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Switch was down year over year by a single-digit percentage in January and February 2020 combined. In raw numbers, that was a deficit of around 50k units. But Animal Crossing was lined up for March and it was a foregone conclusion that it would draw in more female customers on a sustained basis because that's what the Animal Crossing series does. Switch was always bound to have higher sales in 2020 than in 2019. All one can argue is that it wouldn't have been 9m because the pandemic provided an additional boost, but 7m+ were always in the cards and virtually guaranteed to happen. After all, there was a good number of people here who expected Switch to be up year over year globally, so going above 20m for the year.

Switch having the best post-year-4 sales of a Nintendo system ever isn't a longshot at all when you consider how much things have changed, and I don't mean the pandemic here. It's Nintendo's only console, Nintendo reiterates that they are going for a longer lifecycle (which is supported by their actions, i.e. not issuing early price cuts) and Nintendo holds a monopoly in the handheld market which they've barely exploited up till now.

This isn't the first time that I've seen an argument along the lines of Switch being on a hard time limit, meaning it has basically just six years to sell and then it will all be quickly over. The fundamental reason why someone would believe that Switch can beat the DS is that Switch is set up to have a longer lifecycle than the DS. It isn't worrying if Switch can't keep pace with the DS when it's probable to make up a deficit in the long run. This isn't unlike a comparison with the Wii where Switch did not manage to keep pace, but by now is a lock to win the comparison anyway. The DS is a much higher bar than the Wii, but it's far from impossible.

Due to the pandemic and resulting stock issues, 2020 provides a broad range of monthly year over year comparisons. January and February 2021 should be up significantly in comparison to one year ago. Then this advantage will melt away quickly in March and April before 2021 rebounds against 2020's low stock months during summer. Nintendo launching a hardware revision in the second half of 2021 is probable. 2020's holiday quarter had a huge October, but only a moderate November and December. Since the bulk of sales occurs during the final two months of the year, Nintendo can finish strong by virtue of having a strong holiday title this year (which 2020 didn't have) and a more aggressive Black Friday deal than in the years before; so far Switch bundled with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe at $299 was as good as it got, so that's easy to undercut. 8m+ in 2021 shouldn't be too big of a challenge, although it's by no means a given.

If things were to go real bad for Switch in 2021, we'll see a price cut for its SKUs. But I don't think that's likely. Nintendo is going to reinvigorate interest with their hardware revision which at the current time I expect to replace the hybrid SKU at the same $299 price tag. In other words, a value-added price strategy instead of a price-cutting strategy. Other people fantasize about a premium SKU that will be priced above the current hybrid SKU, but I doubt that Nintendo wants to have three different SKUs concurrently this early in the lifecycle of Switch.

Legend11 correctly predicted that GTA IV (360+PS3) would outsell SSBB. I was wrong.

A Biased Review Reloaded / Open Your Eyes / Switch Shipments