Last Updated on January 3, 2020 by Danielle
The Nintendo Switch continues to perform exceptionally well – exceeding forecasts with 17.79M units sold worldwide as of March 31st. Nintendo President to retire in June.
The Nintendo Switch continues to shine – selling 17.79 million units worldwide as of March 31st, the first fiscal year for the Switch. Nintendo had forecast sales of 15 M for the first fiscal year while analysts were predicting 16 M units, so this comes out well ahead of estimates. Previously, we had reported the Switch was the fastest-selling console in U.S. history.
Interestingly, this is 4.23 million more than the Wii U sold in its entire lifetime, which sold a lackluster 13.56 M units. Nintendo successfully turned around its fortunes with the Switch with unprecedented results.
Now Nintendo is raising the bar for its next fiscal year ending March 31, 2019. It plans on selling 20 million Switch units. If Nintendo is successful in attaining that goal, it would solidify its installed base in the neighborhood of around 38 – 40 million units.
Nintendo’s stellar lineup is one big reason for the Switch’s massive success. In fact, over the same period, the Switch has shipped 68.97 million software units. Super Mario Odyssey is leading the pack and is the best-selling game for the console with 10.41 million copies sold. That means 58 percent of all Switch owners own the game. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe sold 9.22 million units – outperforming Mario Kart 8 for the Wii U, which sold 8.42 M over its lifetime. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild comes in at 8.48 million units sold on Switch, making it the best-selling Zelda game of all-time. Splatoon 2 has now surpassed the original game’s sales with 6.02 million units sold. In its library, the Switch has a dozen games that have reached the one million seller club. Additionally, Nintendo also stated digital sales for the Switch have been ‘very good’ – rising 87 percent YOY to ¥60.8 billion.
What does Nintendo need to do to achieve its new goal of 20M? First, it needs to continue to deliver stellar first-party software – delivering both fresh IP as well as tap into popular Nintendo franchises like Super Smash Brothers, which was recently announced. A fresh new Mario Kart game would be a welcome addition, as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe was more of a port. Metroid Prime is another hit title in development for the console. Then there’s also Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze and Mario Tennis Aces. Nintendo is doing a great job of minimize the gaps between titles, so they need to stay the course.
As Nintendo grows its installed based, more and more third-parties will offer support. Ubisoft and Bethesda have been strong supporters for Switch. Big hits include Bayonetta 2 and 3, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, and Dark Souls: Remastered to name a few. More companies are expected to follow suit. Fans are dying to see some of the biggest third-party franchises make their way to the console. Will we ever see a Fortnite, Grand Theft Auto V, or Call of Duty on the Switch?! Nintendo can strengthen its sports offering, as the games (most notably – FIFA and NBA 2K) thus far have been less than stellar compared to their counterparts on the PS4 and Xbox One. Adding a strong Madden NFL game and MLB game would be welcome additions to its library.
Indie games have proven to be instrumental to Switch’s success. Nintendo has been able to fortunate to have a strong lineup of indie games, including gems like Celeste and Snipperclips among plenty others.
Nintendo even launched an innovative product in the market called Nintendo Labo that attracts younger audiences. It encourages creativity and design in ways nobody imagined with the Switch. They also have larger capacity cartridges planned for release next year to eliminate one of the problems with the system.
Fans have long been clamoring for the debut of the Virtual Console. That could be a real game changer for Nintendo, as it has one of the best game libraries of any company – spanning from the NES, SNES, and N64 to Gamecube, Wii, and Wii U. Offering a Netflix-style service could all but secure its fate as the ultimate console for gamers. Nintendo fans have already shown massive interest in classic Nintendo games, as demonstrated with tremendous demand for the NES Classic and SNES Classic. There’s also the threat of the hardware exploit recently reported that Nintendo has to deal with. Nintendo has stalled with regard to this important strategy and hasn’t even given fans a clue as to whether it will ever arrive.
In other Nintendo news, Nintendo announced that current Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima will officially retire on June 28, 2018. Shuntaro Furukawa, 46, will reportedly replace Kimishima in the role. Furukawa joined Nintendo in 1994 and held high-level positions ranging from marketing and corporate planning to various other roles. The new younger leadership could directly impact the direction of the company and the future success of Switch.
A Nintendo spokesperson said in a statement: “Consumers have been very receptive to the new concept introduced by Nintendo Switch as a home gaming system that they can take with them to play anytime, anywhere, and with anyone, which helped it maintain its favorable momentum during the fiscal year.”
“Looking ahead, we plan to leverage this momentum to reach an even broader range of consumers and expand the installed base of the hardware.”