Nintendo has sold 2.74 million Switches to date, the first official number released by the company by way of its FY 2016 earnings report, released on Thursday. The total hardware units sold have also led to decent game sales – 5.46 million total across the library, but Zelda: Breath of the Wild looks to be the only real breakout hit for the console with 2.76 million Switch units sold, and 3.84 million sales total across both Wii U and Switch versions.
That’s right; Zelda for Switch sold more units than the Switch itself. That likely means there have been at least a few anticipatory purchases, from users who likely plan to get the console but couldn’t yet, as supply constraints continue to persist. That sustained demand is a good sign for the Switch, and likely partly responsible for its expectation that it’ll sell around 10 million during its next full fiscal year, which ends in April 2018.
For context, the Wii U sold around 13 million Wii U consoles total at the end of last year, which would mean Switch catches up with just a year on shelves, if Nintendo’s estimates prove accurate. The main element dictating whether it maintains steam after that revolve around whether Nintendo can keep software and game release momentum going; the only other game it mentions in its earnings release top-line note about the Switch is 1-2-Switch, and all it says on the subject is that the strange party game has been “generating buzz.”
Both revenue and operating profit were down for Nintendo’s 2016 vs its fiscal 2015, by 3 percent and 11 percent respectively. But Switch was a late-stage hit for the company, and the game maker also made reference to a few other placed bets that incurred cost but didn’t lead immediately to huge revenue impact, including its successful Super Mario Run and Fire Emblem mobile game launches.
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