Japanese game maker Nintendo doesn’t see a quick fix for chip crunch

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TOKYO (AP) – The shortage of computer chips required to make the Nintendo Switch machine is a serious problem that is unlikely to be resolved anytime soon, the Japanese video game maker’s president said Friday.

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

Furukawa said the lack of computer chips, which is affecting the manufacturing of many products, is the reason Nintendo’s decision to lower its forecast for Switch sales for the fiscal year through March from 25.5 million units previously to 24 million machines.

Plans for the next financial year and beyond are even more difficult to predict.

Production and shipping disruptions related to the coronavirus pandemic plague electronics manufacturers, automakers, and many other industries.

Kyoto-based Nintendo Co. said the shortage of chips is also affecting design efforts for their next gaming machine. Nintendo is developing a device that will follow the Switch despite not saying when sales will start.

Software development, including applications 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 the works.

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

Nintendo sees itself with both long-time competitors such as Microsoft Corp. and Sony Corp., which offer their own game consoles, as well as newcomers to gaming such as Netflix and Google.

On Thursday, the company reported a 19 percent decline in profits for the first half of the fiscal year, largely due to a significant increase in profits last year as people stuck at home from the pandemic turned to their products. Nintendo’s April through September profits were $ 1.5 billion, down from yen 213 billion.

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