Forums - Sales Discussion - May NPD 2020: Switch ~530K; PS4/XBO >150K

People keep on forgetting what type of Sales Wii was doing during 2008. What else was going on in 2008?
I personally don't think we've seen Switch at it's maximum sales potential, lets say they manufacture a huge amount of units for November & December. Put a temporary price at retail at $149 for Lite and $225 for Hybrid during Black Friday and December. Release some Christmas DLC for the biggest game - Animal Crossing, finally sorts our supply problems for Ring Fit Adventure, while having another 90+ Metacritic Breath of the Wild game.

I can't talk with certainty for North America but in Japan the demand won't' slow down in 2020. 



It would be pretty easy to envision them reach historic heights in North America Wii was able to hit during 2008.

To me, the more interesting thing to note is the 3rd party games that get revealed for the fall.

The companies with strong Switch support are poised to do well this year.



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MasonADC said:

you are aware that the switch is selling everything that is shipped in japan, right? The baseline literally can not go higher due to production issues. There are lotteries there and for what it seems, the switch is being prioritized in the West rather than in Japan. Animal crossing will probably be the second best selling game ever in Japan and has brought in a new market( as evident by the rise of splatoon).

I didn't know the Switch was still supply-constrained in Japan, but if it is then that's even less of a reason to think that Animal Crossing will be a long-term system-seller there, at least in a way that would be detectable in the data. Yes, the game itself will keep selling for a long time just like other big Nintendo titles that just keep selling (MK8D, Splatoon 2, and Smash 5 have stayed in the Top 10 despite their age), but A) its long-term sales will always be much lower than in the initial wave, and B) its ability to keep selling copies does not translate to capacity to keep moving hardware. Over time, the impact of a single game's ability to move hardware diminishes, normally only causing an increase in hardware sales for a few weeks; such an increase manifests as a big initial spike followed by diminishing HW sales that settle back down to baseline levels. Normally, HW sales are back down to baseline in 5-6 weeks, usually sooner. Most people that got a Switch just to play AC have done so by now.

And in all but two cases that I can find, a single game just doesn't have the capacity to cause a measurable long-term increase in baseline sales. The only clear example I've seen in the sales data from Japan was Splatoon for the Wii U. FF7 was the lone example in the U.S., and it initiated the start of a massive increase in PS1 sales in the latter third of 1997 (though it's hard to say how many people bought a PS1 just for FF7; apparently it sold about 3M copies lifetime in the U.S., over 500k in just September '97 alone, while the PS1 itself sold 30M copies, so it was probably more of an indirect system-seller in that it helped draw significant attention to the system and its larger library and lower software prices). Aside from those two games, every other increase in baseline sales in both regions, for both handhelds and home systems, was associated with a price cut and/or new hardware model.

Considering that sort of track record for games to have long-term capacity to boost sales, I doubt AC:NH would be able to affect months-long increases to baseline sales even if stock wasn't an issue. It may have had a somewhat longer effect than normal due to the absolute size of the initial spike, but even then now that the game is three months old the baseline likely would have settled back down to the pre-AC level by this point. Supposedly, Switch production is returning to normal, so we'll have to see what sales look like over the next few months, but I'm honestly not expecting some dramatic increase in baseline sales beyond what it's been averaging since the release of the Lite. Maybe 60-75k on average until the holidays. I know some people have been very bullish on the Switch, but I am tempering my expectations. I'm not expecting it to completely drop off a cliff any time soon (though I think a noticeable YoY drop next year is likely), but neither am I expecting it to smash all sales records.



Shadow1980 said:
MasonADC said:

you are aware that the switch is selling everything that is shipped in japan, right? The baseline literally can not go higher due to production issues. There are lotteries there and for what it seems, the switch is being prioritized in the West rather than in Japan. Animal crossing will probably be the second best selling game ever in Japan and has brought in a new market( as evident by the rise of splatoon).

I didn't know the Switch was still supply-constrained in Japan, but if it is then that's even less of a reason to think that Animal Crossing will be a long-term system-seller there, at least in a way that would be detectable in the data. Yes, the game itself will keep selling for a long time just like other big Nintendo titles that just keep selling (MK8D, Splatoon 2, and Smash 5 have stayed in the Top 10 despite their age), but A) its long-term sales will always be much lower than in the initial wave, and B) its ability to keep selling copies does not translate to capacity to keep moving hardware. Over time, the impact of a single game's ability to move hardware diminishes, normally only causing an increase in hardware sales for a few weeks; such an increase manifests as a big initial spike followed by diminishing HW sales that settle back down to baseline levels. Normally, HW sales are back down to baseline in 5-6 weeks, usually sooner. Most people that got a Switch just to play AC have done so by now.

