There is no denying that Nintendo is succeeding with its hybrid Switch console. Despite only having launched last March, Nintendo had already moved five million units by the end of July. By October, it had sold another two million and analysts predicted that another seven million would be sold in the October to December Christmas rush, making for a total of more than 14 million sold.
While Nintendo has not yet released numbers for 2017, if analysts' predictions hold out, the Switch will have sold more units in its first year (which was only 10 months) than the Wii U sold over its entire lifespan. The success and positive reviews have been driving sales which have cause shortages on more than one occasion.
Because of its ongoing demand and success, developers are apparently getting more enthusiastic about creating games for it. According to a survey of 4,000 game developers at the Game Developers Conference (GDC), 12 percent of those polled will be making Switch games in 2018. In 2017, that number was only three percent. This swing is significant for Nintendo.
“The Switch is one of the banner takeaways, though the PC is strong,” said Simon Carless, a vice president at UBM Technology, which owns the GDC. “It’s relatively rare to see things swing so much.”
It is exciting to think that we will be seeing about four times as many games for the Switch in 2018 but more importantly, we should also start seeing developers optimizing for the system. With more developers working on titles for the platform comes advances in programming techniques that make games look and play better. Such advancements can only propel the platform to greater heights.
Nintendo’s best-selling system to date is the 3DS which has sold around 70 million units since it was released in 2011. That is an average of 10 million per year. It is still too early in the Switch’s life to tell how well it will do but if this positive trend continues, Nintendo will be on track to have its most successful gaming system ever.