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Nintendo Switch On Track To Beat Wii U Lifetime Sales In Its First Year

Estimates for for Switch sales increased to 16.7 million for the year.

News by Mike Williams, .

Everything's coming up rainbows for Nintendo, according to the company's recent financial earnings report. The report covers financial results for the six month period ended on September 30, 2017. Sales were up a whopping 137 percent year-over-year, landing at 374 billion yen ($3.3 billion), while net profit came to 51.5 billion yen ($454 million).

The big winner for the company was the Nintendo Switch. The system shipped 4.89 million units during the six month period, bringing Switch lifetime shipments to 7.63 million units. Of the 374 billion yen in sales, 245 billion yen ($2.2 billion) was attributed directly to the Switch.

Software sales were just as great according to the supplementary report, coming to 22.02 million units during the period. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe was the sales leader with 4.4 million copies sold, followed by Splatoon 2 with 3.6 million. ARMS had a solid debut for a new IP, coming to 1.35 million units. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sold 1.93 million units during the six month period, bringing lifetime sales to 4.7 million copies, keeping the game roughly in line with Switch system sales overall. The Switch also drove increased download sales, up 55 percent year-over-year and landing at 22.8 billion yen ($200 million). The 3DS line saw the release of the New Nintendo 2DS XL during the reporting period. All told, Nintendo sold 2.86 million systems in the 3DS family, up 5 percent over the same period last year. Despite that and the release of titles like Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia and Metroid: Samus Returns, software sales saw a 28 percent decrease.

The rest of the company was also up. Super Mario Run and Fire Emblem Heroes pushed mobile platform sales up an insane 426 percent over the same period last year, bringing income to 17.9 billion yen ($157.5 million). The Amiiboline sold 5.1 million figures and 2.8 million cards during the period. The Super NES Classic Edition was "off to a good start", but no sales numbers were given, as the system went on sale one day before the end of the reporting period.

Nintendo is feeling really good about the Nintendo Switch's prospects. During the previous earnings report, covering the three months ended on June 30, 2017, Nintendo had Switch hardware shipment estimates at 10 million systems. That number has been raised in the latest report to 14 million. If Nintendo hits that, the Switch will have sold more during this fiscal period than the Wii U did during its entire lifespan (13.56 million units). Prior to that, the Switch shipped 2.74 million units in the small window between its March 3, 2017 launch and the beginning of this fiscal year on April 1, 2017.

Heading into the holiday season, the company is betting on the recent release of Super Mario Odyssey and the December launch of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 to keep the Switch moving. For 3DS, Pokemon Ultra Sun/Moon and the new colors for the New 2DS XL are seen as the main drivers of platform sales. Finally, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is scheduled for worldwide release some time in November.

Nintendo has kicked up its estimate forecast for the full financial year in response. Instead of the 750 billion yen in sales forecast in April 2017, the company now expects sales to land at 960 billion yen ($8.5 billion). Profits were previously forecasted at 45 billion yen, but now Nintendo expects 85 billion yen ($748 million). All told, it sounds like Nintendo is looking forward to rounding out a great year, largely on the back of the Switch turning around the company's fortunes.

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Comments 5

  • Avatar for NateDizzy #1 NateDizzy 23 days ago
    That's great to hear. I have many issues with Nintendo's policies, but I'm also of the opinion that a healthy Nintendo is important for video games as a whole.
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  • Avatar for Mr.Spo #2 Mr.Spo 23 days ago
    16.7 million for the first 13 months. 2.7 million from March 2017 plus 14 million for the period covering April 1st 2017 - March 31st 2018.

    These figures could yet be conservative. I think Switch could do a little better (especially this Christmas quarter) if Nintendo can get the stock to market, and I think Animal Crossing mobile is a sleeper hit waiting to happen - which could boost Nintendo's profits. Here's hoping they have Animal Crossing ready for Switch so they can keep the momentum going in 2018.
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  • Avatar for Flipsider99 #3 Flipsider99 23 days ago
    This is great, and very deserved! I agree that we really still *need* Nintendo in the games industry. They add something essential and there'd be a giant emptiness without them.
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  • Avatar for docexe #4 docexe 22 days ago
    Yep, these news are encouraging. I was very skeptical of the success of the console before launch, but I’m glad I was proven wrong. As frustrating as their business decisions might be at times, I do think the game industry is richer with Nintendo in it, so I’m glad to see them finally thriving again after such a rocky period.

    Of course, clearing the sales of its predecessor is only the first major milestone for the Switch. I hope they manage to keep this momentum going forward.
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  • Avatar for realchris2011 #5 realchris2011 22 days ago
    I remember when Nintendo (NES) was so popular back in the day, that games got out of hand, with fakes, so nintendo slapped their official Nintendo sticker on their games showing you what was a great game and what wasn't from them.
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