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Forums - Sales Discussion - Why are Nintendo Switch sales peaking much later than other Nintendo consoles?

1. More casual players getting interested in the console due to the release of games like the first non-remake Pokemon game and Animal Crossing in late 2019/early 2020, and the overall libray growing with consistent 1st party and 3rd party releases which means more games that could make people want to get the console,
2. The pandemic (though it could be argued that it still would have peaked in 2020 or later even without the pandemic)
3. The hybrid concept taking a little bit of time to take off.



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javi741 said:

Is there any source that says those 3rd party multiplats didn't sell 1 Million on Switch or sold substantially worse? Cause I think a couple of the multiplats you mentioned may have hit over 1 Million sold. Witcher 3 in the last shipment report sold 700,000 units on Switch as of December 2019 and the game at that time been out for Switch for only 2 months. Its been over a year since that last update so I feel like it'll be safe to assume the Witcher 3 on Switch sold around or over 1Million during that year time especially since the game's interest became revitalized after the Netflix series release in late 2019 where Witcher 3 sales skyrocketed on Steam, Witcher 3 also got price cuts and sales in 2020 and the CEO of CD PROJEKT Red said he was very happy with how the Witcher 3 sold on Switch. I think its safe to say it did sell 1Million on Switch.

I also think MK11 may have sold 1 Million on Switch, in its release month it was the #1 selling Switch game in the U.S in April 2019, even beating out Nintendo's 1st party titles that month. Also it released the same day as other platforms so it wasn't at a disadvantage like other ports and I've been seeing MK11 on the top bestselling games list on the Eshop alot. I wouldn't be surprised if that game has sold over a million on Switch.

Also, Dragon Quest is dominant in Japan where Switch is the dominant platform there, if anything ill assume the Switch version is the bestselling one.

I used this as my source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_Nintendo_Switch_video_games

And I specifically said "multi-million." The minimum required to be a multi-million seller is by definition at least 2 million.

According to this article, the Switch version of The Witcher 3 was only 11% of the ~6M copies of the game sold in 2019, which amounts to 660k copies (the PS4 & XBO versions sold well over 2M copies combined in 2019; the PS4 version alone ~136% more copies than the Switch version despite that version being in its fifth year). It's probably close to 1M now, maybe a bit over, but I can't find anything to confirm it reached 2M, and CDPR hasn't given an update to include 2020 sales.

The most recent update for MK11 just gave a total lifetime tally of 8M copies. There was no breakdown by platform.

Here are the most recent LTD sales figures by platform (retail only) I can find for Dragon Quest XI, based on Famitsu data:

3DS: 1,772,911
PS4: 1,413,409 (original + Definitive Edition)
NSW: 621,801

With digital, it's possible that the Switch version could be close to or a bit above 1M. Still, its sales at retail are less than half the PS4 version and only a bit over one-third that of the 3DS version. First week sales were also significantly lower on the Switch, with only 303k copies for the Switch version, compared to 1130k for the 3DS version and 950k for the PS4 version.

The best we can tell, only a handful of third-party games on the Switch have become multi-million sellers, and the Switch versions of multiplatform titles have performed significantly worse than the PS4 & XBO versions. First-party games are the lifeblood Nintendo platforms. It's been that way since the N64. The Top 30 Nintendo games on the Switch amount to 55% of all software sold on the system to date, and of those, the Top 5 alone make up nearly a quarter of all Switch game sales. Sony and MS would kill to have attach rates that good for their first-party titles, but PS & XBO don't depend on first-party titles to nearly the degree Nintendo systems do. Those systems are where most people go to play third-party games.



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In accordance to the VGC forum rules, §8.5, I hereby exercise my right to demand to be left alone regarding the subject of the effects of the pandemic on video game sales (i.e., "COVID bump").

