In the company's latest financial report (opens in new tab), Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa explained that the company's immediate hardware sales forecast reflects the ongoing production bottlenecks which have slowed Switch production.
"Demand for hardware continues to exceed our expectations even after the beginning of this calendar year, and production has currently not caught up to this high demand due to the tight supply and demand situation for semiconductor materials worldwide," he said. "Although we are currently striving to produce as many units as possible, the fact is that our production plans are more uncertain than they were at the beginning of previous fiscal years. Our full-year sales plan is based on the premise that we can secure the materials necessary for production, but if we are able to produce more units, we will work hard to meet the strong demand, and to be able to ship and sell those units."
That's a pretty significant if. Microsoft and Sony expect their new-gen consoles to remain hard-to-find through 2021 and into 2022 for similar reasons, and while the Nintendo Switch was able to get through 2020 relatively unfazed – partly because it had a larger supply of consoles already available – it's clear that it will feel the effects of the semiconductor shortage in the months ahead.
Reports of a Nintendo Switch Pro continue to pile up, with an OLED screen manufacturer mentioning the rumored console in a recent investor call. Even if these reports are accurate, manufacturing hurdles may affect the console's release.