Coronavirus outbreak delays Nintendo Switch ‘Animal Crossing’ console production, orders

The hook for a lot of video games is the chance to step into a dramatic, turbulent world, full of villains to battle and crises to avert.

Nintendo’s “Animal Crossing,” though, provides an experience on the complete opposite end of the spectrum, letting you experience life in the slow lane in a small-town community filled with cuddly forest creature friends.

But even if “Animal Crossing” isn’t a fantasy adventure, it’s still a fantasy, and one that looks like it’s going to be affected by the very real issue of the continuing coronavirus outbreak.

Just a few days ago, Nintendo announced a new “Animal Crossing” special edition of its Switch console to celebrate the upcoming release of the newest game in the franchise, “Animal Crossing: New Horizons.” With its pastel colors and island aesthetics, it looks like the perfect complement to the series’ laid-back gameplay, but Nintendo has just let it be known that orders for the “Animal Crossing” Switch are being delayed indefinitely.

Initially, preorders for the system, which in some territories is being offered in a set which includes a download code for a digital copy of “New Horizons,” were supposed to open on Feb 8. However, the Switch is manufactured in China, which is currently dealing with the deadly coronavirus epidemic.

Nintendo has issued a statement that it now expects unavoidable delays in production and shipping of Switch consoles, as well as peripherals such as Joy-Con and Ring-Con controllers (the latter a necessity for Nintendo’s game/fitness hybrid “RingFit Adventure”).

Nintendo currently has no timetable for when it will start taking orders for the “Animal Crossing” Switch. The company’s website still lists a May 20 in-store date for the special console, but it’s unclear if Nintendo is still standing by that date, or if that section of the site simply hasn’t been updated yet.