Since its release in March 2017, the Nintendo Switch has become one of the hottest items in gaming, selling 19.67 million units as of June 2018. With those lofty numbers, also come lofty expectations internally. In the spring, Nintendo upped their sales prediction for the following fiscal year, announcing the iconic Japanese gaming company planned to sell a whopping 20 million units. Only 5 million units were sold during the first half of the current fiscal year, which leaves the company 15 million units away from their goal for the remaining six months. Large, first-party titles such as the Pokémon: Let’s Go duo and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate are sure to help move units leading into the Spring 2019 deadline, but many still show concerns on Nintendo meeting the expectations laid before them. Yet, Nintendo of America President and COO Reggie Fils-Aimé remains confident the company will reach the 20 million unit sales goal.
In a recent interview with Forbes, the long-time Nintendo executive felt that coming off of a very successful holiday season, would position them well heading into the end of the their fiscal year. “We’re feeling confident in our momentum and it’s not just a stellar launch of Pokémon, it’s not just what appears to be a stellar launch for Super Smash Bros Ultimate.” Fils-Aimé began with. “That Black Friday through Cyber Monday time frame was critically important to us, the remaining shopping days now through Christmas are important to us. More days right after Christmas as consumers receive gift cards or take unwanted gifts and monetize into things like Nintendo Switch are important to us. So, this is going to be an ongoing effort to make sure that we drive our business forward through the balance of this holiday season but also the first calendar quarter as well.” Nintendo wrapped up a very successful Black Friday weekend this year, with sales of over $250 million; a record for best-selling Nintendo console in U.S history for the five-daay period from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday, along with having its best sales weel ever int he U.S.
In a follow up to Fils-Aimé view on where the company’s sales of Nintendo Switch are heading, Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter sees another outcome for the company. Patcher believes Nintendo will cap out around 16-17 million units sold by the close of their fiscal year, but doesn’t see this as a hinder to the system’s continued popularity. “The share price tells you that the market doesn’t expect them to hit 20 million (units sold). However, if they sell 15 million per year, they’re in good shape and they shouldn’t see a disruption in their momentum” Pachter emphasizes.
Whether or not Nintendo’s sales predictions is accurate when Spring 2018 rolls around, the Nintendo Switch still is one of the most popular gaming consoles currently available. With a sale trajectory similar to that of the PlayStation 4’s lifetime, I don’t think the momentum for the system will be slowing down anytime soon.