Nintendo sticks to 20 million shipped forecast for Switch this fiscal year

Nintendo had an amazing first year for the Switch, having sold upwards of 17 million units. At the close of their last fiscal year, the company announced projections of 20 million Switch units shipped for the next fiscal year. We're now 3+ months into that fiscal year, and former Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima is saying Nintendo is sticking to that number. That goes along with 100 million games shipped as well. Hopefully this means the Switch is continuing to kick butt around the world.

Categories: Consoles
Tags: switch


Top Rated Comment
Thu Jun 28 18 07:21am
Rating: 4

1. Where exactly have you seen that "most" fans cannot accept that its not a brand new entry? I have barely seen anyone not excited for the new Smash and not just on this site. Its always just a minority and Wii U defenders for whatever reason.

2. The only game where some part of the fanbase are not as excited is Pokemon. I'm pretty sure most have heard about the negativity the titles have caused online (again where is this same negativity when it comes to Smash?, Pokemon negativity was reported on this site and others, but I have not seen anything on Smash just a few comments here and there). Ofc the negativity still comes from a minor part of the whole community. But "diluting the market" does not make sense when: 1. The Switch doesn't have any big Pokemon games, 2. There has always been many Pokemon games in the market in any console/handheld generation(mainline games and spin-offs) and this didn't affect sales.

Pokemon remains to be seen(compared to the other Pokemon games, because the mainline games have always been strong), but I think its a safe bet that Smash will break records, just like how most of the franchises that Nintendo as put on Switch have broken records...

Pokémon (despite being a watered down version) and Smash will definitely help them reach this goal.

As much as I may not like Let's Go for what we've heard/seen, I think Pokémon alone is gonna reach the goal. Everything else is pretty much just an extra.
The recent reports about Pokémon Go's userbase reaching levels not seen since launch, and the reports of E3 lines to play the game being over 4hrs long, I think it's very safe to say that it's going to be a massive, massive hit.

Thu Jun 28 18 02:35am
Rating: 2 (Updated 1 time)

It is quite clear that people are not nearly as excited about Smash and Pokemon as they would normally be during a typical cycle. The reasons:

1: No matter how many times Nintendo says it (or *who* says it), most fans cannot accept that Smash Switch is supposedly a brand new entry and not an upscaled port. There have been some conflicting words from Nintendo themselves about what exactly it is, but ultimately people will only believe what they want to believe.

2: Nintendo is diluting the market with Pokemon titles, putting them at risk of cannibalization and potentially confusing consumers.

Will they sell enough of each to reach their goals? Probably. But likely not nearly as much as they would have.

Thu Jun 28 18 04:36am
Rating: 1

Mario and Pokemon are important to them. If it weren't for x and y or sun and moon, the 3ds would not have sold well as it has now.

Same thing goes for the switch. With proper marketing, they can reach to that level.

Nintendo has been saying since the reveal trailer that smash ultimate is an original game?

Thu Jun 28 18 07:21am
Rating: 4

1. Where exactly have you seen that "most" fans cannot accept that its not a brand new entry? I have barely seen anyone not excited for the new Smash and not just on this site. Its always just a minority and Wii U defenders for whatever reason.

2. The only game where some part of the fanbase are not as excited is Pokemon. I'm pretty sure most have heard about the negativity the titles have caused online (again where is this same negativity when it comes to Smash?, Pokemon negativity was reported on this site and others, but I have not seen anything on Smash just a few comments here and there). Ofc the negativity still comes from a minor part of the whole community. But "diluting the market" does not make sense when: 1. The Switch doesn't have any big Pokemon games, 2. There has always been many Pokemon games in the market in any console/handheld generation(mainline games and spin-offs) and this didn't affect sales.

Pokemon remains to be seen(compared to the other Pokemon games, because the mainline games have always been strong), but I think its a safe bet that Smash will break records, just like how most of the franchises that Nintendo as put on Switch have broken records...

