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Forums - Sales Discussion - Switch Sales Predictions: Open Your Eyes - UPDATE: Switch LTD Shipments Reach 111.08m by June 30th, Forecast for Current Fiscal Year Remains at 21.0m

ZhugeEX said:
I like how this was written by Nintendo corporate.

+1 :)

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The Switch just needs games. The price and hardware will justify themselves once it has a better line-up. I suspect Nintendo held back a number of announcements for closer to Christmas. If I were them, I certainly wouldn't show my whole hand in January either.



RolStoppable said: 

1. "Nintendo's mindshare is on the decline."

Let's start with an obvious one. People aren't interested in Nintendo anymore. They have given up on them. But is this really true?

Since we are on a sales website, it stands to reason that we use sales data to make predictions. If we look at what Nintendo has done in the recent past, we won't get around their smartphone games which had a verifiably positive effect on Nintendo's hardware and software sales. When Nintendo announced that they would be making smartphones and provided their strategic outlook, people kept ignoring it and instead opted for the line of thinking that Nintendo is selling out or already planning their exit from the dedicated gaming hardware market. But instead things played out like Nintendo expected and the sales of their dedicated gaming hardware and software received notable boosts. Following the release of Pokémon Go, the 3DS won an NPD month out of nowhere and was up year-over-year in all following months. Japan showed a similar effect. For Europe we don't get any numbers, except for Nintendo's shipments; they were up too.

Nintendo's strategy for IP awareness is working. Nintendo's mindshare is on the rise.

I think this is a good point.  It also goes to show how expanding to other platforms is not a zero sum game for Nintendo.  However the boost from Pokemon GO was limited and followed a decline.  We can't really say that mindshare is up over the long term.

2. "Most Nintendo fans here don't like the Switch all that much."

This is expanded on with reasons like "price is too high" and "Nintendo fans want powerful hardware." But how many of those people are really worth listening too?

For starters, most of those people bought a Wii U for $350. At that point a red flag should go up, because we are on a sales website and can easily check whether or not someone's opinion is in line with actual market reception. Since the Wii U was a huge failure, anyone who thought that it was worth $300 isn't exactly the best person to talk to when it comes to judging price and value of a Nintendo console. Regarding powerful hardware, we have options to look at. Firstly, the GameCube is the best example of powerful Nintendo hardware; it was a failure. Secondly, if Nintendo fans truly valued powerful hardware, then each Nintendo home console should have comfortably outsold its handheld counterpart in each generation; sales data begs to differ.

An irrelevant minority shouldn't go into sales analysis, or at the very least should not be considered as representative of the majority.

So because many Nintendo fans on the forum were wrong about Wii U, we should now ignore the Nintendo fans predicting failure for Switch, but we should listen to the Nintendo fans predicting success for Switch.  Right....

Price matters, just look at 3DS start.

GC didn't do all that well, but it did a lot better than Wii U.  Sadly Switch is just Wii U 2 - another weak console with no new feature of mass appeal.

3. "Switch is screwed because people got burned by the Wii U. People don't trust Nintendo anymore."

A look at sales data should make it obvious that the majority of Nintendo fans skipped the Wii U altogether, so the only people who got burned by game delays and droughts are the ones who bought a Wii U. Everybody else didn't really give a damn about the Wii U to begin with and the only hard feelings that would have existed date back to over five years ago when Nintendo announced that they would make a piece of trash. Sane people do not hold grudges over video games forever.

Also worth of note, Nintendo is clearly rebranding itself. A new generation means that a company can get rid of baggage. GC being a failure didn't harm the Wii.

What kind of Nintendo fan skipped Wii U?

You have a set of people that will buy Nintendo no matter what, and you have a set that you have to convince.  It's not in any way a given that Switch can convince more people than Wii U.

4. "No Western multiplatform support means that Switch is dead on arrival."

Sales data of all previous Nintendo systems shows that multiplatform support, especially from the West, didn't play much of a role. Nintendo isn't like PS and Xbox, and people do not buy Nintendo systems to play PC ports. The most important games from America and Europe (important means that we can say they have a notable positive effect on Nintendo's hardware sales) that are still relevant today are IPs like LEGO, Skylanders and Just Dance. Nintendo has no trouble getting them anyway.

3rd party support, N64 and GC were all much better than Wii U, and so were their sales.  Weak hardware and not enough games make Wii U Nintendo's worst selling console.  Switch seems to be following the same path.

5. "The Switch launch lineup is weak."

For the love of Din, Farore and Nayru, take a look at sales data! Notice a pattern here? You are supposed to use numbers, not feelings, when making sales predictions. In March and April Nintendo will already have ticked the boxes for epic single player game (The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild) and massively popular multiplayer game for both online AND offline modes (Mario Kart 8 Deluxe). How many consoles in the past launched with such juggernauts?

"But Zelda and Mario Kart are on the Wii U."

What did I say about sales data? Use it, you simpleton. Not only was the Wii U a huge failure, but ports of great games have sold well on previous consoles. Market reception tells us that games like The Last of Us, Halo: The Master Chief Collection and, of course, Grand Theft Auto V are more desirable than almost all of the new stuff that has come out.

Zelda is a gewel in Switch's launch.  I also agree with you about the value of remasters.

However the fact that there are so few launch games overall makes it look like the console will be another WIi U - you'll get a few good Nintendo games a year and not much else.  Maybe more if they combine home & handheld game divisions - but Switch games are going to take more development than 3DS games.  If you really combine the units, expectations of Switch also have to be that much higher.

