No news is good news. Despite no announcement at E3, Nintendo has apparently started production of the new Switch models
Nintendo is looking to mitigate the costs of the trade war between the US and China as sources say Switch production will move to Southeast Asia. The fact that it is doing so now suggests that the changes to the Switch could be announced soon. Nintendo is the latest company rumored to be abandoning Chinese production following the announcement by Donald Trump of more tariffs on Chinese-made products entering the US.
According to supply-chain sources for the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Nintendo will follow Foxconn Technology (who make Apple's iPhone) in moving production from China, and Sharp who plan to move the manufacture of their personal computers to either Taiwan or Vietnam. The same sources have suggested that Nintendo has already commenced production of the updated Switch models in the new location.
The two models will be aimed at different audiences with one an up-rated version targeted at more ardent gamers, though it will still be less powerful than the PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X. The other model is expected to replace the aging 3DS and will be aimed squarely at the more casual gamer, with a lower price to match. The Switch, released in 2017, has been extremely successful for Nintendo with Switch hardware and software sales making up 80% of its revenue last year. The tariff war will challenge the profitability of hardware production hence Nintendo’s apparent willingness to move elsewhere.
Although E3 appeared to have been the perfect time for Nintendo to announce the new consoles, the WSJ's sources seem to suggest that the Kyoto-based company is ready to launch the reinvigorated Switch. If you're in the market for a new console, it might pay off to wait a little longer.
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