Iwata confirms the West Coast port strike has affected 3DS and amiibo supply

Cranes and containers are seen at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, California in this aerial image

Nintendo has had a supply problem as of late, but that might not be their fault. Amiibo have been scarce since the product launched in November along with Super Smash Bros., and while the New Nintendo 3DS XL launched just last weekend we’ve already seen supply problems for it. Most major retailers are sold out online, with only select stores having inventory. In fact, I personally wasn’t able to order a new Nintendo 3DS XL until just yesterday, when I happened to catch stock available from Walmart.

What’s the cause of all the supply issues? Well, today president Satoru Iwata confirmed that the West Coast shipping strike that has been going on since July has had a measurable impact on their ability to keep stores stocked with their products. Nintendo isn’t the only business affected by this strike, as several large cargo ships are anchored off of the West Coast with no way to unload their cargo. The port authority says there’s no labor or equipment available to unload the ships because the workers have been on strike due to their wage negotiations falling through in July.

The strike is affecting a lot more than just imports from Japan, as well. Despite the delays at port for physical goods, Iwata confirmed that software availability won’t be affected because games are lighter and much cheaper to ship, so they can be flown into the United States instead of needing to be brought in through cargo ships.

While plenty of fans have been decrying Nintendo’s name and blaming them for the low stock of amiibo, the New Nintendo 3DS XL and GameCube adapters for the Wii U, it looks like this issue might actually be out of Nintendo’s hands, at least until the worker’s strike for the West Coast is solved.