The Switch has proven it's a massive success as the Switch selling 120M-140M in its lifetime is becoming more likely at this point, especially with the Switch potentially having the greatest selling console year of all time with potentially 30M+ sold in 2020 in it's fourth year, which is unprecedented.
With that being said, it still seems far fetched to think the Switch could sell as high as 150M globally like the PS2 and DS since we gotta see if the Switch could perform as well in the later years in the market, which for the most part is unlikely to happen for a console, but given how unpredictable and successful the Switch has been since launch, we certainly can't rule out the possibility.
So what do you think Nintendo needs to do in the future to be able to reach 150M sold with the Switch?
So here are a list of some of the things in my opinion Nintendo needs to do to potentially reach 150M sold with Switch:
#1 Double Down on Casual Experiences: While games like Mario, Zelda, Pokémon will certainly help Switch sales in the future, I don't think those games alone will be enough for the Switch to sell 150M sold worldwide since those games don't really appeal to casual non-gamers and it's likely that most people interested in those franchises already purchased a Switch. What Nintendo needs to do to reach 150M sold is to appeal to non-gamers and double down on their "blue ocean strategy" by doubling down on games that might appeal to a soccer mom or grandma for example, since literally the market for non-gamers is limitless and obtaining small portion of that market is huge. I felt like one of the primary reasons the PS2 and DS sold as well as they did was because they captured a large market of non-gamers with those devices. The DS released well before smartphones were a thing and the DS filled that void for casual gamers to play simple pick-up and play games on the go, the sales of Brain Age and Nintendogs on the DS proved that a good portion of the DS's sales were from casual gamers, the same ones who now play Candy Crush on their phones. With the PS2 while the PS2 didn't have games that really appealed to non-gamers, it had a very capable DVD player at the time and for many it seemed like the best value to get a PS2 since not only you got a DVD player, but an entire game console as well for a similiar price as a DVD player at the time, even non-gamers were willing to purchase it just cause of the value they perceived. For Nintendo to sell 150M with the Switch, they need to appeal to non-gamers by doubling down on casual experiences. Nintendo has really started to do this and quite succesfully with stuff like Animal Crossing and Ring Fit Adventure, which are both selling like hotcakes on Switch and are selling a ton of Switch's and we have to see how much of a lasting affect they have on Switch sales. However, Nintendo needs to keep doubling down on those casual experiences, maybe make a sequel to Wii Sports or find new gimmicks that could appeal to casual gamers. Add Netflix or an internet browser to make it more than just a games device. Simple stuff like that could go a long way in appealing to non-gamers.
#2 Release more hardware iterations: This should already be fairly obvious, hardware revisions, especially when it comes to handhelds could be huge when it comes to sales numbers. Hardware iterations might increase sales by encouraging the consumer to essentially buy the same brand twice just to experience a new iteration. Hardware iteration could also appeal to new consumers since a new hardware iteration might have a certain value or feature that might be a big enough of a selling point to get a consumer who was initially reluctant to get a console to get one just cause of a new iteration. I expect Nintendo to do this given how successful the Switch has been as Nintendo has a tendency to release multiple different iterations of the same console for successful consoles.
#3 Continue to market to weaker regions: In the United Sates and Japan, Nintendo has no problems selling and marketing the Switch in those regions. However, to have a good chance of selling 150M WW, you need to appeal to the other guys where your appeal is weaker, such as Eastern Europe or regions who don't play much consoles. China, Eastern Europe, and more are huge markets Nintendo can't miss out on capitalizing on. Nintendo has to distribute and market the Switch in weaker regions themselves rather than allow a poor distributor market their system. The PS2 is so successful mainly cause of how dominant it is in Europe and other regions, and if Nintendo could continue to capitalize on the "other guys", they'll have a good chance of selling 150M.
#4 More 3rd Party Experiences: While 3rd Party Support on the Switch for the most part been good, and even then I don't think 3rd Party games are a major reason why the Switch is selling. I still believe 3rd Party games could play a role in how much Switch's could be sold and the Switch is missing a few key franchises such as COD and GTA. If Nintendo could get more AAA 3rd Party ports from PS4/PS5 on the Switch, that could appeal to a market not into Nintendo games to get a Switch since they'd like to play their 3rd Party Games on the go. While the Switch has been successful, there's still a good portion of people who aren't interested in it because they aren't interested in Nintendo games as they only like their yearly Madden or COD. For the Switch to reach 150M units, it needs to appeal more to that crowd.
What do you guys think?
