By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use. Close

Forums - Sales Discussion - Is there a possibility that the Nintendo Switch will be the best-selling console?

It is possible but to achieve that level of sales you need to push for it.
Switch still has no price cut so it shows they will probably keep the console going for a long time.
We also can see, atleast in japan, that the Switch lite, although less expensive, is really far from being as attractive as the hybrid Switch. So a price cut has the potential to drive a lot of sales. Mainly knowing Nintendo's appeal is quite large and touch families and casual gamers more easily than others.
They could also release a new upgraded model. I feel like the pandemic will keep helping the gaming industry like in past recessions. I do think the Switch will have the advantage tho for being less expensive.
Predictions keep going up every year. We said 100 millions last year and now most expect 120 millions. I'm sure next year it might be more.
Nintendo keeps on surprising us with the Switch and i'm excited for what's coming later. But it will all come down to what the goal is for it. Will they profit of the Switch while it last since they have only one system or will they launch another one quickly by fear they will lose money if the sales go down too much ?

We'll see, atleast they don't have competition in the hybrid/market departement so we shouldn't see another GB/DS scenario. The Switch also doesn't feel as dated as the Wii did in the HD era, which was quickly rejected by the casual crowd.

Around the Network

Nah there's pretty much no way that is happening. Switch will probably end up around the PS4 at ~130 million give or take 5 million. It'll pass GB for sure, but very unlikely to get anywhere near DS and PS2. Only way that could possibly happen would be if Nintendo greatly increased their game output to pick up that Wii blue ocean crowd with Wii Sports like games and a series of Ring Fit fitness games that had huge word of mouth popularity, plus if Nintendo kept supporting Switch with software for a couple years after they replace it and treated it as a budget system for like $100-$150 alongside the next gen system.

I mean, it could. But it needs a lot of things to go its way in order for that to happen. A lot more than just a pandemic boost and a big game release.

High volume sales (DS) and a longer, more extended life cycle (PS2) are what it needs for it to happen.

Let's look at the hardware data thus far:
FY 2016 - 2.74 million (2.74 million)
FY 2017 - 15.05 million (17.79 million)
FY 2018 - 16.95 million (34.74 million)
FY 2019 - 21.03 million (55.77 million)

It's a pretty safe bet that this fiscal year is going to be the strongest one to date for the system. Right now, it has ~5 million unit lead over last year. If it maintains its current lead over last year, it would end up shipping 26 million units.

FY 2020 (estimate) - 26.03 million (81.80 million).

Could be more, could be less. The next 7 weeks of data should go the same as it has been, 2020 weekly sales comfortably ahead of 2019, to the point where it could extend its lead to ~6 million. Then, Week 38 will mark the release of the Nintendo Switch Lite from last year, then from there, who knows how the rest of the year will shape out. Time will tell, but for now that's what I'm going with.

After March 31, 2021, it becomes a really big question mark. We have know idea what Nintendo's release schedule looks like beyond this year and what their plans are other than how they repeatedly insist on giving the Switch a long life cycle.

How they intend to support the Switch and for how long remains to be seen. But it's safe to assume the Switch is going to sticking around for a long while. The good thing is that Nintendo still has a number of cards they can play: 1-2 hardware revisions, (Switch Pro, Switch TV, etc.), 1-2 price cuts ($199/$249 when sales start to dip; Then $99/$199 when they're about to launch Switch 2 and they can use the current models as budget, low entry systems, a la 3DS 2017-2019), number of big A-S tier titles that can still move hardware (Breath of the Wild 2, the next 3D Mario game, Pokemon Gen 9, etc.). They're in a very fortunate and enviable position in the middle of the Switch's 4th year that not even Sony was in with the PS4, which already had a price cut and TWO hardware revisions (Slim and Pro) before it even finished its 3rd year. It's intriguing that with how extremely well the Switch has sold within the time frame it has, it may still have more gas left in the tank than most other systems at this point.  

But Nintendo will really need to step up their game on all fronts AND need some help from 3rd parties to make it happen. As incredibly well as Animal Crossing has sold at this point, in particular in Japan, have no doubt that a new Monster Hunter game on Switch would reach similar levels in that region, as well as worldwide (+/- than MH World) if Capcom got off their ass and stopped letting that money train pass them by. But that's for another time. 

