Nintendo Promises More SNES Classics, But A Likely Switch Shortage This Holiday – Forbes
Nintendo’s biggest obstacle, as ever, continues to be Nintendo itself. These days the company finds itself in a starkly different position than the past few years with the under-performing Wii U, as now it has hardware that’s flying off physical and digital shelves so quickly, it can’t keep up.
There’s good news and bad news ahead, according to a new Financial Times interview with Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aimé.
The good? Reggie promises that production of the SNES Classic Edition has been “dramatically increased,” and he urges potential customers to avoid paying for over-priced re-sellings of the console online as there will be more available in the next few months. He also maintains that the recent pre-order madness was “outside of our control,” shifting the blame to retails where outlets like Walmart and Target botched the pre-ordering process on its end. Still, it’s a bit hard to know what to make of these comments about increased supply and Nintendo not being to blame when local GameStops would get say, five-to-eight units for over a hundred people lined up to pre-order in person. In short, I’ll believe SNES Classic production is “dramatically increased” when I see it, and the thing stops selling out within 30 seconds.
The bad news has to do with the Nintendo Switch, where Reggie relays that while Nintendo will be making as many as it can, “as many as it can” may be hard-limited and result in shortages. “There is a potential that demand is going to outstrip supply,” Reggie said, and indicated that a “complex supply” chain is tough to manage. FT says that many analysts in Japan believe Alps Electric, which makes the motors for the vibrating Joy-Cons may be causing a bottleneck, but others think it’s parts Nintendo is making themselves instead.
Regardless, if Nintendo is promising a plentiful supply of SNES Classics (which almost seem guaranteed to be in short supply regardless), it’s a bit daunting to hear them forecast Switch shortages outright. In short, if you see a Switch and know you want one as a gift or for yourself, snatch it up, because demand will only increase as the holiday gets closer, and you may be out of luck by then.
While this is a “good problem” for Nintendo to have as opposed to anemic Wii U sales, its inability to manage supply has practically become a meme in the industry to the point where many fans believe it’s done intentionally to drive up interest. While I don’t think that’s the case, it does not seem like Nintendo has been able to coordinate its manufacturing as well as its rivals, as we’ve almost never heard of shortages of Xbox/PlayStation products for prolonged periods, despite enormous sales this generation.