Japanese game maker Nintendo sees no silver bullet to chip tightening

TOKYO (AP) – The shortage of computer chips needed to make the Nintendo Switch machine is a serious issue that is not expected to be addressed anytime soon, the president of the Japanese video game maker said on Friday.

“The extremely tense situation remains and the future is uncertain,” Shuntaro Furukawa told reporters.

Furukawa said the shortage of computer chips, which affects the manufacturing of many products, was behind Nintendo’s decision to lower its Switch sales forecast for the fiscal year through March to 24 million machines against 25.5 million units previously.

He said plans for the next fiscal year and beyond were even more difficult to predict.

Production and shipping disruptions linked to the coronavirus pandemic are plaguing electronics manufacturers, automakers and many other industries.

Kyoto-based Nintendo Co. said the lack of chips is also hampering design efforts for its next gaming machine. Nintendo is developing a device to follow the Switch, although it has not specified when sales will begin. .

Software development, including apps for mobile devices, has not been hampered by such issues, said Shigeru Miyamoto, the company’s star game designer.

The Super Mario movie, a collaboration with US studio Illumination, won’t be released until December 2022, Miyamoto said. Other films may be in preparation.

Furukawa said Nintendo hopes the goods and theme parks will help people get interested in its company’s games.

Nintendo faces competition from both long-standing competitors such as Microsoft Corp. and Sony Corp. which offer their own game consoles, and also newcomers to the field of games, such as Netflix and Google.

On Thursday, the company announced a 19% drop in profits for the fiscal first half of the year, mainly due to a significant increase in profits the year before, when people trapped in their homes by the pandemic turned to its products. Nintendo’s profits from April to September totaled $ 1.5 billion, up from 213 billion yen.

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