And in all but two cases that I can find, a single game just doesn't have the capacity to cause a measurable long-term increase in baseline sales. The only clear example I've seen in the sales data from Japan was Splatoon for the Wii U. FF7 was the lone example in the U.S., and it initiated the start of a massive increase in PS1 sales in the latter third of 1997 (though it's hard to say how many people bought a PS1 just for FF7; apparently it sold about 3M copies lifetime in the U.S., over 500k in just September '97 alone, while the PS1 itself sold 30M copies, so it was probably more of an indirect system-seller in that it helped draw significant attention to the system and its larger library and lower software prices). Aside from those two games, every other increase in baseline sales in both regions, for both handhelds and home systems, was associated with a price cut and/or new hardware model.

Considering that sort of track record for games to have long-term capacity to boost sales, I doubt AC:NH would be able to affect months-long increases to baseline sales even if stock wasn't an issue. It may have had a somewhat longer effect than normal due to the absolute size of the initial spike, but even then now that the game is three months old the baseline likely would have settled back down to the pre-AC level by this point. Supposedly, Switch production is returning to normal, so we'll have to see what sales look like over the next few months, but I'm honestly not expecting some dramatic increase in baseline sales beyond what it's been averaging since the release of the Lite. Maybe 60-75k on average until the holidays. I know some people have been very bullish on the Switch, but I am tempering my expectations. I'm not expecting it to completely drop off a cliff any time soon (though I think a noticeable YoY drop next year is likely), but neither am I expecting it to smash all sales records.

you are wrong, Nintendo switch, until now, is severe supply problems. Lotteries anywhere. The sales are not in decline or become or same status to the pre-AC level. The sales is bigger than same period now, with supply problems. 

The covid problem helps, but is not the mainline driver. Animal Crossing is. 

Last edited by Agente42 - on 23 June 2020

Agente42 said:

you are wrong, Nintendo switch, until now, is severe supply problems. Lotteries anywhere. The sales are not in decline or become or same status to the pre-AC level. The sales is bigger than same period now, with supply problems. 

The covid problem helps, but is not the mainline driver. Animal Crossing is. 

The thing is, it will forever be impossible to know what the HW sales in the weeks immediately following AC's release would have been had the outbreak never been a thing. If there is suppressed demand, well, we should see some indication of that in sales data in the not-too-distant future when supply gets back to normal. Even then, it could be hard to say if it's simply just general demand that's been pent up, or it it's due to AC. But there is one thing we know absolutely for certain: Only one game ever in the history of the Japanese market—ONE, out of however many tens of thousands of console games released since Famitsu started tracking sales—has caused a boost to hardware sales lasting for more than two months, and it was for a system with already poor sales. There is absolutely no proof that AC could have been a long-term system-seller. It may have ended up being a bigger short-term system-seller. The data clearly shows that it had that potential, seeing that it produced the best non-holiday, non-launch week ever for any system in Japan. But its popularity as a game or its ability to move hardware in the short term doesn't guarantee that it would keep moving a large enough number of units for month after month to be noticeable in the data. Just because someone thinks it could doesn't mean it actually could.

It seems like some people are attributing near-mystical attributes to the Switch's ability to sell, and the ability of its games to boost its sales, and to just generally violate any and all historical precedent or other notions of how and why consoles sell what they do. Well, sorry, but it doesn't work that way. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and in this case there is no way to produce evidence that AC would have been only the second game ever to be a long-term system-seller in Japan. It's just not possible with the available data. But every single bit of historical precedent indicates that AC would have only been a factor in the short term. The Switch is a great system with great games, but it still obeys the same "rules of sales" as every other system.

And in the U.S. the data shows that the COVID effect is the primary driver. I've already gone over that. If you have proof that AC is the primary driver in the recent spike in the U.S., well, let's see it. Otherwise, all you have is assertions, and assertions are not the same thing as facts. And since I'm not interested in arguments not backed by data, if you have none then we're done here.



i think you are forgetting that animal crossing is basically the number one biggest IP in japan, with new leaf and wild world both being the best selling games of their generations domestically. it is absolutely as rare as you say that a game causes such a significant and extended boost to hardware sales, but if anything is an exception, it is animal crossing.

i have zero doubt that without corona, new horizons would still handily become switch's number one title, and thus have a bigger, more pronounced effect on hardware than any other switch game.



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If a poster can't comprehend how the biggest game of all time in Japan can move hardware or how a game that appeals to female games can be the main cause of a spike of demand for the Nintendo Switch, I don't think it's worth your time to argue with him.

"Assertions", nope dude it's a game that is going to break all the records by the end of its first calendar year on the market. Comparing this to Splatoon on the Wii U, isn't the aptest comparison because there is actually no comparison for how well New Horizon is doing in a non-holiday quarter or how well Switch is selling compared to Wii U. Although COVID could be a major impact for the video game industry in Europe and North America - in Japan it was a non-factor. 