Obviously I don’t have any scientific data or sources to back up my claims, I simply visit many different Nintendo news websites and chat with lots of Nintendo fans and it is just seems to be a general expression that I’ve noticed that folks don’t seem to be as excited for this iteration of smash. For the record I don’t speak for everyone, I’m not a smash hater and I hope it sees record-breaking levels of success, I’m just not entirely convinced that it will.

There are still some unannounced Smash features, like, they said the game will start with only the original character available and then you will unlock the rest. Will we see a Subspace Emissary-like mode? If yes, I know some people who will be more interested in the game. And it will definitely differ Switch version from the later.

Pokémon fans hardly get confused. Just see the spinoff title sales compared to mainline. They know what they are buying.

Thu Jun 28 18 02:46am
Rating: 1 (Updated 1 time)

They are dreaming if they think that they are getting that number this year with that lineup, they don't even have passable third party support.

Thu Jun 28 18 03:40am
Rating: 1 (Updated 1 time)

I remember when people said the exact thing last year doubting Odyssey was gonna carry the system for Christmas. As for the third party support, I don't know where you're getting that idea from. 2018 has a lot more third party support than last year.

No.. op is kinda right. No matter what Nintendo does, they always end up with not getting third party support. And while the switch has a decent library of em, most games are generations old and games like gta v are not gonna make it.

20 Mil is a pretty significant goal and the Switch doesn't have the post release and scarcity mania able to drive sales like last year. The Switch has been out for a year, it's slowed down significantly in sales going from fastest selling with a decent margin to like 5th fastest selling by a fair amount in the space of months the first half of the year has been extremely dry and completely without a significant title which seems to have created a slump, Smash Bros. and Pokemon have a significant overlap in fanbase which already overlap significantly with the current ownerbase. On top of all this I just don't think that the Switch will meet those sales targets, perhaps I am just not aware that there is a strong demand for the console just for existing, but sales data doesn't seem to point to that being the case.

Overall I don't even think this matters, third parties still seem blase when it comes to supporting the Switch, even mid to major size Japanese ones that get most of their sales from Japan, so even if the Switch does continue to sell well which I doubt, third parties don't seem to be that interested in the platform, so the benefit that strong sales brings isn't really panning out. Indies beyond measure though, gaijin.

The fever is gone, but the interest is clearly still there. Biggest indicators being not just the constant large numbers the system moves in Japanese charts, but May's NPD data actually showing that the console sold better in May 2018 than May 2017. On their investor's meeting the company stated that their sales forecast was put fully knowing the big system sellers were going to be placed on the second half of the year.

As for the Smash/Pokémon overlap claim, you're missing two important factors. One is that Let's Go is catered to an entirely different audience than the franchise's core fanbase, and secondly as the Wii U and Gamecube can attest, Nintendo fans don't sell Nintendo games/hardware. It's the masses the ones that do. The fact that Sun and Moon also created a major sales boost for 3DS hardware despite coming out years after XY is also proof that the existing fans ultimately don't matter much in the larger scheme of things.

Lastly, there is simply no veracity to say third party support is lacking when companies keep reiterating that they have multiple titles in development, Square outright saying they've created a production department for Switch titles, Panic Button talking about how they keep getting several high profile port proposals, and major titles that were never considered for the platform before like Crash, Fortnite, and DBFZ finding themselves with Switch versions. Unless you also have a very specific and narrow idea of what "third party support" entails, there is simply no truth to the claim that developers aren't interested on the platform, much less that support is worse compared to last year. All of this ignoring indies.

Thu Jun 28 18 07:24am
Rating: 3 (Updated 1 time)

Ah, what will be Go Nintendo without it‘s fine „Nintendo is doomed vibes“?

