The Nintendo Switch has hit ten million sales in just nine months, proving that Nintendo is on-track for another sure-fire success of a console after the Wii U struggled to gain ground.
Released back in March, with a lacklustre launch lineup, many believed Nintendo had fallen short of the mark yet again. Thankfully, that launch lineup contained the sublime The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – one of the best games Nintendo has ever made. Since launch, Nintendo managed to release a strong first-party release nearly every month, helping drive interest around its new console and dispel the naysayers.
Looking at the Switch library of games now, compared to nine months ago, you’d be forgiven for believing I’m talking about an entirely different console. Nintendo is clearly onto a winner with the Switch and its mammoth sales growth goes to show it.
To put the Switch’s nine-month growth into perspective, Nintendo’s last console – the Wii U – managed just 13.5 million sales in its near six-year lifespan. Switch is expected to top that within its first year of sale.
Next up is the Nintendo GameCube. That fared slightly better than the Wii U but, until the Wii U came along, was deemed Nintendo’s big console failure – as nobody wants to remember the Virtual Boy. The GameCube sold 21.7 million units in its seven-year lifespan, meaning if the Switch continues on its current trajectory – which is certainly unlikely – it will have overtaken the GameCube in under two years since its release.
However, despite this early promise, Nintendo is still some way short of the runaway success of the Nintendo Wii.. Within the first year of sale, the Wii had smashed 20 million consoles shipped, jumping up by a whopping seven million units sold between the nine-month to one-year mark. Even by nine months the Wii had shifted just over 13 million units.
Does this spell disaster for the Switch? Unlikely. Many believe Nintendo will try to remedy the situation by releasing a cheaper model of Switch in 2018 to help spur sales again, but they’re forgetting that the Wii did no such thing until very late into its life. In fact, the biggest contributor to Switch’s slowing sales is Nintendo itself.
Currently Nintendo can’t produce enough Switch units to appease demand, with Nintendo Switch Black Friday deals selling out within two minutes of going on sale. The Switch is also a more expensive than the Wi.
On a brighter note, the Switch has seen extremely high attach rates, with more physical games being attached to console sales than during the Wii’s launch and heyday – although that’s probably partly because Wii Sports was bundled with every Wii sold.
With an incredibly strong 2018 already being lined up, with Bayonetta coming to the console – along with new Yoshi, Kirby, Metroid Prime and Pokémon games on the way after – the Nintendo Switch is only going upwards. In fact, while it may not hit quite the heady heights of the Wii’s 101.6 million sales, it’s on target to beat the SNES’s 49.1 million sales over the next seven years.