Nintendo's Switch is on track to pass SNES total sales later this year
The hybrid console is selling well, but company profits are downBy Adrian Potoroaca
Bottom line: Nintendo Switch sales are still going strong and the recently released Super Mario Maker 2 has been a massive hit, selling 2.42 million copies in just a few days. The company hopes to sell 16 million Switches until March 2020, and there's no reason why it couldn't.
Two years ago, when Nintendo made the inspired decision to launch its tablet-like console, it all looked like a risky bet, in part because it relied mostly on first party games. That changed over time, thanks in part to the popularity of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Today, the company says it has sold a grand total of 36.9 million units since release, with 2.13 million making their way into people's hands in the second quarter this year. That's a 13 percent increase compared to the same period last year, but look at it from a different angle and you have an operating profit of 27.4 billion yen ($252 million), down over 10% year over year.
Nintendo chalks it down to "exchange losses and other factors," but there are a few ways the company can improve its financial situation in the coming quarters. First, there's an upgraded Switch coming in August that will have longer battery life, and then there's a less expensive, handheld-only Switch Lite that should be dropping in September.
The $199 Switch Lite is presumably a replacement for the Nintendo 3DS as an entry model in the Nintendo ecosystem, with the latter seeing a sharp decline of 45% and 49% in the hardware and software departments respectively. Interestingly enough, Nintendo is partnering with Tencent to drive more sales in China, where consumers are typically more price-sensitive.
Nintendo is also fleshing out the Switch game library for the coming months with titles like Luigi's Mansion 3, Link's Awakening and Pokemon Sword and Shield. And with third party developers like CD Projekt Red bringing in The Witcher 3 to the Switch, the console should be appealing enough to keep selling like hotcakes.