FAMITSU TOP SELLING GAMES JAPAN ALL TIME(physical):

10. Animal Crossing: New Leaf (3DS) - 5.067.988

11. Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Switch) - 4.860.488

12. Monster Hunter Freedom 3 (PSP) - 4.850.000

TOP 15 Switch Famitsu 2020(w/out New Horizon):

  1. Pokemon Sword / Shield - 632.934
  2. Ring Fit Adventure - 510.430
  3. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - 327.445
  4. Smash Ultimate - 272.264
  5. Minecraft - 267.961
  6. Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX - 258.185
  7. Dr. Kawashima's Brain Training for Nintendo Switch - 212.375
  8. Super Mario Party - 203.628
  9. Splatoon 2 - 202.582
  10. Luigi's Mansion 3 - 147.436
  11. Super Mario Maker 2 -124.901
  12. Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games: Tokyo 2020 - 119.007
  13. One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 - 117.954
  14. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - 116.147
  15. Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition - 115.525

TOTAL: 3.628.774



Shadow1980 said:
Agente42 said:

you are wrong, Nintendo switch, until now, is severe supply problems. Lotteries anywhere. The sales are not in decline or become or same status to the pre-AC level. The sales is bigger than same period now, with supply problems. 

The covid problem helps, but is not the mainline driver. Animal Crossing is. 

But there is one thing we know absolutely for certain: Only one game ever in the history of the Japanese market—ONE, out of however many tens of thousands of console games released since Famitsu started tracking sales—has caused a boost to hardware sales lasting for more than two months, and it was for a system with already poor sales.

What game are you alluding to there? FF VII or Splatoon? Because afaik both pushed their respective consoles to new longer term heights in terms of sales.

In any case, I can turn your argument against you: Just because you think it can't because only one game according to your data had given a console a 2 months+ sales push and think that this couldn't possibly happen again doesn't mean it can't happen again.



Bofferbrauer2 said:
Shadow1980 said:

But there is one thing we know absolutely for certain: Only one game ever in the history of the Japanese market—ONE, out of however many tens of thousands of console games released since Famitsu started tracking sales—has caused a boost to hardware sales lasting for more than two months, and it was for a system with already poor sales.

What game are you alluding to there? FF VII or Splatoon? Because afaik both pushed their respective consoles to new longer term heights in terms of sales.

In any case, I can turn your argument against you: Just because you think it can't because only one game according to your data had given a console a 2 months+ sales push and think that this couldn't possibly happen again doesn't mean it can't happen again.

Can you name a game that actually is impacted hardware almost a year after release? Hint it’s an rpg that you have to do workouts to atk and move with and it’s on the NSW now



Bofferbrauer2 said:

What game are you alluding to there? FF VII or Splatoon? Because afaik both pushed their respective consoles to new longer term heights in terms of sales.

In any case, I can turn your argument against you: Just because you think it can't because only one game according to your data had given a console a 2 months+ sales push and think that this couldn't possibly happen again doesn't mean it can't happen again.

Splatoon. It caused a significant increase in baseline Wii U sales from its release in late May 2015 through to the remainder of the year. So, we're talking about a period of just over six months where there was an increase in sales over the previous baseline (and YoY) that appears attributable to just a single game.

FF7's effect in Japan appears less pronounced than in the U.S. The PS1 was already out for ten months in Japan before it came out in the U.S., and three separate price cuts created continuous growth, culminating in a strong holiday in 1996. While it wasn't exactly posting huge numbers for 1996 as a whole, there was still major growth over 1995, and it was already utterly outclassing the N64, which was nearly dead on arrival in Japan.

There was a spike the week FF7 came out, then a drop for two weeks, then several weeks of grow culminating in a big week in Week 13 (even bigger than FF7 week), then sales began to drop off to a much lower baseline (with a mid-year spike associated with SaGa Frontier and Derby Stallion, which were popular titles for the PS1 in Japan). The growth from weeks 8-14 (with the big spike in Week 13) doesn't appear to be associated with any other game, so that is likely due to FF7 (maybe there were stock issues that kept the early rush depressed?).

So FF7 does appear to have affected sales for about 2-3 months (a bit longer than the norm, but vastly shorter than the Splatoon boost we would see 18 years later), but by roughly around mid-spring of 1997 sales were at a baseline roughly on par to where they were in Q3 1996. December 1997 was the PS1's biggest December, but that was preceded by a price cut in November.

