The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has unsurprisingly been causing a number of issues for Nintendo over the past few months - in April, the company told its Japanese fans that shipments of Switch consoles would be temporarily put on hold as a result of the virus' effects.
The gaming giant noted that the ongoing effects of the pandemic "only had limited impact on business results for this fiscal year" in today's earnings report, but has also outlined a number of ways in which it could affect business going forward.
One potential problem, which could arise if the effects of the virus "are prolonged or worsen further", would see games and services get delayed as development schedules are pushed back. Nintendo says, "we may not be able to proceed with the release of Nintendo products and the start of services as planned":
"If the effects of COVID-19 are prolonged or worsen further, development schedules may be impacted due to the difference in development environments between working from home and in the office. In particular, the impact to overseas subsidiaries and other affiliated companies involved in development is anticipated to be even more difficult to predict than within Japan.
As a result of these factors, we may not be able to proceed with the release of Nintendo products and the start of services as planned. This is also true for other software publishers, so it may not be possible to provide game content on Nintendo platforms as planned.
Other risks to Nintendo's business going forward include the restrictions of physical sales, with retail stores being closed, as well as "a possibility that provision of those services offered via [Nintendo's] network may be suspended in the event that [it is] no longer able to maintain the stability of [its] network systems".
There is good news, too, however. Nintendo says that the delays in production and shipping are "gradually recovering", and while any prolonged impacts of the virus could disrupt product supply again in the future, this should mean that more systems will soon be finding their way to fans who have been trying to get their hands on one.