway, for lack of supply of the NAND memory it houses, because the same NAND chips were also used by Apple in their iPhone line and both companies would fight over the limited quantity that Foxconn had to work with. Idk if that issue has been resolved since, but it could still be around or maybe now it's a different component that suffers shortages, maybe the LPDDR4 RAM, who knows really. The latter saw a refresh, it's a new model compared to the one used in 1st gen Switch units, maybe they're struggling to make enough of the new revision.
Not in all of Japan. Here in the Kansai area, or at least in Shiga, I see them on the shelves just fine. But Shiga is considered by some be the "rural" almost backwater part of Japan. XD
Pretty sure Nvidia is headquartered in California, but I could be wrong there. Either way, I know they aren't manufactured abroad and shipped to China afterwards, but it's a lot of rights management going on, for a finacially scrappy production.
Nintendo has a rather small profit margin on each Switch unit, compared to the smartphone makers they're competing for parts with. So I can only imagine how little ARM, Nvidia, and the assembly line crews are making.
My assumptions is that this makes Nintendo more vulnerable in regards to steady supply, as they can't afford to shell out extra for more than just a few parts or materials that happen to be in short supply at any one time.
And ramping production with more assembly lines up to ensure higher output means Nintendo would have to negotiate even bigger deals with suppliers. And when EVERYONE knows customer demand is the reason, you'd have to be a top negotiator to drive as hard a bargain as Nintendo is known for.
Maybe one day they'll go full vertical integration, and buy out the chip design offices, the mines, the smelting plants, the tool factories, the assembly facilities, and the transport companies. ^^
@Rayquaza2510 You're certainly not wrong, though usually they'd have more recourses when this happened. When you keep a light stock, stuff like the current events in the world can screw you over far more easily, that's the flip side.
Isn’t it kinda weird that Nintendo is based in Japan but a lot of their stuff is made in China???
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