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28 April 2017, 01:18 | Muriel Sparks
Nintendo said Thursday it expects to sell 10 million units of the new Switch game console over the next year, as it bets big on the successor to its poor-selling Wii U.
The strong launch for Switch is a relief for Nintendo, which has seen sales and its strength in the industry faltering since the Wii U launched in 2012.
Nintendo also revealed that its more affordable 3DS console is continuing to sell well, with 7.27 million units sold over the past fiscal year, an increase of 7% year-on-year. That forecast is less than analysts were expecting. Nintendo gambled on a hybrid design that allows the Switch to play games on the big screen TV at 1080p when docked, and also on the go with a built-in 6.2-inch 720p multi-touch display. Now the early success of the Switch has fueled hope of a long-term earnings recovery and sent the firm's share price about 20 percent higher since the console's March debut.
Based on the hype around the console, initial reviews and the fact that some are calling the new Zelda game the greatest game ever created, the Nintendo Switch appears to be in a very solid position right now. In particular, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has won huge popularity with recorded sales of 2.76 million units (the total units sold including the Wii U version is 3.84 million units) and 1-2-Switch has been generating buzz. Ono projects annual sales of the Switch will grow for the next three years from 8.7 million in 2018 to 18 million in 2020. Sales have actually increased over the a year ago, most likely due to popular titles like Pokemon Sun & Moon. Those specifically mentioned by Nintendo are Pokemon Sun and Moon, with combined sales of 15.44 million, Super Mario Maker for 3DS with 2.34 million units and Kirby: Planet Robobot with 1.36 million units.
With the Switch off to a strong start and production increased, Nintendo believes it will sell another 10 million units in the next year. Downloads for Fire Emblem were less than one-tenth of that figure, but Fire Emblem earned more than Mario through in-game purchases.
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Aside from these games, Ratalaika Games have a number of games out on other systems and they have confirmed they are looking at porting those to Switch as well, so be on the lookout for future announcements regarding these titles as well. Nintendo said the NES Classic launched to "widespread popularity". Third-party developers have also announced major titles for Nintendo 3DS. Net profit was helped by Yen64.5 billion from selling part of the stake in the Seattle Mariners operator it owned.
Will the Switch change Nintendo's outlook?
Switch's future hinges on whether Nintendo can provide a continued stream of attractive game titles, said Hideki Yasuda, an analyst at Ace Research Institute in Tokyo. "Pikmin in June and July", the report says regarding 3DS.
Following today's release of financial results for the 2016 fiscal year, Nintendo CEO Tatsumi Kimishima spoke as usual with shareholders and journalists to comment on the state of the company. During this period we will continue striving to maintain the momentum of the platform and to reach a broader audience, including females and children, across the world.
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