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The Nintendo Switch can’t be stopped

The Nintendo Switch can’t be stopped


Console sales and games combine for blowout year

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An image of a Nintendo Switch on a table with its kickstand extended.
Nintendo Switch sales fuel full year profits.
Photo by James Bareham / The Verge

Nintendo Switch sales were up 44 percent percent from January to March compared to the same pandemic-impaired quarter from a year earlier. Today’s numbers bring total Switch sales to 28.83 million for the fiscal year, up 37 percent compared to the 21 million Switch consoles the company shipped the year prior, and beating the company’s own revised forecast.

In February, Nintendo raised its annual forecast to 26.5 million Switch units for the fiscal year ending March 31st on the strength of increased demand during the COVID-19 pandemic, a number that had already been raised from 19 million units at the start of the year. The lifetime-to-date sales figure now stands at 84.59 million Switch units shipped worldwide since its launch in 2017, creeping up on the Wii console’s 101.63 million lifetime sales mark.

Game sales for the year also spiked by 37 percent

Game sales for the year also spiked by 37 percent, selling 230.88 million units compared to 168.72 million units in the previous fiscal year, led by Animal Crossing: New Horizons with 20.85 million units sold. Other notables were Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (10.62 million units), Super Mario 3D All-Star (9.01 million units), and Ring Fit Adventure (7.38 million units). Nintendo claimed 36 million-seller titles during the fiscal year, 22 from Nintendo and 14 by other publishers. Newly released Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury sold 5.59 million units.

Looking forward, Nintendo is planning to release a blue Switch Lite in May. The company is also preparing global launches for additional first-party software titles, including Miitopia in May, Mario Golf: Super Rush in June, and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD in July. Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Pokémon Shining Pearl are planned for late 2021. Nintendo says that it’s working with Niantic “to develop a new application featuring Pikmin for smart devices” that will be released in the second half of 2021.

Nintendo’s full-year revenue increased to 1.76 trillion yen, up 35 percent compared to the 1.3 trillion yen earned last year, netting a full-year profit of 480.3 billion yen (about $4.4 billion). The company is forecasting sales of 1.6 trillion yen against 25.5 million Switch consoles for the year ending March 2022.

Nintendo is rumored to be working on a new Switch with 4K output that will better compete with more powerful Xbox and PlayStation consoles. It’s said to have a larger 7-inch 720p OLED panel built by Samsung that’s set to enter mass production in June for July assembly.