USG Notebook is a weekly column dedicated to rounding up rumors, tidbits, and commentary that didn't get full coverage on the site.
This might be the biggest week for the Nintendo Switch since launch. People in the United States and internationally are heeding orders to practice social distancing and shelter in place. So, what better time for a cozy online social sim on a Nintendo handheld?
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is setting big sales records, already becoming the biggest launch for the Nintendo Switch in Japan. But there are also side effects of the coronavirus: a Bloomberg report last month indicated that Nintendo might struggle to keep up supply for Switch units in the U.S. and Europe, and that seems to have come to fruition. While the Nintendo Switch is hitting record-high sales marks, keeping up with the demand is looking tough.
Reports have been coming in of retailers like Amazon, Target, and others being sold out, and today, Nintendo responded to the demand. Speaking to GameSpot, the console manufacturer acknowledged the shortages and said more are on the way.
"Nintendo Switch hardware is selling out at various retail locations in the U.S., but more systems are on the way," Nintendo told GameSpot. "We apologize for any inconvenience."
Nintendo hasn't been the only hardware manufacturer affected, either. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recently told CNBC that the hardware supply chain has been catching back up after adjusting previous guidance for the quarter due to manufacturing concerns.
Many areas are still coping with the coronavirus outbreak, and major events like E3 2020 have been canceled. We're now starting to see the longer-term effects of the pandemic. Hopefully the supply chain worries get resolved before the next generation of consoles needs to start rolling out of factories.
Here's the rest of what's been happening this week in gaming news.
From the Rumor Mill
- A datamine of the Resident Evil 3 remake demo may indicate something is coming with regards to the Nintendo Switch, as reported by Rely on Horror. A version of the game running on Nintendo's console seems unlikely, but a streamed version-something Nintendo has experimented with for games like Resident Evil 7 and Assassin's Creed Odyssey in Japan-might be more likely.
- Sticking with Rely On Horror, the site also published a follow-up to its previous reports on a Silent Hill reboot. A Konami spokesperson denied it was happening, at least in the way the reports described. Sorry, Silent Hill faithful.
- The whole world still awaits a Nintendo Direct, which as of typing this exact sentence into a Google Doc, has still not been announced. If there is some solace to be found this week, this bullet point will be woefully outdated and/or updated sooner rather than later.
News and Tidbits
HP is teasing a new headset made in collaboration with Microsoft and Valve. Billing it as a "more immersive, comfortable, and compatible experience" than the Reverb, this seems to be a more premium headset rather than one of the more cost-effective options. Whether this is closer in price to the Valve Index than the Oculus Quest will be seen, but with this week's launch of Half-Life: Alyx, there's certainly a growing section of the market that's showing interest in VR again.
Koei Tecmo CEO Hisashi Koinuma says the company has an ideal to "release one major game each year" based on their own IP. In an interview with GamesIndustry.Biz, the CEO says the company needs to strike a balance between taking a risk on its own IP and working on established IP, like it has with The Legend of Zelda, Persona, and Fire Emblem. Luckily, the studio has already ticked that box with Nioh 2's launch this month.
Nintendo Switch outsold the Wii in Japan this week, here's a graph showing the sames of both systerms launches aligned. Wii peaked early and died off quickly, Switch got to 12.7m in half the time it took Wii. pic.twitter.com/gWZu36wOcg- Game Data Library (@GameDataLibrary) March 25, 2020
I'm not sure who it is at @valve that went out of their way to re-create the Diamond Monster 3D card in Half-Life: Alyx but they rock. The detail is perfect - the silk-screened PCB, the chips themselves and every other component is spot on. pic.twitter.com/WPSodmzEVu- John Linneman (@dark1x) March 25, 2020
Everyone is impacted by COVID-19. On behalf of all Plague Inc. players, we have just donated a quarter of a million dollars to @CEPIvaccines and @WHO to help fight it.https://t.co/kAZtjwn89b pic.twitter.com/DinQpvRqCk- Plague Inc. / Rebel Inc. (@NdemicCreations) March 23, 2020
I don't understand animal crossing. after playing for a couple hours daily I finally have a museum on my humble island but then I open twitter and apparently everyone else has just finished constructing the mesopotamian empire- shinsei (@nise_shi) March 24, 2020
If you ever want to see how the human brain is wired to obsess over patterns, just take a look at the Nintendo Direct speculation community. "Nintendo has never announced a Direct this late in the month. And they always announce at either 10 a.m. or, if the moon is full, they so- Jeff Grubb (@JeffGrubb) March 25, 2020