Opinion: Nintendo Switch Launch Figures and What it Means for Nintendo
Switch Strong in its Homeland
Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu publish last month the Nintendo Switch weekend launch sale figures for Japan. While these numbers, and Famitsu's article for that matter, are from March 3rd through March 7th; it is good to review the numbers and speculate if the Switch will reach Wii's success.
Nintendo switch main unit sales Domestic estimated sales volume: 330,637 units Software for Nintendo Switch The Legend of Zelda: Legend Breath The Wild: Estimated domestic sales: 193,060 copies * Number of downloaded version not included
The Nintendo Switch went on to sale 1.5 million units worldwide on its first week since launch causing for Nintendo to predict a 2 million unit sale by the end of the fiscal year (April 1st). Whether the Nintendo Switch will equal the success the Wii had is yet to be seen. After all, the Wii U had a strong launch as well comparable to that of the Wii. However, as we all know, the Wii U went onto sale only a little over 12 million units in its lifespan while the Wii sold over 100 million units worldwide during its lifespan.
Wii U, you had so much potential.
While the Nintendo Switch is enjoying a strong launch, it hasn't been without problems. Just like the Wii 11 years ago, the Nintendo Switch has become nearly impossible to find. The Wii would sell out almost instantaneously for its first 18 months of lifespan, and just like back then, the Switch's inventory clears from stores within hours, which prompts people to become desperate to find one pushing them to find them on the re-seller market. This forces people to pay two to three times the retail price of the console, and costs Nintendo market revenue.
Low inventory is the least of Nintendo's problems. The Switch has been plagued with technical problems such as the infamous left Joy-Con connectivity issues, dock scratching screens, and now people are complaining of consoles warping due to overheating. Even though the jury is still out to determine if the latter issue is more of a user mishandling issue or a manufacturing issue, the fact that these issues are expressed by more than one person out there, it can't be good marketing for Nintendo.
First the Joy-Cons, what's next? Warping?... oh wait. (Via Reddit)
Whether Nintendo admits it or not, there a lot riding on the Nintendo Switch's success. Nintendo's main business is a hardware and software developer. For Nintendo, the only way to bring the full experience of its IP's is by creating their own hardware that can maximize the experience of such software. The Wii might have had Nintendo laughing all the way to the bank, but the Wii U became a wake up call for Nintendo. It reminded them that, just because they were able to succeed with game experience vs. raw power, it doesn't mean that such formula will always work and it is good to integrate basic concept with innovation. And that's what the Nintendo Switch is.
Whether the Nintendo Switch will reach the success of Wii, is hard to say. Nintendo has a strong concept with the Switch. All we can do now is just game and watch.