Many hobby experts are commentating here, but they clearly underestimate Pokemon and Smash. The problem is, you let your personal feelings in your predictions (the Pokemon Let’s Go disappointment, the still fresh E3 disappointment, the Smash Bros. disappointment). Besides that, there are still other games coming besides these two. Third Party support is definitely there and the strongest since the SNES days and god dammit, the system is out for a year and a few months. What are a few individuals here thinking? The first two years of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One were far worse because 80% of the released games were either Cross-Platform or Remasters. Besides all that, the games from last year are still selling well. Breath of the Wild, Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon 2 are always in the Top 20 of the Amazon Charts worldwide for most of the time. People tend to forget about all this stuff due to personal disappointments, because Nintendo isn‘t releasing another 20 AAA titles in 2018.

So, yeah, MARIOSTARN already made a great statement here and there is nothing more to add for me. The time I will delete my account here isn‘t far anymore. I ask myself if RMC know to what a pessimistic pool his community turned into. Neither it is a joy to read nor to comment here anymore.

He must be aware to some extent at least considering the fact that the site's webmaster is part of the problem.
I do not know if he just simply doesn't think it's a problem or has just decided to live with it. It really is frustrating when there are certain users that will always go on to ridiculous lengths or conclusions just to find the negatives or put a pessimistic spin on things.

I just wish I knew what triggered this change and why do these people even bother to show up in a place like this when they clearly have a lot of resentment or no enjoyment whatsoever for the thing that is the very subject of the site.

Rubbish! Then you wrote this doozy, "Third Party support is definitely there and the strongest since the SNES days". Ya, I stopped reading after that. 3rd party support is dreadful, of what there is, is riddled with years old games and bloated pricetags. Let them make new games, let's see the likes of EA make more than FIFA, let's get the same day and month release as other platforms, let's get the full game on cartridges rather than cheaping out on small cartridges with massive digital downloads, etc. Then we can talk. That's to say nothing about how we get inferior versions but that's down to the weak hardware.

A slight increase when production issues have been sorted out means little, but you're still ignoring that the Switch no longer has that launch boost which was nearly 3 million units, so Pokemon and Smash Bros have to somehow bring in an additional 6 million customers before you factor in the loss of sales from not having titles like Breath of the Wild and Splatoon in the early and mid year, the Switch is weighted almost entirely for the holiday season this year, where it will undoubtedly sell, but last year the Switch sort of had hitters year round.

Lets' Go was a flash in the pan, and it has no barrier to entry, it did cater to a different audience, but why would years after Pokemon Go hit it's peak would these same people suddenly jump on a Pokemon Game that only has in common with Go catching Pokemon game? I don't really see your point here. On top of this why would Pokemon Let's Go, a remake of older titles bring in the Pokemon Go audience with a buy in of $300 for the console and $60 for the game, and not Sun and Moon with $150 for the console and $40 for the game, this isn't a logical conclusion on your part. I never said that Nintendo fans are what selling Nintendo games and hardware, just that there was a significant overlap between current owners, Smash players and Pokemon players, and there is. These games didn't manage to push the 3ds to 16 million units over the holiday and post holiday season why would they do this on Switch with a far larger buy in?

No, third party support is poor at best. The Square Enix Switch department sounds at best like PR, there's already a Switch department at SE, it's called Asano team. Bamco talked about some new exclusives coming to the Switch a while back, turns out they are all being published by Nintendo, That can't be considered good support, it's not like Bamco are actually risking anything by making these games, to them it's just a paycheck. I never said that third parties weren't interested, I said that they weren't that interested, which holds, an overwhelming majority of A+ titles aren't coming to Switch, companies don't consider it as a platform most of the time, and in the rare case that they do come to Switch it's months to years later. The easiest way to sum up my claim is that Third party support is poor. I don't even have to add indies to the equation, because even with Indies Nintendo is still missing almost an entire sector of the market.

I think the worst part is that you seem to think that I think that the Switch will utterly stagnate, I just think that Nintendo's 20 million goal is a pipedream, it lacks the third party support that other platforms had to reach that goal in the sort of timeframe and 20 million isn't some small number, it's pretty significant.

