Nintendo finds themselves in a unique position with their system, the Nintendo Switch. This could be the savior system for Nintendo, or a final nail in the coffin, at least for them in the console hardware market. You see their situation isn’t as dire as some are lead to believe.
The Nintendo 3ds as of December 31st, 2016 has solid 65.30 million units, despite a very slow start due to it’s $250 price tag, that was cut in half a year to $170, which I will admit clearly also helped sales. But the 3ds despite a very rocky first 6 months, was helped due to two main things, the price cut, and the release of Mario Kart 7. Mario Kart 7 has gone on to sell 13.41 million copies, and despite being the first big game released for the system, is the second highest selling game on the platform. Now when we compare this to the Wii U, which as of December 31st, 2016 had only sold 13.56 Million units, which as we all know is quite terrible. But oddly enough their was anomaly when Mario Kart 8 was released on the system, going on to sell 7.34 million units, being the highest selling game on the platform, actually pushing units, and over a 60% attach rate to the Wii U. Clearly this wasn’t some savior for the Wii U, but clearly it managed to get fans out there to purchase the system potentially mainly for this game, likely a few others which we will mention later.
Now Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which is a port/redone version of Mario Kart 8, comes on April 28th, being as far as we know the next big game to come to the Switch. Now I am not saying that Mario Kart 8 Deluxe will create a foothold for the Switch in terms of pushing sales, but based off previous market research, it even managed to push sales on the Wii U for a short time. I know some people will consider it, merely just a port, but I think the sales of this game may surprise some that say that, especially due to the nature of the console, and the fact only Wii U owners have played Mario Kart 8, plenty of new comers, possibly those who owned Mario Kart 7 but never had a Wii U, will pick this up.
Another title that is popular than many may think is Monster Hunter. This will be an interesting, especially after it’s previous entries on the 3ds all sold around at least 3 million units, obviously pushing the series more into the mainstream. Now the games don’t sell well at all in North America and Europe, but in Japan the series lives and breaths due to the Japanese love of portable gaming. So when this game comes out expect high sales in Japan, and possibly a boost in units, based off of what happened when Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate released.
Super Smash Bros for the Switch is also a big title being tossed around. I am sure that this will generate sales selling 4.99 million units on the Wii U. But this did not move systems as Mario Kart 8 did. Making me believe those who bought the Wii U for Mario Kart 8 did so in mind of also getting Super Smash Bros, which is entirely possible.
Super Mario Odyssey clearly will be a big one, Nintendo seeming to make it their flagship game this holiday. This could potentially be the big sales boost the Switch will get but, it may happen before that, if a Pokemon game comes out this year. Their has been rumors surrounding this, but I am here to discuss facts and just the possibility of what could happen whenever the next iteration of the series does release. Pokemon X and Y is seen as one of the big pillars of the 3ds, being the highest selling game on the system, pushing more than 15.14 million units. But also as of recent, Pokemon Sun and Moon are the fastest selling games ever on the 3ds, being out for only half a year now and selling more than 12.94 million units already, with the potential of even passing Pokemon X and Y. Pokemon Sun and Moon were also the best selling games of 2016 according to VGchartz. So the potential is there, with Pokemon being the game to surely get people to own a Switch.
Clearly the Nintendo Switch is off to a great start selling 1.5 million of it’s 2 million units. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has a 89% attach rate on the system, which is too be expected, as it’s the game clearly with the most draw on the platform. I do know their could be other games such as Splatoon 2 that generate sales, but I’m just not sure that’s what I’d call a system seller for any specific region, I’m sure it’ll sell but mostly to those who already own a Switch, or will buy one in the future.
By the end of the year I will come back to this and see if anything I said came true due to market research I’ve done based on the past. But clearly the other elephant in the room is 3rd party support being a big factor, I can’t comment on that as we don’t know everything that is coming out yet as the Switch has about nearly 30 games on it as of now. I hope what I have shared helps show you the potential this has based on the past, by the end of the year, I think we’ll know what this system is and it’s future.