Nintendo Switch gamers who attempted to play online this morning were greeted with an unfortunate connectivity issue, rendering all online services useless. Nintendo confirmed the outage on Twitter. Nintendo also lists the outage on its Network Maintenance Information page as ongoing since 1:56 AM PST. There's no word yet on when the service will be back online.
This isn't the first network to buckle under the strain of increased traffic stemming from COVID-19 quarantining measures — and it won't be the last, either.
Service interruptions are the new normal — Nintendo isn’t the only one experiencing network connectivity issues. Xbox Live was down for more than two hours on Sunday, and many Discord servers have gone down in the past week or so.
Xbox made no statement about why its online services went down. Discord, on the other hand, said it has increased its server capacity by more than 20 percent to allow for increased network traffic and prevent further outages.
Thanks, COVID-19 — Because of the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, people all around the world are staying home in attempts to self-quarantine and avoid unnecessary contact with other people. Staying in brings with it increased home internet traffic — all that movie-streaming, video-chatting, and online gaming really takes a toll on network stability. Worldwide servers are, inevitably, feeling the pressure and struggling to keep up.
With no signs of the coronavirus abating any time soon, we're expecting further outages, though which companies are going to be affected remains to be seen. We're just hoping Nintendo can sort things out before Animal Crossing arrives this week, because the promise of playing it is one of the few things keeping us sane.