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article imageNintendo to double Switch production as sales still sky-high

By James Walker     Mar 17, 2017 in Technology
Nintendo is to double the production of its Switch games console to meet the consistently high demand since its launch earlier this month. Already the company's fastest selling console in history, sales are now believed to have reached 1.5 million units.
The Switch is reportedly selling faster than the original Wii, Nintendo's last "must-have" console launched in November 2006. Whereas the Wii sold 600,000 units over six days during its initial launch period, analysts Famitsu report over 331,000 Switch consoles had moved by the end of day three of sales.
With demand still high and the busy summer and holiday seasons ahead, Nintendo is now working to get the Switch back in stock at retailers around the world. According to a report from the Wall Street Journal today, the company will "at least" double worldwide production of the console to the end of March 2018, indicating it hadn't expected sales to be so strong.
Before the launch, analysts had questioned whether the Switch's innovative "hybrid" format and comparatively high price would prevent it being an instant success. Nintendo appears to have shaken off the initial concerns though, immediately winning over long-time fans with a strong line-up of games covering historic franchises.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has become the fastest selling launch game in Nintendo's history. According to sales figures, it has been bought by a staggering 89 percent of Switch owners.
This metric also suggests most Switch buyers to date are previous Nintendo fans and customers, reflecting a concern that the company could have trouble expanding the Switch to a wider audience. Nintendo will need to convince its long-held family audience not to dismiss the console's detachable controllers and tablet-based form factor as a fad. Analysts have previously questioned whether Nintendo is doing enough to sell the device.
Issues have already arisen with many of the first Switch units. Customers have complained about stuck and dead pixels on boxed units but Nintendo has denied there is a manufacturing flaw. The company faced similar complaints after the launch of the original DS, eventually conceding defeat and offering to replace defective devices. It has remained silent on whether it will do likewise for the Switch.
Critics and reviewers have also been exasperated by a series of niggling issues with the Switch's software. It's not yet possible to access media streaming apps or third-party content from the console. The Switch has a frustrating storage system too that prevents game saves being moved between consoles or backed up. If something happens to your console, your game progress is gone.
It's likely Nintendo will fix many of the software problems over the course of the next few months. It has plenty of time to resolve the teething troubles before the Switch's first real test, this year's holiday season. The console will be pitched against Microsoft's "Project Scorpio" next-generation Xbox and Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro on wish lists worldwide, letting Nintendo compete once again in the critical race for the family living room.
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