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Media & Entertainment

Nintendo boosts Switch production by 20% as it rides COVID wave

"Animal Crossing" popularity pushes console maker to output 25m units for FY2020

The Switch was on a hot streak even before the coronavirus, having sold 21 million units in fiscal 2019. (Source photos by Reuters and Tokuyuki Matsubuchi) 

OSAKA -- Nintendo is boosting output of the Switch game console by 20% from its initial plan, to 25 million units for the fiscal year through March 2021, as stay-at-home and other coronavirus restrictions have led to a surge in demand, Nikkei has learned.

The output will be the most ever for the Switch, first released in March 2017.

In April, Nintendo was planning to make about 20 million units for the fiscal year.

The iconic video game company first had to consult with parts suppliers and manufacturing contractors, sources say, in its attempt to clear inventory shortages.

Nintendo relies on suppliers in China for most Switch production.

Early on in the outbreak, Nintendo's supply chains were disrupted, and after February product shipments to Japan were suspended, forcing the company to delay the rollout of a special edition Switch.

Coronavirus measures have also helped a Switch game title. In late March, with people around the world staying home in an effort to stem the spread of COVID-19, "Atsumori," or "Animal Crossing," was released, selling 11.77 million copies in 12 days.

Switch was on a hot streak even before the outbreak, with a record 21 million units selling in fiscal 2019.

Although Switch production returned to near full throttle in June, Nintendo still faces shortages, with some home electronics retailers in Japan forced to sell their inventories via lotteries.

Nintendo will not have much time to enjoy the Switch's blockbuster success. Sony and other gaming rivals are set to launch new consoles by the end of the year.

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