After the lackluster performace of the Wii U, fans and critics alike were wondering if Nintendo was at risk of going the way of Sega, and would have to transition into a 3rd party developer due to the tremendous costs of R&D for consoles. Games such as Pokémon GO and Super Mario Run appeared to be foreshadowing rather than an experimential investment into the mobile market.
Today, Nintendo released financial numbers to put such speculation to rest. Four months into its lifecycle since March 3 2017, the Nintendo Switch is currently sitting at 4.7 million units sold. To put things into perspective, the Wii U launched during the Christmas window in 2012 and only sold 3.47 million units in its first four months; the console did not break four million units until the 10-month mark. This means that the Switch is off to a strong start, and is on pace to eclipse the Wii U’s grand total of 10.6 million units before year’s end.
This is also not an instance where cynics can say that the Switch is lacking in game sales, as speculators once derided of the Wii. Thus far, there is no such evidence of shovelware, as we have covered more than a few quality indie releases on the Switch. Of course, Nintendo’s first-party output is what has made the company famous. Thus far, the Switch has moved 3.60 million copies of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and 3.92 million copies of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Those attach rates are insane—if someone owns a Switch, they own at least one of those games. 1,2 Switch has sold 1.22 million while Nintendo’s newest IP, ARMS, has already sold 1.8 million copies since its June 16, 2017 release date.
It is safe to say that the Switch is here to stay, though it will be interesting to see what third party/AAA developers bring over to the console. We know that Skyrim is coming, but that is a game from 2011. Blizzard is on record for wilting at the suggestion of an Overwatch port, alarming news which generated no little controversy in gaming news, for Blizzard’s world-famous multiplayer FPS was designed to target low-spec systems raising serious questions of the Switch’s power and capabilities. Time will tell if the Switch will benefit from the latest Call of Duty or Wolfenstein, but Nintendo and Switch owners alike might not have to care about a 3rd party ecosystem if the Pokémon RPG listed here delivers in 2018. Some gamers, present company included, have been wating generations for a console-caliber Pokémon game, and it would sell like crazy.
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