Nintendo Switch is Off to a Strong Start

Posted on April 27, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Games with 23 Comments

Nintendo Switch is Off to a Strong Start

Nintendo announced a “promising start” for its new Switch video game console: The firm sold 2.74 million units in March and expects to sell another 10 million consoles in its first year in the market.

“Nintendo Switch, a new home console system that diversifies the ways you can play games, launched during this period on March 3 worldwide and is off to a promising start,” a Nintendo annual earnings report notes. “The sales volume for hardware during this period reached 2.74 million units.”

To put Switch in perspective, Nintendo has only sold 13.6 million Wii U consoles in almost five years in the market, so this is a nice turnaround. And the firm has a chance to overcome Xbox One for this console generation as well: Microsoft’s console has struggled compared to the PlayStation 4, and has sold an estimated 20-25 million units since late 2013. But Sony appears to have a lock on first place, with PS4 sales somewhere north of 55 million units now.

A second place finish would suit Nintendo just fine, I bet, given its also-ran status since the wildly popular Wii, which fizzled out quickly after reaching incredible heights over just a few years. (Nintendo has sold over 100 million original Wii consoles.)

In fact, the biggest issue facing the Switch is availability: Nintendo still hasn’t fulfilled all of its preorders and the console is routinely sold out. That it was able to sell 2.74 million units, and in a non-holiday quarter no less, is rather astonishing.

Of course, nothing is guaranteed: Wii U has crashed and burned after a strong start, selling over 3 million units in its first 6 weeks in the market in 2013. But if Nintendo comes through on its first-year expectations, the Switch will have sold almost as many consoles in one year as the Wii U has over five years. Sorry, haters.

Switch software is likewise off to a great start. The new Legend of Zelda title sold 2.76 million units, meaning that some buyers are still waiting on the hardware so they can actually play the game. And Nintendo expects to sell about 35 million Switch games, overall, in the coming fiscal year.

In a related note, Nintendo’s first AAA mobile game title, Super Mario Run, is about the cross the 150 million download threshold as well. That game launched on iPhone back in late 2016 and then on Android in March.


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