I mentioned early how Nintendo still had plenty of A and S tier titles like Mario, Zelda, and Pokemon, at their disposal. But just those games alone are not going to be enough. They need a lot more than that. They need to continue to make new IPs like they have to appeal to different audiences with different tastes, maybe find a sleeper hit that can have killer app potential (Ring Fit, and what Labo was supposed to be.) I also think they need to dig deeper into their back catalogue of old games that haven't had a chance to really sell in this era. As great of a sales monster that Mario Kart has become, I'm very confident that if they really put the effort into making a great new F-Zero game with online, a story, and above all, customization to really appeal to that Gran Turismo/Forza crowd. There's a lot of untapped potential in many of their franchises that can be realized if they really make a serious effort to capitalize on it. Just look at Fire Emblem, Xenoblade, and Animal Crossing. Fire Emblem was on its deathbed before Awakening took off the way it did. Xenoblade (and Monolith Soft in general) wasn't gaining much traction before XC2 raised the bar, now Monolith has quickly become Nintendo's most reliable subsidiary and Xenoblade is well on its way to greater heights. And Animal Crossing just speaks for itself. If they want to pull it off, they need all hands on deck. And I do mean, ALL hands on deck.

Right now, I envision the Switch's sales trajectory from this point onwards going like this:

FY 2020 (estimate) - 26.03 million (81.80 million)
FY 2021 (estimate) - 22 million (103.80 million)
FY 2022 (estimate) - 17 million (120.80 million)
FY 2023 (estimate) - 12 million (132.80 million) - Switch 2 launch
FY 2024 (estimate) - 5 million (137.80 million) 
FY 2025 (estimate) - 2 million (139.80 million)
FY 2026 onwards (estimate) - 0.5 million (140.30 million)

Hypothetically, this would still leave it 15-18 million units short of the PS2 (Sony has it at more 155 million as of March 2012; VGChartz currently has it at 157.68 million. I have no idea what the actual number is.) 

So as I said in my original post - Highly unlikely.

It needs a lot of things to go its way just for it to have a chance.

Last edited by PAOerfulone - on 03 August 2020

As everyone has said, possible but highly unlikely. I do think it will come the closest though and end up higher than PS4. I think it has potential to be 140mil+ and if Ninty can produce as many switches, it can sell 27mil+ this year alone

Just a guy who doesn't want to be bored. Also

Yes. As usual, people need to remember that Switch is a hybrid and therefore dips into both of the previously separated home console and handheld markets. Switch is still far away from hitting saturation in the home market (only ~50m hybrids sold so far) and on the handheld side it's in its infancy (less than a year of availability at €200).

The SKU setup of Switch makes it rather easy to sell multiple consoles to the same household, and that will become increasingly easier as prices go down; which they won't soon because the SKUs have yet to hit their saturation points at their current prices. I see way too many people who expect a Switch sales curve where price drops will be more or less completely ineffective. All too often Switch sales predictions anticipate a collapse despite no signs for such an event happening.

There are also the inevitable hardware revisions and the nature of portable consoles is weardown by people accidentally scratching a screen or dropping the system, so an all-around improved new version of the console is a bigger incentive to spend money on a replacement than the prospect of buying exactly the same console again. As personalized items, new color variations and special editions of portable consoles tend to generate sales too.

In any case, Nintendo still has almost all options left to prolong sales of Switch hardware, so the current point in time where Switch is 3.5 years old isn't one of being halfway through the lifecycle already. What usually stumps people is their assumption that there's no possible way that a Nintendo console could have a longer shelf life than a PS console, and they stick with that assumption despite all things lining up to the contrary.

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

A Biased Review Reloaded / Open Your Eyes / Switch Shipments

Around the Network

No matter how good Switch will sell, people will say that it can't be compared to other systems since it's a hybrid. Even if it would sell more than PS2, people wouldn't count it as a success, because it's two systems in one or stuff like that.

DPsx7 said:
Anything is possible if they keep selling it long enough.

Not really, at some point the sales drop to very little numbers.

duduspace11 "Well, since we are estimating costs, Pokemon Red/Blue did cost Nintendo about $50m to make back in 1996"

Mr Puggsly: "Hehe, I said good profit. You said big profit. Frankly, not losing money is what I meant by good. Don't get hung up on semantics"

Azzanation: "PS5 wouldn't sold out at launch without scalpers."

It's gonna end up third behind DS and PS2

There's a small chance to do so. I don't think it will, but I'm sure it will get at least pretty close.

I still wouldn't bet it will pass the Wii.
We don't know anything of the lineup of the upcoming months, Ps5 is about to release, plus don't underestimate Nintendo's talent to screw up.