Thu Jun 28 18 08:23am
(Updated 1 time)

Console sales have always historically increased year on year before they plateau. This has always been the trend for most systems unless they are a failure like Wii U. Last time I checked, both Kirby and Donkey Kong were selling really well, and Mario Tennis is off to a good start, so hitters are there, and yes Wii U ports count because 99% of people never bought a Wii U so these are new games for them. Furthermore, you're ignoring the fact that new consumers are also going to be attracted by the back catalogue, so the titles that are already available still play part into the equation.

Pokémon Go is far from being a flash in the pan when it was just reported mere days ago that the active userbase has grown to levels not seen since launch. And not just that, but it was shown that Pokémon Go did cause an upsurge in sales of 3DS hardware and Pokémon titles back when it came out so people are indeed willing to go out and try out the fuller games and buy the system to play them on. That is not counting the audience of children and casual fans that are far more interested in Let's Go than the hardcore fanbase the game is explicitly not gearing towards.

Somehow the proof of third party support is not valid because you feel it's a PR statement, or because Nintendo is funding these titles? Despite other claims from developers and publishers that they are also working on Switch games and want to support the platform? Support is support no matter how you wanna paint it as, much like how Sony funds PS exclusives and ultimately the profit and sales are what's causing developers to consider the platform more and more. You're also forgetting the fact that PHILO SOPHY stated that this is a console that's barely been out for 18 months and you're expecting its game library to resemble PS4 when that console's early years was also slim in terms of support. Or so is the case for pretty much most platforms.

Finally, I don't know what part of my comment gave you that impression. Ultimately the point I'm trying to make is that Switch interest and support is far from dying down or slow down and so far your points seem to be based more on personal opinion or perhaps anecdotal evidence rather than proof.

Console sales do increase, but it's not going to go up by 5 million units in a year on the back of 2 units. Kirby and Donkey Kong are selling well, but all of these games combined won't match Mario Kart 8 deluxe, Mario Tennis is probably going to sell well, but Mario Tennis selling well isn't worth much. to overall console sales. I'm not ignoring that new consumers will be attracted by the back catalogue.

Pokemon Go was a flash in the pan, it died off fast and a quick revival isn't worth much, Pokemon go did increase sales of 3ds hardware and Pokemon but the increase in sales wasn't only about 1 million units, that's at the height of the Pokemon Go craze, and you seem to think Pokemon Lets go will bring in far more customers than Pokemon Go at it's height, that isn't a logical conclusion. And Yet again Pokemon Let's go has a far higher barrier to entry than Pokemon on the 3ds.

At current point Switch has poor third party support, rarely is it considered as a target platform for games in development, rarely do games release on it at the same time, and much of what is considered for the Switch is old ports and shovelware. Asano team isn't a real studio, it isn't large enough to make a game by itself, an expansion just means that SE doesn't need to hire an external team to make games, this won't improve the amount of games Asano team can make, and they were already dedicated to Nintendo platforms. Nintendo publishing titles from an external studio isn't a sign of third party life because that studio is not on their own considering it as a platform. I never stated that the Switch needed to have a library comparable to the PS4 in the space of 18 months, but many companies supported the Vita much more than the Switch in a similar timeframe. I could easily make a list of upcoming games not coming to the Switch that is larger than games coming to the Switch, and this has barely changed.

Your argument is just as valid at best, support for the Switch is still weak, sales are still low, there's a large deficit that Nintendo needs overcome to push the Switch to that 20 million target by fiscal years end and they are sorely lacking those early year titles to support that. You are also greatly over estimating the appeal of Pokemon Let's go, I expect it to only sell in line with previous Pokemon titles, not above, but 15 million units of Let's go won't translate into anywhere near 15 million Switch's sold this holiday season, Pokemon Sun and Moon and X and Y didn't even push 10 million 3ds units in the holiday season why would Pokemon Let's go do that, and the 3ds had a far greater back catalog of titles at the point, and when they released and Pokemon Sun and Moon had the free advertising from Pokemon Let's Go.

