Last week, Nintendo revealed that Switch has shipped nearly 80 million consoles since March 2017, exceeding Nintendo 3DS shipments of 76 million units. Now, the company has a plan to surpass the sales of Nintendo Wii, its most successful console.
Launched in 2006, Wii, which has shipped 101.63 million units in its lifetime, revolutionized motion controls and family gaming. Nintendo Switch, which shipped 24 million units in the first nine months of its current fiscal year, is slowly catching up.
“We are aiming to continue this momentum and increase the cumulative sales volume to overtake that of Wii,” Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa said during the company’s recent financial results briefing. “While we are considering various measures to achieve this, one point that we consider critical to this effort is the fact that a wide range of consumers are currently playing Nintendo Switch.”
In November 2019, Furukawa said that Switch Lite was drawing a larger percentage of female first-time buyers than the original model did before the release of the handheld device, In January 2020, he added that games like Ring Fit Adventure were expanding Nintendo’s audience.
“There is a higher ratio of female consumers playing Ring Fit Adventure compared to other titles, and a wide range of ages regardless of gender, as families play the title at home, giving a real feel for how our consumer base is expanding,” Furukawa said.
In May 2020, Furukawa revealed the company’s plans to increase its advertising budget to attract new consumers who don’t regularly play games. During the recent results briefing, he said that Switch has now “entered the middle of its lifecycle,” having attracted a more diverse user base. The company intends to expand its range of software to continue appealing to more players.
“Many of those who purchased Nintendo Switch at launch have already played a variety of different titles, while there are also consumers who were encouraged to purchase a Nintendo Switch by the release of a game in a series like Pokémon or Animal Crossing,” Furukawa said.
“In addition, there are consumers who purchased a game system for the first time in a long while because in 2020, they were spending more time at home, or who purchased a system due to nostalgia from the Super Mario Bros. 35th Anniversary campaign,” he added. “Nintendo Switch will be entering its fifth year, and it’s important for us to continue to provide the next title of interest to each of these various consumers.”
Furukawa noted that the company’s research revealed that roughly 20% of recent Switch sales in key markets were due to demand for different systems within the same household. He added that the US and Europe are markets where “there is still plenty of room” for Switch sales growth, “even more so than in Japan”.
Several analysts have projected that Switch will be the bestselling console of 2021. Furukawa has clarified that despite rumors, there was no new model planned for release aside from the Super Mario and Monster Hunter edition consoles that will launch in February and March respectively.
“With this release schedule for new hardware and Nintendo Switch having just marked its highest sales in its fourth year on the market, we do not have plans to announce a new model,” he added.
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