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Nintendo Switch on Track to Break Sales Records

The Nintendo Switch is selling faster than the Wii or the PS4.
The Nintendo Switch is selling faster than the Wii or the PS4. / Photo courtesy of Nintendo

The Nintendo Switch has sold 84.59 million units in its 49 months on the market, according to new financial data Nintendo released Thursday. The console saw a 34.4% increase in sales between April 1, 2020 and March 21, 2021, up to $16.1 billion. Nintendo enjoyed an 85.7% net profit spike over that same period.

Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad says current sales trends put the Switch on track to cross 100 million unit sales faster than both the Wii and the PlayStation 4 did.

Nintendo has also sold 587.12 million Switch games since the platform's launch in 2017, with 36 games on its platform selling a million copies. Twenty-two of those games were Nintendo titles, indicating 14 were made by third-party developers. That's more million-unit sellers, and a higher number of third-party million sellers, than ever before.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons took the top spot at 20.85 million copies sold, while Super Mario 3D All-Stars sold 9.01 million copies and Ring Fit Adventure sold 7.38 million.

Analysis

Although the Switch will remain a strong seller, its boom may be on the way out. Nintendo lowered its financial forecast for 2021 to reflect predicted manufacturing troubles caused by the ongoing semiconductor shortage.

"The production of products might be affected by obstacles to the procurement of parts, including the increase in global demand for semiconductor components," Nintendo said. "The consolidated earnings forecast is based on the premise that we will be able to secure the parts needed for the manufacture of products in line with our sales plans."

COVID-19 may also disrupt Nintendo's business for the next year.

“Regarding the risk associated with COVID-19, while the impact on business results for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021 was limited, the supply of products might be affected if production and shipments are hindered,” the company said. “Other risk factors which are difficult to predict also continue to exist, involving areas such as development and marketing of products and services.”

Nintendo's most anticipated titles — Breath of the Wild 2, Bayonetta 3 and Metroid Prime 4 — still have no release dates. The company gave no indication of how far along in development they were, but working from home has forced delays across the industry. It's not hard to imagine Nintendo seeing similar struggles.