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Nintendo halts Switch shipments in Japan as orders surge

Console sells for twice its usual price via online vendors

Nintendo's Switch is produced in such countries as China and Vietnam.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Nintendo has suspended shipments of the Switch game console in Japan as the company became unable to keep up with rising demand due to supply chain disruptions caused by the coronavirus, Nikkei has learned.

No date was given for the shipments to resume. Shipments in the U.S. and Europe, where Nintendo still possesses inventory, will continue as normal.

The Switch is produced by contract manufacturers in China and Vietnam. Operations at their factories have "recovered to a certain point," a Nintendo source said, but have yet to return to full capacity. Nintendo said in early February that shipments of the Switch and certain games were being delayed.

Demand for game consoles has surged in Japan as more people stay home to avoid the coronavirus.

"We haven't been able to keep up the supply," said a source for the Japanese game company.

The Switch now sells for $500 to $700 on certain online platforms, roughly twice its recommended retail price.

About 830,000 Switch and Switch Lite systems were sold between Feb. 24 and March 29, bringing cumulative sales to over 13 million units, according to gaming magazine Famitsu.

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