Nintendo always seemed cautiously optimistic about the potential of Switch, having kept projections low and availability at or below market demand. While pundits remained skeptical that the console could hit Nintendo’s 2 million sold by March goal, the company remained steadfast in its attempt to reestablish itself as a market force.
Its confidence in the console has proven wise, and Nintendo can now celebrate having one of the most popular gaming devices on the market once again.
The company’s latest earnings report for the end of the fiscal year (March 31) revealed that the Switch and its software have sold well above expectations by Nintendo and analysts alike.
Since launching back in early March, Nintendo has shipped an impressive 2.74 million units. It’s important to note that “shipped” and “sale” mean different things, with the former referring to how many units have actually been sent to retailers.
It’s a strong indication of market demand, however, and so sales wouldn’t be that far behind the shipped figure.
Even more impressive is that as much as 5.46 million software units were sold in the same period.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the most popular Switch game, having sold 3.84 million units globally, of which 2.76 million were on Switch and the remainder on Wii U.
In October 2016 — well ahead of the Switch’s release — Nintendo said it aimed to break the two million sales mark by the end of March.
Considering the console wasn’t going to hit the busy holiday season — and was launching during a traditionally low season in Japan — many within the industry were skeptical.
The console went on to blow away everyone’s expectations, however, on the way to Nintendo’s best ever launch weekend, while also managing to outpace the PS4 in Japan over the same period of time up to March 31.
What’s particularly interesting about the Switch and its install rate is that more units of Breath of the Wild have been sold than Switch units, suggesting Nintendo probably did something right when it came to the game’s collector’s edition.
Nintendo’s projections for Switch now sit at 16 million units by the time its first anniversary ticks over in March 2018.
That means that within 12 months, the Switch will have outsold the lifetime sales of the Wii U. Sales are expected to go up further with the likes of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, ARMS, Splatoon 2, and Super Mario Odyssey set for release throughout the year.