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Coronavirus Update: Nintendo Switch suffers "inevitable" delay to stock in Japan

Nintendo has told customers in Japan that shipments of its Switch console and accessories have been delayed by the outbreak of the coronavirus.

The gaming firm said production of the hardware, which takes place in China, where the virus is thought to have originated, had suffered an "inevitable" delay and apologised to customers.

As of Thursday morning, China has reported the death toll from the coronavirus to have risen by 73 to 563, with the number of confirmed cases jumping by 3,694 to 28,018.

In its note to customers, Nintendo said it expects delays to the production and shipment of Switch consoles and Joy-Con controllers, as well as the Ring Fit Adventure accessories.

In a separate notice, Nintendo also confirmed that the new version of the Switch based on popular game Animal Crossing, which was only announced last week, has had its pre-order date postponed to an unspecified date.

The company did not say if it expected shipments to other countries to be affected.

The Nintendo Switch console has been a huge commercial success for Nintendo since its launch in 2017.

Its unique set-up as a device which can be used as both a home console and a mobile gaming device also helped it win critical acclaim.

Last month, figures showed that it has sold more than 50 million units and the Switch had become the third most successful console in the company's history.

The outbreak of coronavirus has already had a wider impact on the tech industry, with Korean firm LG confirming it would no longer attend Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona later this month because of the outbreak.

The event, one of the biggest in the industry calendar with more than 100,000 expected attendees, said it has put in place extra medical precautions in response to the virus.

Other companies due to attend MWC are also taking precautions – Huawei has confirmed it has placed restrictions on staff due to travel to the event, including banning anyone who shows signs of an infection or has travelled through Hubei province, where the virus is thought to have originated.

Fellow Chinese technology firm Xiaomi has also confirmed that it has cancelled its plans to host media from China at the event.

The death toll from the coronavirus outbreak continues to rise, with Chinese authorities reporting 490 victims and an increase in the number of cases to 24,324.

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