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Nintendo feels as if it has a smash hit on its hands with the Nintendo Switch. The company has already made plans to ship a heck of a lot more Switch consoles starting in 2018. In fact, the number of units that will be available might even surprise you, given that they have plans to ship 30 million units between 2018 and 2019.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Nintendo has plans on pumping out 30 million SKUs to retailers. That's right, 30 million Nintendo Switch units.
The idea is to get anywhere between 25 and 30 million units out before April, 2019. This works out to the company needing to move more than 2 million SKUs per month. Nintendo is almost doing that much, and certainly did do that much when the Switch first launched back in March of this year. However, the numbers dropped off quickly when Nintendo ran out of stock and couldn't replenish as quickly due to a shortage of parts.
Apple's big smartphone line required the exact same parts as the Nintendo Switch, which resulted in the Switch parts suppliers being stretched thin when it came to NAND chips. Nintendo and Apple battled for the parts, but suppliers gave preference to Apple, which resulted in the Switch's distribution supply being disrupted greatly.
Nintendo did manage to pull some strings later in the year and ramp up production during June and July so that from July through September there would be enough units available to meet demand. The company did manage to meet said demand and even won the NPD charts in North America during that time.
The ramping up of production throughout 2018 is being accompanied by stronger support from other third-party publishers such as Square Enix and Ubisoft, both of whom have pledged to aggressively support the Switch. According to GI.biz, Square believes that the Switch is perfect for mid-tier games, usually considered single-A titles. Square will be publishing games like Project Octopath Traveler and Fear Effect on the Switch in 2018, with additional games like Dragon Quest XI planned for release as well.
Ubisoft has already released Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle on the Switch, but also has plans to add more games to the system throughout 2018.
The Switch's massive success throughout 2017 has likely given Nintendo confidence in supporting the system with far more aplomb than what was given to the Wii U. For those that remember, the Wii U came out and basically died a few months after release after many of its expected exclusives were delayed or turned into multi-platform games. Support for the console practically died just a year after launch and Nintendo couldn't recover any momentum for the system.
The complete opposite is happening with the Switch, with sales booming and a line-up of must-have games gracing the system about every month. Even still, planning to ship up to 30 million units throughout the next fiscal year is a really tall order and there's no guarantee that the momentum will stay with the system during that time, but Nintendo is dedicated to making the Switch work.