To the OP's points,
1) yes they should do more casual games of course. Turn Ring Fit into a series of several games to give those millions of Ring Fit players more fitness games to play and be able to market Switch as something with a full fitness lineup of games. Also obviously they should bring back the hugely popular Wii Sports. Port over Wii Sports Club from Wii U and add in Wii Sports Resort to it as well as an ultimate Wii Spots online combo. Bring back other casual games like Nintendogs and more that found success on the DS.
2) More hardware models for sure. But they've already apparently got an upgraded model coming next year. Assuming that is an upgraded hybrid model then I'd say the only thing they should add on later to the Switch family is a Switch Home for those people who want the premium experience the upgraded model has but don't care about portable play and want it cheaper.
3) Definitely Nintendo needs to keep pushing into new regions. They should be marketing the hell out of the Switch to try to get more sales in eastern europe where I guess Sony just completely dominates, though I guess a big part of that would be getting better soccer games on Switch. And of course push further into other regions as well.
4) The 3rd party output is getting better and better every year so I think this is already handled. Nintendo is probably never going to get a full slate of new AAA 3rd party games because 3rd parties just prefer to market games with the flashiest graphics so that means they will always go to the most powerful consoles, but 3rd parties are starting to come in pretty strong for Switch now so I'd say this is already solved.
What I'd say the need is:
Hardware: Switch Premium/Pro/whatever at $300 early next year, drop OG Switch to $250, add Switch Home at $200 maybe early 2022, and then early 2023 cut the price of everything to keep it real competitive as it starts getting late in Switch's lifecycle, and maybe just drop the OG model at that point. Have Lite/Home/Premium drop to $150/$170/$230 at that point.
Services: Add GB, GBA, and N64 to the Switch Online service. Make Switch more online-play friendly by allowing voice chat over the system itself instead of the bizarre mobile app thing, and finally get rid of friend codes so its easy to actually connect with people online, and allow messaging through the system as well so you can actually send your friends a message on the Switch about jumping into an online game. All this would just make Switch a more much serious system for online play, which a lot of people are interested in.
Software: Just pump out loads of great software. There are tons of Nintendo properties left to be put on Switch, and first new versions of Nintendo properties to put on Switch, and plenty of sequels games that could go on Switch. Jam pack next year full of great games like Mario 3D World, a Zelda Collection, BotW2, some sort of Pokemon game, Metroid Prime Trilogy, Wii Sports Online compilation, new Ring Fit, 2D Mario, Bayonetta 3, and more. Then continue packing the library with Nintendo IP in 2022 and 2023. In general, put out more big name casual games like Ring Fit, Wii Sports, Nintendogs, etc. Stop making mistakes like releasing Pikmin 3 Deluxe instead of a Pikmin Trilogy, leaving out Galaxy 2 from Mario 3D All-Stars, or releasing Mario 35 for only 6 months instead of allowing it to permanently add to the value of Switch Online. Embrace Nintendo's portables series like Golden Sun, Advance Wars, Mario & Luigi, WarioWare, etc and do portable-style version of Nintendo IP, like do a new 2D Zelda game, a new 2D Metroid - do smaller, cheaper, (and I'd say make them more experimental too) versions of big Nintendo franchises as kind of keeping that secondary line of games alive in the time of only one Nintendo system. Bring back abandoned series or put new effort into revitalizing waning series, like Fzero, Star Fox, and more. Bring out new versions of games that have so far only got a port, the start of a fresh Donkey Kong platformer series, the start of a fresh 2D Mario series, Pikmin 4, get Metroid Prime 4 out, maybe not Mario Kart 9 but something similar to Mario Kart like a Nintendo Racing Smash-style mashup game that has enough differentiation from Mario Kart like N64 had back with MK64 and DKR. Also sequels to major games like one more 3D Mario, perhaps a Pokemon remake and then a new generation later on (and apparently they are already making some sort of Pokemon collection of ports as well), a successor to Mario+Rabbids. Basically just pump out a ton of great Nintendo games for years to come. This could extend the life of the Switch before being replaced all the way to holiday 2024 or early 2025. Also start up the Nintendo Select's discounted games soon on Switch so people can get a variety of first party games at $30, some obvious games whose sales have slowed down and would benefit would be Arms, Splatoon, Mario Maker, Odyssey, Link's Awakening, Let's Go, DKC:TF, and several others. Also talk to 3rd parties about being competitive with game pricing - stuff like Witcher 3 and Elder Scrolls should not cost $60, old 3rd party ports should drop in price pretty quickly to match what they are on other systems.