Nintendo rode 2017 on the back of Splatoon, Mario, and Zelda. Pokémon and Smash Brothers have always pulled in more hardware/software sales than Mario and Zelda respectively, and games like Mario Party, Donkey Kong, Mario Tennis, and Kirby are also drawing in people. Taking the historical impact both Smash and Pokémon have done for previous consoles, their target goal is reasonable and attainable.

Even at its lowest point in April 2017, monthly average users for Pokémon Go were 65 million, a far cry from "flash in the pan" considering the number was still higher than titles like Minecraft at the time. I don't know where you got the idea that I said Let's Go will somehow attract more players than Go at its peak, but what I did say is that both the children and casual audience of Pokémon that make up the majority of its fanbase are also big complements to the Go users Let's Go hopes to grab. The first main Pokémon games on a Nintendo platform have historically brought in a major boost to hardware sales as well. (Let's Go is a main title and has been confirmed several times as such) With the combination of factors it's easy to see why they see a 5M boost in this fiscal year.

On the third party situation, the conversation has slowly shifted from "we'll take a look at the platform" to "we're considering it" to "we're making games for it". Both Nintendo and developers like Panic Button have recently said that gaps between multiplat games releasing on the console are becoming shorter because it is being considered earlier and earlier in the game development process. This is contradictory to your statement. The logic of game development lead time also means that these changes are not gonna happen overnight, but they are gradually becoming more apparent. You are still under the conclusion that what Square has said is just PR bluff despite there being no proof for that, and still ignoring the multiple statements from devs commiting themselves to Switch support.
Comparing it to Vita is a flawed comparison since Sony has always had stronger support historically. A more fair comparison would be to 3DS, and how its first two years were noticeably barren in terms of third party support while the platform gained traction. At this point in its lifetime Switch has gained more notable and relevant third party support and titles than 3DS did around the same timeframe. Reason being that Switch took a lot less time to build its reputation compared to the 3DS' initial slumps.

Lastly you've yet to come up with an argument or proof that Switch sales are low, when there is data both from NPD, online retailers, and Japanese sales charts showing otherwise.

Nintendo is banking way too heavily on Smash and Pokemon. Pokemon will probably deliver them to that, but probably only just..

Smash, though, I don't think it's ever been the kind of game that really heavily pushes systems. The kind of people who want Smash are the kind of people who were either going to eventually get a Switch anyways, or already have one. It sells to a very specific audience. Mostly big Nintendo fans. (Which, TBH, there are a lot of, but still).

But seriously: I really wish they could get substantial major third party support. Especially major not indie third party support from the west, and not just ports of Bethesda games and half-baked versions of Fifa from EA. People like to pretend this stuff isn't important, but it really is. You can't sell an entire system on nothing but a few high profile first party titles, ports, and indie games.

I thought they'd stop this "Pinning all their hopes on one or two games" thing after the Wii U. Also thought things were going to really turn around with third parties after how well the thing did in 2017.

Trust me Smash moves systems I have four friends at work ready to upgrade from the 3ds smash this holiday!!

Thu Jun 28 18 06:35am
Rating: 2

It would be wise to not conflate the cynicism of the hardcore audience that lives in the echo chamber of the internet with the general perception of the switch, pokemon and smash of the less vocal gaming audience at large.

Those two games alone hold a ton of power for the normies.

Grumpy people on the internet are not right just because they are loud

People aren't right just because they complain a lot, I agree. It's silly that many fanboys think their opinions and taste represent the majority, but one still has the hope to convince them otherwise or at the very least make them have a peek at the bigger picture.

Thu Jun 28 18 07:44am
Rating: 1

I never said that my taste represents the majority, I just don't think that Nintendo's business plan for the year is anywhere near as solid as they seem to think it is.

I never said anything about you specifically. That is just an all too common sight on this website, and on other places as well independent of topic.

Unfortunately development schedules of your favorite games can take up to 3 years or more with many still unannounced as Nintendo said at E3 they we're only showing a small handful of what was in development.

I admire your optimism sir/ma'am

Optimism is the thing this site and the internet as a whole need the most in an era where people actively look for things to get outraged by.

