Were you planning to play a few multiplayer rounds of Mario Kart or Splatoon while staying at home because of COVID-19? You are far from alone. Well, here’s some bad timing though. Nintendo’s Switch online services went down around the world for hours, with the company’s status page still saying that it’s “unable to connect to the network service.”
It looks like at least some services might be back soon. We can only conclude that the apparent failure follows unusually high strain on gaming services as people stay home due to the coronavirus pandemic. People are at home more and they are playing their games more than before. This puts a heavy burden on servers everywhere.
Both Xbox Live and PlayStation Network had service issues on March 15th and 16th. Steam even beat its concurrent user record with a reported 20.3 million players online. Whether or not the surge of home use is directly responsible for Nintendo’s problem, gaming services will have to brace for added strain over the weeks ahead. Hopefully, they fix things so that they can handle the extra users. We all need to play our games and have a distraction while the epidemic is happening around us.