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Forums - Sales Discussion - Switch can't/won't outsell DS because...........

Bofferbrauer2 said:

I agree for the most part. Just the part about Japan's sales doesn't really seem all that justified considering how frontloaded the DS was there. Switch should be catching up starting this year as the sales came down quite a bit in it's 4th year while the Switch is still climbing, coronavirus notwithstanding. If it can fully catch up there, that's another question, but the gap should start to shrink this year. Same goes for your comparison with the 3DS in Japan, which the Switch is close to guaranteed by now to overtake considering how the 3DS dropped off in his 4th year, too. I do expect Switch to land around 27-32M LT sales in Japan, which wouldn't be far behind the DS's total.

Just one thing that could play in the Switch's favor though that you possibly missed or just forgot to mention: The fact that console generations are getting longer. It could result into the Switch having a longer shelf life than the DS did, meaning it could creep up on the DS to the end of it's career when DS sales were already very low. DS had 6 very good years but dropped off like a rock afterwards; if the Switch could sell for, say, 7 good years (15M+ each year until 2023 included) and a slower decline afterwards, it could do it.

But like you said, chances are extremely slim. Without a shelf life similar to that of the Gameboy or the NES, I don't think Switch could do it.

Console generations got slightly longer for PlayStation & Xbox. Going by U.S. release dates, the PS2 was released five years after the PS2, the PS3 was released six years after the PS2, the PS4 was released seven years after the PS3, and the PS5 is scheduled for release seven years after the PS4. The 360 was released four years after the Xbox, the XBO was released eight years after the 360 (the longest gap between home consoles among the Big Four), and the XSX is scheduled for release seven years after the XBO.

With Nintendo, the longest gap for their home consoles has been six years, which was between the Wii and Wii U, with five being the average. Aside from the anomalously long lifespan of the Game Boy (~12 years between it and the GBA), the gaps were more or less consistent with what we see with home consoles, with a short 3-½ year gap between the GBA and DS, a nearly 6-½ year gap between the DS and 3DS, and (if you want to count it) a six-year gap between the 3DS and Switch.

Realistically, we ought to not expect the Switch's successor any later than early 2024, probably 2023 most likely. That gives it another 3-4 years of primary life. Even if we grant it another five years, to beat the DS the Switch would still have to have implausibly high growth over the next couple of years. The Switch's current sales levels and what growth we've seen out of it simply don't seem very encouraging for it to be able to sell the staggering quantity it would need to sell to close the gap with the DS. Barring some significant sales growth this year, I don't see it doing much more than 120M globally, and that's what I'd consider optimistic.



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peachbuggy said:
DonFerrari said:

Perhaps you are reading from a different POV (I actually agree with your point though).

I believe he is talking about a subset of people (that do exist in VGC) that have a PC/PS4Pro/X1X and already bought and played let's say Witcher 3 to the end, and gone and bought it again for Switch to play on the go, and he is challenging that. I can understand both the person that have a long commute and like to use his Switch on that and people that want the best performance possible. But I to have a hard time validating rebuying the game just to play it on a small screen with a lot of noise and interruption. If it was me (I don't because I drive my car instead of enjoying public transportation) I would play some of the exclusives of Switch on the go (the ones where 30min session would be satisfying) others on the dock and everything else on the other system I have (talking about people that have more than 1 system).

Maybe you're right and I just misread the POV. I just thought that, considering this thread is about sales that his point was justifying why sales couldn't  reach a certain level but maybe I am seeing it wrong :P

Yep, lack of power, 3rd party games having better graphics in other consoles or several AAA ports not being made won't really be what decides if/when Switch pass 100M or reach 120M sales.



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At this point I'm not even sure if it will surpass Wii sales, let alone DS

Last edited by IcaroRibeiro - on 07 March 2020

IcaroRibeiro said:
At this point I'm not even sure if they will surpass Wii sales, let alone DS

If they make a Switch mini that is the size of a 2DS/3DS XL that you could actually fit in your pocket then it would easily pass Wii sales.  It would have been nice to have it for release of Animal Crossing.  Switch Lite might be a little more portable but I don't consider anything truly portable till I can put it in a pocket.



If they make a Switch mini that is the size of a 2DS/3DS XL that you could actually fit in your pocket then it would easily pass Wii sales.  It would have been nice to have it for release of Animal Crossing.  Switch Lite might be a little more portable but I don't consider anything truly portable till I can put it in a pocket.

