The Nintendo Switch has become the Japanese company’s fastest-selling console of all time, an accomplishment made possible by the latest adventures in Hyrule. The Switch, designed to keep Nintendo in the $90bn global games market, has pushed the unfortunate Wii U into the past, beginning a steady comeback for the gaming giant.
Nintendo confirmed the Switch sold 2.74m units worldwide between 3 March to the end of that month. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sold 2.76m copies in the same period – a reflection of fans purchasing additional special editions of the same game.
Nintendo has further estimated $583.9m profit for the year to March 2018. Their target is to sell 10 million units of the Switch by the end of March 2018, which would be the firm’s best performance since the release of the Wii in 2006. If their target is achieved, it will put an end to Nintendo’s miserable eight years of falling sales.Breath of the Wild was the key reason for the successful launch.
This is fantastic news for a company that has been pushed on one side by Sony and Microsoft and on the other side by an advancing mobile market. The forecasts have been positive, and certainly, Nintendo is less of a risky investment than it was this time last year. The concern is the lack of confidence in their own success. A target of selling 10 million units seems easily achievable, especially with the holiday season arriving later this year. It would appear that Nintendo is keeping forecasts safe to not disrupt the stock markets.
However, more ambition would do the Nintendo Switch justice. There is a fantastic lineup of games to still be released, including Super Mario Odyssey and Splatoon 2, in addition to indie games such as Rime and Seasons of Heaven. What a vote of confidence from Nintendo would do is ensure more independent game developers want to make games for the Switch, helping drive sales further.A confident Nintendo would help boost indie games, such as Rime.
Additionally, there are concerns as to how many Nintendo can produce. The shortage of the Nintendo Switch on launch day was well publicized, and it may have driven sales lower than what they could have been. Even with the shortage, it is abundantly clear Breath of the Wild pushed near enough all the sales, confirming the belief that ‘software sells hardware.’ E3 is just around the corner, and a positive presentation with a couple of new games would give a positive boost for the Switch come holiday season.
Whatever bumps we forecast for the year, today has been a positive day for Nintendo. It was only a year ago it seemed like Nintendo would go the way of its old foe Sega, and be left publishing software for other developers. The plot has thickened, and there’s fight left in this old, mighty giant yet. The Nintendo Switch has delivered an alternative-style of gaming to the industry, and whilst not directly competing with the PlayStation 4 or the Xbox One, it’s found a niche that it has so far managed to satisfy, enjoying its most successful launch of a console yet. Whether Nintendo is back is too soon to tell, but there’s definitely life in this old dog left.