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Nintendo lowers full-year hardware forecast for Switch

Nintendo lowers full-year hardware forecast for Switch

January 31, 2019 | By Chris Kerr

Nintendo claims bumper software sales have "invigorated" the Switch in its latest financials, but that hasn't stopped the company from lowering the console's full-year sales forecast.

According to its fiscal report for the nine months ended December 31, 2018, Nintendo now only expects Switch hardware sales to total 17 million units by the end of the financial year on March 31, 2019. It had previously anticipated sales of 20 million units.

On the handheld front, Nintendo has also reduced its full-year 3DS hardware forecast down to 2.6 million units from 4 million units.

Looking at the company's overall performance, net sales rose by 16.4 percent year-over-year to 997.3 billion yen ($9.19 billion), while profits increased by 24.9 percent to 168.8 billion yen ($1.55 billion) during the same period. 

Over the past nine months, three Nintendo Switch titles -- Super Mario Party (5.3 million units), Pokemon: Let's Go (10 million units), and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (12.08 million units) -- managed to pull in record sales to help boost Switch hardware.

The sales of third-party games also continues to "grow steadily," and the Switch now boasts 20, 1 million-plus-selling titles. Overall, cumulative Switch software sales for the past nine months clocked in at 94.64 million units -- an increase of 100.9 percent year-over-year.

Those burgeoning software sales gave Switch hardware a shot in the arm, with console sales rising by 19.5 percent year-on-year to 14.49 million units.

In Nintendo's digital business, sales of downloadable titles, download-only software, and add-on content also witnessed growth on the Switch, and combined to bring in digital sales of 84.2 billion yen ($775.5 million) -- a year-over-year increase of 95.1 percent. 

Lifetime Switch hardware sales now stand at 32.27 million units, while lifetime Switch software sales have reached 163.61 million units. 

Moving on to the 3DS, the aging handheld saw hardware sales fall by 60.5 percent to 2.31 million units, while software sales also tumbled by 64.5 percent to 11.08 million units.

On the mobile front, Nintendo's smart device-related income rose by 14.7 percent year-on-year to 33.3 billion yen ($306.7 million). The company partly attributes that increase to the launch of Dragalia Lost, which reportedly grossed around $28 million in its first month on digital shelves

Despite lowering its hardware forecasts for both the Switch and 3DS, Nintendo hasn't revised its overall financial outlook, and still expects to see net sales of 1.2 trillion yen ($10.6 billion) and profits of 165 billion yen ($1.46 billion) by the end of the financial year on March 31, 2019.

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