The Nintendo Switch has been steamrolling through the sales charts since its release. The hybrid system combines home console gaming with the ability to indulge in portable gaming. However, despite the strong momentum and fast start off store shelves, the Switch may not hit the sales projections that Nintendo originally set out at the start of the year.
According to The Verge, the Nintendo Switch was projected to shift 20 million units throughout the fiscal year ending on March 31st, 2019. The system has been moving millions of units each quarter, with the last quarter seeing the system top 3.19 million. What this means is that, according to the Verge, Nintendo will have to move more than 14.4 million units over the course of the next two quarters to meet the 20 million goal.
The article points out that, last year during the holiday season, Nintendo managed to shift 7.23 million SKUs globally for the Nintendo Switch, setting it well on its way to surpassing the Wii U, catching up to and surpassing the GameCube, and now setting up to rival the Xbox One's install base.
Nintendo is definitely geared toward chasing down the tail of Sony's PlayStation 4, which currently leads the market with more than 86 million units shipped worldwide.
However, shipping 14 million units in a single quarter is very unlikely. Nintendo will more than likely be able to ship half that during the holiday season due to the release of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. However, from there it's looking kind of thin heading into the first quarter of 2019 when it comes to noteworthy exclusives.
I imagine 1 or 2 million SKUs may move with the release of Let's Go Pikachu and Let's Go Eevee, but will it be enough to topple 10 million?
As pointed out by The Verge, the quarter post-holiday season is typically slow. However, 2019 is shaping up to be one of the biggest years in gaming, given that a slew of high-profile titles are set to release. It's just that not all of them are coming to the Nintendo Switch, such as Kingdom Hearts 3 from Square Enix, or Resident Evil 2 Remake from Capcom. There are also hardcore shooters like Metro: Exodus that won't be appearing on the Switch.
Surely if any or all of those games were also penned in for Switch releases it would be easy to see how Nintendo could move maybe 7 -- 10 million SKUs during the holiday and another 2 -- 4 million during the first quarter of 2019. However, Nintendo only has Travis Strikes Again and New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe to tide gamers over during the early first half of 2019.
The most common sense way of moving 10 million units during a single quarter would be to cut the price down to $250 for the standard Switch SKU. But, Nintendo seems intent on sticking with the $299 launch price. It would take a market miracle at this point to move 20 million units throughout fiscal 2019, but then again, this is Nintendo we're talking about.