Shadow1980 said:
javi741 said:

Is there any source that says those 3rd party multiplats didn't sell 1 Million on Switch or sold substantially worse? Cause I think a couple of the multiplats you mentioned may have hit over 1 Million sold. Witcher 3 in the last shipment report sold 700,000 units on Switch as of December 2019 and the game at that time been out for Switch for only 2 months. Its been over a year since that last update so I feel like it'll be safe to assume the Witcher 3 on Switch sold around or over 1Million during that year time especially since the game's interest became revitalized after the Netflix series release in late 2019 where Witcher 3 sales skyrocketed on Steam, Witcher 3 also got price cuts and sales in 2020 and the CEO of CD PROJEKT Red said he was very happy with how the Witcher 3 sold on Switch. I think its safe to say it did sell 1Million on Switch.

I also think MK11 may have sold 1 Million on Switch, in its release month it was the #1 selling Switch game in the U.S in April 2019, even beating out Nintendo's 1st party titles that month. Also it released the same day as other platforms so it wasn't at a disadvantage like other ports and I've been seeing MK11 on the top bestselling games list on the Eshop alot. I wouldn't be surprised if that game has sold over a million on Switch.

Also, Dragon Quest is dominant in Japan where Switch is the dominant platform there, if anything ill assume the Switch version is the bestselling one.

I used this as my source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_Nintendo_Switch_video_games

And I specifically said "multi-million." The minimum required to be a multi-million seller is by definition at least 2 million.

According to this article, the Switch version of The Witcher 3 was only 11% of the ~6M copies of the game sold in 2019, which amounts to 660k copies (the PS4 & XBO versions sold well over 2M copies combined in 2019; the PS4 version alone ~136% more copies than the Switch version despite that version being in its fifth year). It's probably close to 1M now, maybe a bit over, but I can't find anything to confirm it reached 2M, and CDPR hasn't given an update to include 2020 sales.

The most recent update for MK11 just gave a total lifetime tally of 8M copies. There was no breakdown by platform.

Here are the most recent LTD sales figures by platform (retail only) I can find for Dragon Quest XI, based on Famitsu data:

3DS: 1,772,911
PS4: 1,413,409 (original + Definitive Edition)
NSW: 621,801

With digital, it's possible that the Switch version could be close to or a bit above 1M. Still, its sales at retail are less than half the PS4 version and only a bit over one-third that of the 3DS version. First week sales were also significantly lower on the Switch, with only 303k copies for the Switch version, compared to 1130k for the 3DS version and 950k for the PS4 version.

The best we can tell, only a handful of third-party games on the Switch have become multi-million sellers, and the Switch versions of multiplatform titles have performed significantly worse than the PS4 & XBO versions. First-party games are the lifeblood Nintendo platforms. It's been that way since the N64. The Top 30 Nintendo games on the Switch amount to 55% of all software sold on the system to date, and of those, the Top 5 alone make up nearly a quarter of all Switch game sales. Sony and MS would kill to have attach rates that good for their first-party titles, but PS & XBO don't depend on first-party titles to nearly the degree Nintendo systems do. Those systems are where most people go to play third-party games.

Worst analysis an ever see. 

Lack of context. Late port and the must sell better? Based of what?

No wonder everything doesn't agree with you. You feed data, but normally, don't see the context and historical background.

The only example with you have ( same launch window) and doesn't have numbers. Then you assume, Switch is the worst selling. Based on what?

The Dragon Quest fiasco, the 3ds low-end port sells more in Japan. And helps to pay for the Ps4 version. It's a wrong move by Square this. 

Then whats you have? Square- Enix reports. 

Dragon Quest in the west, before switch, launched and after switch launched in the West.

And the growth between the two reports. 

And know the port S version for PS4 in Japan.

Switch version, low price version > Ps4 S version. 

Minecraft on Japan. Switch> Ps4, a late port on Switch. And one million-seller in your criteria. 

Innumerous 3rd party in Japan have Switch> Ps4.

The japan market is the better way to account, because of sales report every week.

