Preorders suspended days before they were set to start, no timetable for when they’ll open.

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 February 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).

▼ Preorders are also being indefinitely suspended for the Animal Crossing-themed Switch and Switch Lite carrying cases.

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.

On the bright side, however, even if the Animal Crossing Switch is looking like it won’t make its initially projected on-sale date, Nintendo says the Switch Animal Crossing won’t be delayed, and promises that the game itself, in both physical package and download versions, will still be ready for gamers to purchase and play on March 20.

Source: Nintendo (1, 2, 3) via Hachima Kiko
Top image: Animal Crossing official website
Insert images: Animal Crossing official website, Nintendo
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