Nintendo plans to produce at least 16 million Switch consoles in the financial year starting this April, reports The Wall Street Journal, which claims this represents a doubling of the company’s initial plans on the back of strong demand. The only official indication of Switch sales to date is that Nintendo planned to ship 2 million units this month following its launch on March 3rd, though a WSJ source claims the true number may be 2.5 million or more.
If the 16 million figure is true, that would put the new console, which is a tablet-style device that is also designed to be used on a TV, well on course to outsell its predecessor, the disappointing Wii U. That system has only managed to sell around 13.5 million units since its launch in late 2012, versus over 101 million for the original Wii, which sold around 20 million units in a first year that included two holiday seasons. The 3DS portable system, meanwhile, has sold over 65 million units since its launch in early 2012. Due to its hybrid nature, the Switch could be seen as the ultimate replacement for both the 3DS and the Wii U.
Nintendo is unlikely to comment on the matter before April 27th, when it’s due to report earnings for the current fiscal year and issue a forecast for the next. Its forecasts have been known to be on the optimistic side in the past; three years ago the company was forced to dramatically reverse its fiscal 2013 forecast of 100 billion yen in profit to a loss of 35 billion yen after Wii U sales collapsed over its first year on sale. The company eventually lost 46.4 billion yen that year. That disaster, however, may well have influenced the company into taking a more cautious approach with the Switch.