The Nintendo Switch launched just recently and it’s already off to a strong start, with 2.74 million units sold to date.
This is the first official figure that Nintendo released for Switch sales, and the console units sold also fueled good game sales.
Nintendo made the disclosure in its new earnings report [PDF] for the fiscal year 2016, released on Thursday, April 27. The total Nintendo Switch sales fueled 5.46 million game sales across the library, with one notable hit.
‘Zelda: Breath Of The Wild’ Outsells Switch
The much-touted Zelda: Breath of the Wild seems to be the only impressive hit for the Switch with 2.76 million units sold. Otherwise, the game saw 3.84 million sales across Wii and Switch.
This means that Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for the Nintendo Switch sold better than the Switch console itself, which might seem odd. One possible explanation is that fans bought the game before purchasing the Nintendo Switch console, which could make sense since the Switch is still facing some supply issues. Should this theory prove accurate, the Switch should see even more impressive sales once it handles the supply constraints and becomes more readily available.
At the same time, this demand spells good fortune for the Nintendo Switch and it likely influenced the company’s estimation that it will sell roughly 10 million Switch units during its next fiscal year ending in April 2018.
Nintendo Switch Catching Up To Wii U
To get a better idea of the prospect, Nintendo had roughly 13 million Wii U units sold at the end of 2016, which means the Switch could catch up to the Wii U with just one year on the market if Nintendo’s expectations turn into reality and it manages to sell 10 million units next year.
Either way, one thing’s for sure: thanks to the Switch console and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild game, Nintendo’s figures are among the strongest since 2011, when the original Wii was still fairly fresh.
It will be interesting to see, however, whether Nintendo manages to keep the momentum going. To do so, the company would have to maintain steam on both the software front and with game releases, but Nintendo didn’t say much about such plans at this point.
Aside from Zelda, Nintendo mentioned just one other game in its earnings release – 1-2 Switch – and it only mentions briefly that the title has been “generating buzz.” No sales figures are available for the 1-2 Switch party game. The Switch console has generated buzz as well, but software and games can make it or break it.
Lastly, it’s worth pointing out that Nintendo saw both operating profit and revenue decline in 2016 compared to 2015, registering 11 percent and 3 percent drops, respectively. The Switch portable console hit the market just recently, however, and Nintendo also mentions some other investments that required costs but didn’t have an immediate revenue impact.
One such bet is with the company’s mobile games, Super Mario Run and Fire Emblem. The earnings report also mentions annual 3DS sales, which jumped to 7.27 million units thanks to the Pokémon Sun and Moon release. Nintendo 3DS software sales volume saw a 14 percent increase year-over-year to 55.08 million units.
“In addition to Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon, which released worldwide in November and generated a tremendous amount of buzz with recorded sales of 15.44 million units, Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS sold 2.34 million units and Kirby: Planet Robobot sold 1.36 million units,” Nintendo adds. “The release of the smart device application Pokémon GO led to increased sales of software in the Pokémon series and drove the Nintendo 3DS family hardware sales growth outside of Japan.”
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