Meanwhile, in the U.S. the PS1 was struggling in 1996, and while price cuts did result in sales growth, it was getting beat by the N64 on through August 1997 (in fact, the N64 sold almost as much in just 14 weeks of 1996 as the PS1 did that entire year). Then FF7 was released in September, the PS1 experienced a huge jump in sales and completely left the N64 in the dust. In the 4-month period of Sept.-Dec. 1997, the PS1 nearly doubled its lifetime sales in the U.S., and it retained significant momentum on throughout 1998 (with the latter third of 1998 getting a boost from a price cut. There was nothing else besides FF7 that could explain that huge increase in sales and radical shift in market share. So, FF7 was absolutely instrumental in pushing the PS1 into the forefront in the U.S. That was an extremely unusual situation there, and nothing has ever replicated the FF7 effect in the U.S.

Individual games producing long-term hardware growth is just such an extremely rare phenomenon that I am absolutely skeptical that Animal Crossing could have had the same effect. With the way stock is in Japan, we may never know if it could have done what Splatoon did; sales later in the year once stock isn't an issue may give some indication, but it could be damn near impossible to tell if any growth is attributable directly to AC. In the U.S., the COVID-19 effect is clearly the predominant factor, at least for April & May. That doesn't mean AC couldn't have been just the third game ever to affect baseline sales in the long term, but you can't prove a negative.

With the available data on hand, the only proper answers to whether AC could have had a long-term effect on sales is "We don't know" for Japan and "Most likely not" for the U.S.



Shadow1980 said:
Bofferbrauer2 said:

What game are you alluding to there? FF VII or Splatoon? Because afaik both pushed their respective consoles to new longer term heights in terms of sales.

In any case, I can turn your argument against you: Just because you think it can't because only one game according to your data had given a console a 2 months+ sales push and think that this couldn't possibly happen again doesn't mean it can't happen again.

Splatoon. It caused a significant increase in baseline Wii U sales from its release in late May 2015 through to the remainder of the year. So, we're talking about a period of just over six months where there was an increase in sales over the previous baseline (and YoY) that appears attributable to just a single game.

FF7's effect in Japan appears less pronounced than in the U.S. The PS1 was already out for ten months in Japan before it came out in the U.S., and three separate price cuts created continuous growth, culminating in a strong holiday in 1996. While it wasn't exactly posting huge numbers for 1996 as a whole, there was still major growth over 1995, and it was already utterly outclassing the N64, which was nearly dead on arrival in Japan.

There was a spike the week FF7 came out, then a drop for two weeks, then several weeks of grow culminating in a big week in Week 13 (even bigger than FF7 week), then sales began to drop off to a much lower baseline (with a mid-year spike associated with SaGa Frontier and Derby Stallion, which were popular titles for the PS1 in Japan). The growth from weeks 8-14 (with the big spike in Week 13) doesn't appear to be associated with any other game, so that is likely due to FF7 (maybe there were stock issues that kept the early rush depressed?).

So FF7 does appear to have affected sales for about 2-3 months (a bit longer than the norm, but vastly shorter than the Splatoon boost we would see 18 years later), but by roughly around mid-spring of 1997 sales were at a baseline roughly on par to where they were in Q3 1996. December 1997 was the PS1's biggest December, but that was preceded by a price cut in November.

Meanwhile, in the U.S. the PS1 was struggling in 1996, and while price cuts did result in sales growth, it was getting beat by the N64 on through August 1997 (in fact, the N64 sold almost as much in just 14 weeks of 1996 as the PS1 did that entire year). Then FF7 was released in September, the PS1 experienced a huge jump in sales and completely left the N64 in the dust. In the 4-month period of Sept.-Dec. 1997, the PS1 nearly doubled its lifetime sales in the U.S., and it retained significant momentum on throughout 1998 (with the latter third of 1998 getting a boost from a price cut. There was nothing else besides FF7 that could explain that huge increase in sales and radical shift in market share. So, FF7 was absolutely instrumental in pushing the PS1 into the forefront in the U.S. That was an extremely unusual situation there, and nothing has ever replicated the FF7 effect in the U.S.

Individual games producing long-term hardware growth is just such an extremely rare phenomenon that I am absolutely skeptical that Animal Crossing could have had the same effect. With the way stock is in Japan, we may never know if it could have done what Splatoon did; sales later in the year once stock isn't an issue may give some indication, but it could be damn near impossible to tell if any growth is attributable directly to AC. In the U.S., the COVID-19 effect is clearly the predominant factor, at least for April & May. That doesn't mean AC couldn't have been just the third game ever to affect baseline sales in the long term, but you can't prove a negative.

With the available data on hand, the only proper answers to whether AC could have had a long-term effect on sales is "We don't know" for Japan and "Most likely not" for the U.S.

I got a better one, Ring Fit Adventure. Check out that game which is much better hardware pusher than Splatoon. Never been a game that’s been out for over 8 months and still sold out. OG model is still the one everyone trying to grab with RFA