NINTENDO fans may soon struggle to get their hands on its Switch console due to the coronavirus crisis.
The gaming giant has admitted that the rapidly spreading disease is driving shortages of the Switch in Japan.
Production of the Nintendo Switch is taking a nose dive due to the coronavirus outbreak
The Animal Crossing-themed version of the Switch, announced last week, has had its preorder availability pushed back from Saturday to an unspecified date.
In a statement on Thursday, Nintendo apologised for the delays and said it was monitoring the situation. It’s not clear if the problems will affect shipments elsewhere.
Coronavirus, which started in the Chinese city of Wuhan, has so far killed 563 people.
More than 28,000 cases have been recorded globally, with China locking down millions in cities across the country in a desperate bid to contain the virus.
With the crisis now declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organisation, businesses in Asia are beginning to feel the squeeze.
Almost all Switch consoles are built in China, though Nintendo last year announced plans to shift some production to Vietnam.
In Thursday’s announcement, posted to Twitter, Nintendo said hardware produced in China and sold in Japan was experiencing production and shipment delays.
Most Switches are built by production giant Foxconn, which has shut down its factories until at least next week in the wake of the crisis.
Nintendo warned that newly released fitness game Ring Fit Adventure will likely also experience delays in Japan.
It emerged earlier this week that Foxconn could see a “big” production impact if a Chinese factory halt due to coronavirus extends into a second week.
Taiwan’s Foxconn, which makes smartphones for Apple and other brands, has halted “almost all” of its production in China, a source told Reuters.
Companies have been told to shut until at least February 10. An extension of the stoppage could disrupt shipments to clients including Apple.
The source told Reuters on Monday that Foxconn has so far seen a “fairly small impact” from the outbreak.
They said it was utilising factories in countries including Vietnam, India and Mexico to fill the gap.
“What we are worried about is delays for another week or even another month. The impact would be big,” the source said. “It definitely will have an impact on the Apple production line.”
Taipei-based Foxconn, which is the world’s largest contract electronics maker, did not immediately respond to a request for comment, while Apple declined to comment.
In other news, it emerged last week that the coronavirus outbreak could delay the upcoming iPhone.
A geeky Dad recently built a giant Nintendo Switch for his 7-year-old son and it really worked.
And, last year Nintendo unveiled the brand new Switch Lite, a smaller, cheaper and more portable console.
Are you worried about the coronavirus outbreak? Let us know in the comments!