Nintendo Switch should pass Wii U Sales by Christmas

Chris Stead 30 November 2017 NEWS


Nintendo’s new Switch console is selling in stark contrast to its predecessor and should even pass the Wii U’s worldwide sales before the end of 2017.

What an interesting journey we’ve had with the Nintendo Switch. At the start of 2017, we didn’t really even know what it was. Nintendo was so late in releasing information about its console and the games launching alongside it that most fans barely had a chance to sneak in a pre-order. Nintendo’s own staff scrambled at the last minute to try and get any marketing out into the world, and the majority of the media didn’t gets hands-on until just a few weeks before its March 3 launch.

It seemed like a dangerous ploy. Nintendo was coming off a dog with the Wii U, after all. The company’s seventh generation console wasn’t necessarily bad - and it had some truly brilliant games - but when it came to meeting the audience’s needs, it was a swing and a miss. Ultimately, the Wii U limped its way to 13.5 million sales, a pathetic return on a five-year lifespan. More than ever, the Switch needed to meet the market and deliver, and the late announcement and rushed launch didn’t seem like a good start.

Yet the Switch is thriving. Was it Zelda? Was it Mario? Was it all the indies? Or perhaps the Switch simply fills a space we didn’t quite realise existed: which over the years has proven to be the genius of Nintendo.

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As a result, by the time you read this, the Nintendo Switch will have gone past the 9.5 million worldwide sales mark. And in just nine months no less! We make this assumption based on the fact that the Switch had sold 7.63 million by the end of September, at just under one million a month though the quarter. Paying that forward conservatively gets us to 9.5 million come the end of November – conservative because it does not take into account the impact of Super Mario Odyssey’s launch right in the middle.

The volume of interest has been such that Nintendo has changed its internal sales prediction, upping the forecast to just under 17 million worldwide Switch sales by the end of March 2018. It’s fair to assume the majority of those sales will come before Christmas - the biggest buying frenzy of the year. What better gift to give a child than a Nintendo console and a swag of Mushroom Kingdom games?

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When we consider that the Switch only needs to sell 4 million more units to pass the worldwide sales of the Wii U, the mark feels awfully close. If the forecast for an additional 9 million sales by the end of March is accurate, only 45% of those need to fall head of Christmas for the Switch to pass the Wii U’s worldwide sales before the year is out.

It would be quite the accomplishment, and whether the console can achieve that target or not by Christmas, it certainly will early in the New Year and well before it has spent 12-months in the market. There’s a saying in sport that you’re only as good as your last game: well Nintendo is quickly erasing any memories of the Wii U from the gaming landscape with the success of the Switch.

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