Nintendo online game network hit by outage

The outage affected people using the popular Nintendo Switch console as well as its 3DS and Wii U models.
PHOTO: Reuters

NEW YORK - Nintendo said its online games were shut down on March 17 as a result of an unspecified network problem as internet-based systems faced pressures from people at home due to the global coronavirus outbreak.

The outage affected people using the popular Nintendo Switch console as well as its 3DS and Wii U models.

"We apologise for the situation where network services cannot be used on Nintendo Switch etc," the Japanese gaming firm said in a tweet.

"We are still working on recovery, but it will take some time to resolve."

The news from Nintendo comes after other online game systems including Microsoft's Xbox Live dealt with problems related to increased demand.

Nintendo offered no explanation for the problem. According to the monitoring service downdetector, Nintendo's problems began around 1100 GMT.

The original Switch console, a hybrid that can be used for handheld play or hooked up to a screen at home, has become a huge global seller.

It is entering its fourth year. Last September, Nintendo also launched a scaled back, cheaper version of the console, called Switch Lite, which is a strictly handheld device. Its sales have also been solid.