Also it's not in a bubble.  The Switch is launching mid-generation against consoles that have established libraries and are getting some big hits at the same time.

6. "Nintendo didn't show many of their own games. Looks like there will be Wii U-like droughts again."

You are too used to other console reveals where wild promises and announcements are made. All Nintendo games that were announced are scheduled for 2017. You are also oblivious to the fact that Switch will get all of Nintendo's games as Switch will be the only Nintendo console this generation. Droughts like on the Wii U are simply not going to happen.

Droughts not going to happen?  It looks pretty dry, and it's not clear what Nintendo plans to do.  They have said it's a home console.

7. "Nintendo can't sell a system primarily with their own games."

Ever heard of sales data? You can browse the topseller lists of all Nintendo systems here on VGC. Take a look at Nintendo's two most recent consoles:

There are ten unique IPs that sold more than 4m copies with individual installments. No other video game developer has such a varied and successful portfolio of IPs. Nintendo games have always been the main pillars for success, regardless of how many third party games were put on their platforms.

And yet Nintendo can't sell a system well with just their own games.  See "Wii U".

9. "Nintendo's addressable market is limited to Wii U and 3DS owners."

Oh man, this is the point where you really have to open your eyes and not be so narrow-minded. You let your personal feelings dictate your sales predictions. "Switch is expensive, doesn't have Western multiplatform games etc." You project your idea of what console gaming has to be on everyone else. You believe that people who do not own and want an eighth generation system (Wii U, 3DS, PS4, PSV, XB1) are not interested in consoles, period. You don't want to consider the possibility that all of the eighth generation systems might suck to a lot of people. I mean, look at the choices of the eighth gen: Nintendo does what they want with no respect for previous sales data, Sony and Microsoft offer dumbed down PC gaming, plus a handheld that doesn't get any games worth of note.

Now Switch comes and offers completely different values. A passionate gamer who couldn't care less about the crappy eighth gen could look at Nintendo's new console and say: "Zelda is a massive open world game again, that's right up my alley because that's the Zelda I loved. I can take this thing to my office, effortlessly set it up during breaks and rock games like Mario Kart, Bomberman and Street Fighter 2 with my colleagues. And it's only $300? Are you kidding me?"

The point is, the value evaluation for Switch in the real world will be very different to what is done on gaming forums where local multiplayer and leaving your house are frowned upon. In the real world the gaming of the NES and SNES days is highly valued. On gaming forums SNES games are considered worse than indie games, because "indie games are newer". Switch is set up to resonate strongly with the passionate gamer of the old days who nowadays has no console made for them. If you weren't so close-minded, you'd realize that Nintendo doesn't even need non-gamers to make Switch a big success. There is a large market that is not properly catered to, and that's the former gamer.

The addressable market for Switch will be 3DS + Wii U + all the gamers not on those + casuals.  The question is just how much it can capture, and it's likely going to total quite a lot less than 3DS + Wii U based on early appearances.

That's just my opinion, and so is your idea that so many fans skipped 3DS & Wii U only to be enchated by the Switch.  I don't see anything changing the dynamic Wii U had, which is that for most it can not fill the role of primary console.

My 8th gen collection

Anything could happen between now and then: Opinions seesawing up and down with cards still in play.

E3 and any Direct could end up creating sales by announcing anything, and the supply issue could easily be amended in April's shipments.

More than any console Nintendo's fate can be shaped by single games. A Pokemon release revived dying handhelds and kept them afloat since their inception and first party hits drive sales.

Nintendo games don't go down in price outside of real bad ones like Ultra Smash, Codename S.T.E.A.M, and Amiibo Festival. That's because they are always in demand, and sell for a lot longer than a lot of other games consistently.

The Switch's fate won't be clear until 2016's end, though E3 I feel will point in a direction or another.

The Democratic Nintendo that a paradox? I'm fond of one of the more conservative companies in the industry, but I vote Liberally and view myself that way 90% of the time?

This all sounds very much like Malstrom...anyway...

I have no idea how good (or bad) Switch will perform - my guess for WiiU was at least 30mil, I was quite wrong, and since I don't care for or follow handheld market, Switch is a mystery for me.

To me, Switch seems like a system made for specific audience, but not for western mainstream gamers. My concern with Nintendo, as usual, is their inability, although they have best systems for kids, to retain those kids once they grow up and want to play 3rd party games...they still love Nintendo IPs, but lack of 3rd party games, that are on other systems, pushes them away from Nintendo.

Will this matter for Switch? Honestly, I have no idea, it seems like system targeted at Nintendo fans and Japan in the first place, so I suppose not much.

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So much right in this post. I for one skipped the Wii U disaster altogether and I can't wait for March 3rd to pick up my Switch that has been pre-ordered and payed for in full.

We'll be able to test most of your assumptions probably by late summer into the fall. I will give you #5 though, pre-orders are doing pretty good so far, summer is usually pretty slow but the Switch will have Zelda, Splatoon 2 and Mario Kart 8 Remaster so it should do pretty decently after launch.

ZhugeEX said:
I like how this was written by Nintendo corporate.

This made me laugh far more than it should have.

Positivity regarding the Switch on VGC? I'm already in love.
I like your points. I really like your points. Now I'm running before the negativity hits once again

Anything can happen, the casual market is unpredictable, but I can't see people not buying a PS4/Xbox to buy a Swtich.

My guts tells me that it will be a flop.

Tim and The Princes...