Heading into the current fiscal year (which began on April 1st) Nintendo set a bold target: 20 million Switch consoles sold in a year. To put that in perspective, Switch launched in March of 2017 and reached 17.79 million sales around 13 months later. Nintendo’s latest financial report shows the console is now sitting at 22.86 million units sold, which means they moved around 5 million Switch consoles over the past six months.

That puts Nintendo at only 25% of its goal for the year with 50% of the year gone. Understandably, industry analysts are skeptical that they can make up the difference before the books close on March 31st, 2019, but Nintendo is not backing down from the lofty 20 million target. Speaking with the press, President and CEO Shuntaro Furukawa recommitted Nintendo to the 20 million goal and pointed to the lucrative holiday season as critical in achieving it.

“The Switch’s momentum has been in line with our expectations. While the 20 million goal is not an easy target to achieve, the year-end holiday season is when we get the largest revenue.”
— Shuntaro Furukawa

It’s common for video game companies to generate around 50% of their sales during the roughly six-week window from Black Friday to New Year’s, but Nintendo will need an even stronger holiday performance than usual if they hope to meet their goal. That said, Nintendo’s 2018 lineup is undeniably weighted towards the end of the fiscal year.

Nintendo’s 5 million Switch units sold this fiscal year accounts for all sales between April 1st and September 30th. Since then, they’ve released Super Mario Party to strong initial sales, and they’ll soon be following it up with Pok√©mon: Let’s Go and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate in November and December, respectively. January sees the release of New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, which should also provide a sales boost. Additionally, we’ve heard reports that Animal Crossing could launch by March as well, although that’s not yet confirmed. If it does indeed make it to store shelves before the end of the fiscal year it will provide a substantial sales boost, especially in Japan.

Is Nintendo too bold in their prediction, or can these heavy hitters really move 15 million Switch consoles over the next six months? It should be an interesting holiday season for Nintendo.

Source: Wall Street Journal

Ben Lamoreux


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