About Witcher 3. https://mynintendonews.com/2020/09/05/the-witcher-3-for-switch-drove-a-70-increase-in-half-year-revenue-for-cd-projekt-red-in-2020/

Last edited by Agente42 - on 03 March 2021

Agente42 said:

Worst analysis an ever see. 

Lack of context. Late port and the must sell better? Based of what?

No wonder everything doesn't agree with you. You feed data, but normally, don't see the context and historical background.

The only example with you have ( same launch window) and doesn't have numbers. Then you assume, Switch is the worst selling. Based on what?

The Dragon Quest fiasco, the 3ds low-end port sells more in Japan. And helps to pay for the Ps4 version. It's a wrong move by Square this. 

Then whats you have? Square- Enix reports. 

Dragon Quest in the west, before switch, launched and after switch launched in the West.

And the growth between the two reports. 

And know the port S version for PS4 in Japan.

Switch version, low price version > Ps4 S version. 

Minecraft on Japan. Switch> Ps4, a late port on Switch. And one million-seller in your criteria. 

Innumerous 3rd party in Japan have Switch> Ps4.

The japan market is the better way to account, because of sales report every week.

About Witcher 3. https://mynintendonews.com/2020/09/05/the-witcher-3-for-switch-drove-a-70-increase-in-half-year-revenue-for-cd-projekt-red-in-2020/

What are you going on about? I gave citations. I gave numbers. Is that not good enough? What more do you want? Are you trying to be difficult?

The Witcher 3 sales as of last update (end 2019) clearly show that the Switch port is underperforming globally. Did you even read the link I posted? Also, Famitsu data shows that the Switch version of the game sold less than 24k copies at retail during the entirety of 2019 in Japan. The PS4 version sold over 67k it's first week in Japan, and almost 196k lifetime. Relatively few Switch owners bothered with The Witcher 3. Also, the article you cited doesn't give any numbers beyond an overall increase in total revenue for CDPR as a whole, and a vague "excellent sales" (relative to what?) for the Switch version. I'll dig into CDPR's financials to see if I find anything more concrete, but until we get an actual update on the numbers and platform split, the data we do have shows that Switch version off to a much worse start than the PS4 & XBO versions, to the point where it got outsold by the PS4 version in just 2019.

MK11's sales split by platform are unknown. However, it's worth pointing out that we do have other indicators of performance, namely the NPD rankings, and those aren't exactly indicative of the Switch version performing on par with the other versions. MK11 was in the yearly Top 10 in 2019 for both the PS4 & XBO in the U.S., but not for the Switch.MK11 was the #5 game of 2019, yet the Switch port didn't even crack that system's Top 10. Of the Switch's Top 10, only the Top 5 made it into the overall Top 20 of the year (NSMBU was the #5 Switch game of 2019 in the U.S., but only the #20 game overall). If the Switch version of MK11 was counted separately, it wouldn't even come close to scratching the Top 20 of 2019. Also, MK11 dropped out of the Switch Top 10 after just two months, while it stayed in the PS4 & XBO Top 10s until August (and even made it back into the XBO Top 10 in December), which suggests weaker legs and possibly also weaker sales for the Switch version. All of this is clear evidence that the Switch version was outsold by the PS4 & XBO version in the U.S. (as for Europe, considering the PS4 was far more popular than the Switch is the PS4 version of MK11 was probably far more successful; and as for Japan, MK11 was banned there).

It's just a simple fact of the matter that third-party AAA titles thrive on PS & Xbox, but not so much on the Switch. Third parties typically don't have the Switch in mind when making their biggest games. Very few AAA third-party multiplatform titles made it to the Switch, and nearly all of those were belated ports that had to be downgraded. In cases where we know the sales of a particular big-budget multiplatform title that has a Switch version, the Switch version has sold less than other versions. And when we don't know the exact sales, when we look at other indicators of performance we see evidence that the Switch version sold the least. Switch owners are either getting those AAA titles for their PlayStations & Xboxes (if they have one or both) or are for the most part just not bothering with those games (if they don't have a PS or Xbox). Except for Minecraft and Among Us (not exactly AAA titles), the best-performing third-party games by far on the Switch are games made especially for that system, and those third-party Switch best-sellers aren't exactly numerous.