Agree. But also a new version of the original console with a more powerful hardware and battery might help a bit



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IcaroRibeiro said:

If they make a Switch mini that is the size of a 2DS/3DS XL that you could actually fit in your pocket then it would easily pass Wii sales.  It would have been nice to have it for release of Animal Crossing.  Switch Lite might be a little more portable but I don't consider anything truly portable till I can put it in a pocket.

Agree. But also a new version of the original console with a more powerful hardware and battery might help a bit

I think both will come in due time. I expect 2021 for both, with a more powerful yet more efficient Tegra (probably based on a Quadcore Carmel Processor and Turing GTX GPU) for a "Pro"model and a downclocked version (to OG Switch portable performance) of that chip to be the basis of a Switch mini.



IcaroRibeiro said:

At this point I'm not even sure if it will surpass Wii sales, let alone DS

[img]https://www.vgchartz.com/articles_media/images/january-2020-sales-3-2.png[/img

The Wii’s drop will be much worse than the Switch



IcaroRibeiro said:

At this point I'm not even sure if it will surpass Wii sales, let alone DS

Switch ain't too far behind, and next year the Wii will go from 300k weekly in January to 150k weekly in October. Switch may not reach those 300k, but will certainly stay above these 150k, and the Wii is only going further downhill from there.



IcaroRibeiro said:

At this point I'm not even sure if it will surpass Wii sales, let alone DS

While you may be right, global aligned sales never tell the whole story. First off, the Switch was released in March instead of the holidays like the Switch was, so depending on what time of year these LTD comparisons are it could make the Switch look better or worse than the Wii. So, let's look at the Switch on a regional level, and lets ignore the Wii's launch holiday to compare the Switch's 2017 to the Wii's 2007, etc.

In the U.S., the Switch is trailing the Wii considerably. The Wii sold 26M in the 2007-2009 period, while the Switch sold 17M in the 2017-2019 period. That's a considerable deficit of 9M units, or nearly 35% fewer in percentage terms. However, the Wii started to decline quickly after 2009, dropping to 7.07M in 2010, 4.54M in 2011, and just under 2M in 2012. If the Switch can manage at least flat sales this year and a slower drop-off than the Wii, it could start to narrow the deficit some over the next few years. Still, the Wii sold over 41M units in the U.S., so the Switch has an uphill battle to reach that total. It's possible, but I think a more likely outcome is somewhere in the 35M to 37.5M range (probably closer to the lower end), a narrower gap numerically than the present, but still far from the Wii's total.

In Europe we see the same story. Assuming VGC's figures are reasonably close, the Switch is selling at a much slower rate than the Wii was. After three years, the Switch isn't quite up to 14M in the region, while the Wii sold over 20M units at the end of 2009 (even excluding launch holiday). That's a comparable deficit in percentage terms to the one in the U.S. Assuming European sales stay roughly proportional to U.S. sales, then we're probably looking at around 30M in the region, plus or minus a couple of million.

In Japan, however, the Switch is blowing the Wii out of the water. With 12.3M units sold so far, it's already close to surpassing the Wii's lifetime tally of around 12.7M. The Switch was initially selling slower than the 3DS, but now it's closing the gap, and I think it's likely that the Switch will at least close the gap before the end of its life. So, let's assume 24-25M for Japan.

Between the three major regions, I think 90M is a likely final total. Add in RoW figures and that could bring it up to 100-105M. If the Switch beats the Wii, I think it will be a relatively slim margin of victory, though if it doesn't pass the Wii I also think the margin of defeat will be relatively slim. In either case, it will come down to whether Japanese sales can make up for the deficit in the West.

This is of course barring some unexpected strong future growth for the Switch, but as I've explained in past posts I think that's a highly unlikely outcome. Beating the DS, though, is definitely right out. There's being bullish on sales numbers, and then there's unrealistic expectations.



DS was somewhat of a lightning in a bottle type phenom, especially in Japan where it just caught fire. So no I don't think Switch will outsell DS, especially given the hardware's slew of models and handheld-exclusive focus. Still, I do think it has a good shot of getting closer than most think. Its library is already ridiculous, and its portable nature/multiple models means that some will likely opt for multiple Switches in the household. You also have the price drop factor, which Nintendo hasn't even had to bust out yet. I could definitely see something like 125-140 million when it's all said and done.



 

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