They're putting way too much faith on an enhanced port and a spin-off game.

They will get there easily. EASILY. Let's Go is a 15 million seller.

There is no way they are meeting that goal. Sales have been dropping steadily all year, with the PS4 consistently beating the Switch in sales every month recently. It'll still do very well of course, especially with Smash coming. But they will not hit 20 million more units sold this FY.

Thu Jun 28 18 08:15am
Rating: 1

You know that the PS4 has been beating the Switch in terms of NPD sales, but conveniently leave out the fact that the Switch sold more compared to the same month last year (May 2018 > May 2017 for example), or how its still the best selling single SKU.

“Shipped” is a lot different than sold. They also have until the end of March 2019 to achieve this goal— who knows what’s coming in the first half of next year.

There seems to be a bunch of Michael Patcher wannabes in this comment section.

It's not Nintendo if they're not perpetually doomed.

Thu Jun 28 18 08:20am
(Updated 1 time)

My guess is that we'll get at least two more Directs this year which will show more games. Maybe the December Direct will show MP4 and some complete new titles. We don't know. It's Nintendo after all. But it seems people forget about the non-E3 Directs just after E3. Directs can hype the Switch good.

For this year I think Pokemon alone is going to be huge. That brand is just such a....monster (sorry, not sorry).

And the new president might have leatned some tricks from Kimishima and might even have some of his own.

Third parties? Double edged sword, that one. It'll be interesting to see what happens.

I do think Nintendo will hit their 20 million mark. Pokemon and Smash and hell I'd even say Super Mario Party will help them reach that mark. How fast they achieve it is the issue here not if they will or not. Had Yoshi and Fire Emblem released this year like they were suppose to I would say oh yeah it's a no brainer 20 million by December.

With Pokemon Let's Go, while I am a huge fan of this approach to Pokemon as I was never a Pokemon fan and this seems like a good way to get me into the series. A lot of hardcore Pokemon fans don't like this approach so there's potential system sale losses right there. HOWEVER depending on kids, the casual market, or the lapsed Pokemon fan this game could still sell systems to that demographic. Might not sell as many units as let's say a main core RPG Pokemon would but ANY Pokemon on Switch is better than no Pokemon on Switch in 2018.

Super Mario Party I think has the possibility to move hardware as well. If the game gets good reviews I could see it appealing to the old Nintendo fan who played the original Mario Party's on N64 since the gameplay is hearkening back to the classic style. It will also appeal to the casual crowd who just want a family party game to play on Switch this holiday that isn't 1-2 Switch...Looking at the Switch library at the moment there isn't a ton of those type games on Switch. Of course you have Monopoly and Jackbox Party Pack but those are digital only and they don't have Mario on the title/cover.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will move hardware to a select few. I never felt Smash Bros. was a MEGATON system seller. I always felt like it appealed mostly to hardcore Nintendo fans who more than likely I already own a Switch. I know there's a select group out there who only buy Nintendo consoles for Smash Bros. (which I always found baffling you enjoy a game with Nintendo characters crossing over battling it out but actually don't care for the characters or franchises these characters come from and you'll just play with characters like Cloud, Snake, or Ryu..). But I feel that subsection is a minority. It will move consoles no doubt but it definitely won't move consoles like Pokemon will or Odyssey and BOTW did.

So at the end of the day yes Nintendo's 1st party offerings could've been a LOT stronger this year (especially in the 1st half..yeesh it has been rough) and 3rd party support while stronger than past Nintendo consoles that came after the SNES it still isn't that good/great. I do think the Switch will sell through those 20 million units it will probably just barely make it.

I can't see Smash Bros. increasing Switch sales substantially. People interested in Smash would have already bought one for Zelda, Mario, Mario Kart, Splatoon etc. It's only really Pokemon where it could get a big increase, but then these aren't new games. I think the lack of big 3rd party support is going curtail Switch in the long-term.

What everyone fails to understand is all the 2017 games are still selling to people who yet yet to buy a switch yet


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