Nintendo is planning to increase production of the Switch for the upcoming fiscal year beginning in March, according to a Bloomberg report citing anonymous sources. The news arrives on the same weekend as the company’s first big release in 2023, Fire Emblem Engage, and ahead of the long-anticipated The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, which will go on sale in May.
Nintendo reportedly has pinged its suppliers and assembly partners about increasing production without putting a firm number on its expectations. In November, the company had decreased its Switch sales forecast for the current year to 19 million units (down from its initial 21 million projection in May) due to ongoing component shortages, but the sources said the number would be around the 21 million originally projected.
Nintendo has cited supply chain issues as a bottleneck since 2021 but now seems confident it can make more units and that demand will keep up, an optimistic change from the first-quarter earnings release in August that reported declining system and software sales.
The planned increase also comes after a holiday season that began with record launch sales of Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet — which sold a combined 10 million copies within three days in November. Overall, the Switch outsold rival consoles, the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, in units in 2022, according to NPD data. It even bested the lifetime sales of Nintendo’s old Wii console, which topped out at 101 million units, with a game lineup highlighted by Switch Sports and Kirby and the Forgotten Land.
The new Zelda game, along with Pikmin 4, may stir up even more interest in the aging and increasingly underpowered handheld. And for people who have played the heck out of their launch hardware — it might be time to replace it due to aging batteries or other hardware wear and tear. That screen on the OLED model is still a delight to play on, even if it’s not 4K.