Switch Sales Cool as Nintendo Plots New Models

Posted on April 25, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Games with 6 Comments

Sales of the Nintendo Switch are no longer meeting Nintendo’s predictions, suggesting that the success of the console will be short-lived.

As you may know, Nintendo Switch sales have been on a torrid pace since the portable video game console was released in 2017. The firm sold 15 million Switch consoles in its first year and a total of 22 million units by late 2018. That was enough to outperform previous Nintendo consoles like the GameCube and Wii U, but not the original Wii.

As such, there’s been a lot of talk about Nintendo coming out of nowhere and dominating the industry again. But the reality is that Switch sales have never come close to surpassing those of the market leader, Sony’s PlayStation 4.

And now it appears they never will.

Nintendo now says it will sell 18 million Switch consoles in 2019, lower than the 18.5 million units that analysts expected. Last year, it sold 17 million units, below the 17.5 million that were estimated. But Nintendo had expected to sell 20 million units.

Software titles have also underperformed, with 119 million software units sold in Nintendo’s last fiscal year, less than the expected 121 million units. For the current year, Nintendo expects to sell 125 million software units, much lower than the expected 161 million.

Nintendo’s conservative estimates for the coming year and its slowness in bringing new Switch hardware to market have left a “negative impression” with analysts. The firm is widely expected to deliver two new versions of the Switch hardware sometime this year, including a cheaper model. But Nintendo said this week that it would not announce new hardware at E3, the industry’s key press event.

“As a general rule, we’re always working on new hardware and we will announce it when we are able to sell it,” Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa said when asked about a lower-cost Switch. “But we have no plans to announce that at this year’s E3 in June.”

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