Nintendo Financials: Switch Soars and Pokemon in 2018?

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Today Nintendo released their third quarter financial results. These events are standard for companies and while there isn’t usually any announcements there is always some interesting tidbits of information. When certain games are forecasted to release, what the scope for certain games is based on sales figures and how many consoles the company actually expects to sell. Straight off the bat Nintendo revealed that they’ve sold 14.8 million Switch units in 9 months (the forecast ends at the end of December).

This is over 1 million more units than the Wii U’s five year lifetime. This also means the Nintendo Switch has smashed the original one year sales target of 10 million units with three months remaining. Nintendo have made their comeback. Even the Nintendo 3DS sold 3 million units over the months of October, November and December. This takes its life to date sales to over 70 million units.

Based on this we can expect 3DS game support to continue well into 2018, if not also into 2019. Nintendo also released a short statement about the the SNES classic ‘proving to be a hit‘. Doesn’t seem like there was any concrete sales data though, in October it was reported to have passed 2 million units.

Nintendo are now forecasting to sell 20 million units of the Switch in their next financial year and to reach 18 million in the launch year. What this tells us is that Nintendo will need to back up those hardware forecasts with software, only certain franchises have the sales potential to reach this. Of course Pokemon is one of them, the last two entries; Sun and Moon have sold over 16 million copies. Today Nintendo listed Pokemon Switch as a ‘2018 or later’ release. Coming out this year would make a huge impact on hardware sales at the holiday period. Fire Emblem was also reiterated as a 2018 release while Metroid Prime 4 and Bayonetta 3 are ‘TBA’.

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This takes us into software figures where it gets even more interesting. Here is a list of Nintendo’s first party releases and how many copies each sold:

Super Mario Odyssey – 9.07 million units
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – 7.33 million units
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – 6.7 million units
Splatoon 2 – 4.91 million units
1-2-Switch – 1.88 million units
ARMS – 1.61 million units
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 – 1.06 million units

Super Mario Odyssey sold over 9 million copies in only two months of release. Considering it has been over a month since it is feasible that the Plumber’s newest game has topped 10 million, an incredible achievement. The port of Mario Kart 8 is less than 1 million copies behind the original. Splatoon 2 has already passed the original game’s sales and sold more than any of the other games on the list in Japan, it’s the only game on the list to have more than 2 million copies sold in Japan alone. Even titles like 1-2 Switch and ARMS have performed very well for Nintendo. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a shock, selling over 1 million copies in only one month on the market despite it being a very in depth, hardcore JRPG. To add to this, 3DS exclusive games Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon sold over 7 million combined units in less than two months.

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So what is the bottom line? What can we take from all these numbers and sales data? Basically, Nintendo is back. The Japanese entertainment giant has a huge global phenomenon on its hands with the Nintendo Switch and experiences like Nintendo Labo and the release of huge franchises like Animal Crossing and Super Smash Bros will take the console from strength to strength. This is bolstered by the evergreen sales of the Nintendo 3DS, leading to very healthy financials and the highest stock market price since the Wii era for the big N.