Bloomberg is reporting that Nintendo has increased Switch production by partnering with a manufacturing site based in Malaysia owned by Japanese tech giant Sharp.
According to sources close to the matter, Nintendo has taken on this additional production stream to satisfy demand and future-proof against any potential issues caused by U.S.-China trade negotiations, which had become increasingly fraught during the presidency of Donald Trump. Nintendo’s current manufacturing sites are based in China and Vietnam.
Nintendo’s already produces Switch consoles in the former region with assembly partner Foxconn, whose parent company owns a stake in Sharp; this fact is what helped connect the two companies. Nintendo had appealed to Foxconn for alternative production sites during the Trump presidency, and Foxconn noted that Sharp had extra capacity in Malaysia.
Sharp, as long-standing Nintendo fans will know, has worked with the Kyoto veteran in the past. It was a key player in the production of the Famicom (it would even create its own variant, the Twin Famicom) and would later assist in the production of the 3DS.
While the deal with Sharp was ostensibly to avoid any fallout from the breakdown of trade negotiations between the U.S. and China, it would seem that the extra production is going to prove fortuitous; the assembly lines will be operating at full capacity at the end of the year, which bucks the traditional trend of a lull in December. However, demand for Switch remains high on a global level, and because the first batch of “additional” stock will be hitting the market soon, Nintendo could end up selling even more than the 10.8 million consoles it shifted during the same period last year.
Bloomberg reports that David Gibson, chief investment adviser at Astris Advisory Japan, has forecasted that Nintendo will sell 26.4 million Switch consoles for the period ending March 31st – up on its (already revised) projection of 24 million units.