When people want to play the big AAA third-party games, they go to PlayStation & Xbox. They don't look to Nintendo systems for those sorts of experiences. They get Nintendo systems primarily to play Nintendo games. Is that really so hard to admit?

Last edited by Shadow1980 - on 04 March 2021

Visit http://shadowofthevoid.wordpress.com

In accordance to the VGC forum rules, §8.5, I hereby exercise my right to demand to be left alone regarding the subject of the effects of the pandemic on video game sales (i.e., "COVID bump").

Shadow1980 said:
Agente42 said:

Worst analysis an ever see. 

Lack of context. Late port and the must sell better? Based of what?

No wonder everything doesn't agree with you. You feed data, but normally, don't see the context and historical background.

The only example with you have ( same launch window) and doesn't have numbers. Then you assume, Switch is the worst selling. Based on what?

The Dragon Quest fiasco, the 3ds low-end port sells more in Japan. And helps to pay for the Ps4 version. It's a wrong move by Square this. 

Then whats you have? Square- Enix reports. 

Dragon Quest in the west, before switch, launched and after switch launched in the West.

And the growth between the two reports. 

And know the port S version for PS4 in Japan.

Switch version, low price version > Ps4 S version. 

Minecraft on Japan. Switch> Ps4, a late port on Switch. And one million-seller in your criteria. 

Innumerous 3rd party in Japan have Switch> Ps4.

The japan market is the better way to account, because of sales report every week.

About Witcher 3. https://mynintendonews.com/2020/09/05/the-witcher-3-for-switch-drove-a-70-increase-in-half-year-revenue-for-cd-projekt-red-in-2020/

What are you going on about? I gave citations. I gave numbers. Is that not good enough? What more do you want? Are you trying to be difficult?

The Witcher 3 sales as of last update (end 2019) clearly show that the Switch port is underperforming globally. Did you even read the link I posted? Also, Famitsu data shows that the Switch version of the game sold less than 24k copies at retail during the entirety of 2019 in Japan. The PS4 version sold over 67k it's first week in Japan, and almost 196k lifetime. Relatively few Switch owners bothered with The Witcher 3. Also, the article you cited doesn't give any numbers beyond an overall increase in total revenue for CDPR as a whole, and a vague "excellent sales" (relative to what?) for the Switch version. I'll dig into CDPR's financials to see if I find anything more concrete, but until we get an actual update on the numbers and platform split, the data we do have shows that Switch version off to a much worse start than the PS4 & XBO versions, to the point where it got outsold by the PS4 version in just 2019.

MK11's sales split by platform are unknown. However, it's worth pointing out that we do have other indicators of performance, namely the NPD rankings, and those aren't exactly indicative of the Switch version performing on par with the other versions. MK11 was in the yearly Top 10 in 2019 for both the PS4 & XBO in the U.S., but not for the Switch.MK11 was the #5 game of 2019, yet the Switch port didn't even crack that system's Top 10. Of the Switch's Top 10, only the Top 5 made it into the overall Top 20 of the year (NSMBU was the #5 Switch game of 2019 in the U.S., but only the #20 game overall). If the Switch version of MK11 was counted separately, it wouldn't even come close to scratching the Top 20 of 2019. Also, MK11 dropped out of the Switch Top 10 after just two months, while it stayed in the PS4 & XBO Top 10s until August (and even made it back into the XBO Top 10 in December), which suggests weaker legs and possibly also weaker sales for the Switch version. All of this is clear evidence that the Switch version was outsold by the PS4 & XBO version in the U.S. (as for Europe, considering the PS4 was far more popular than the Switch is the PS4 version of MK11 was probably far more successful; and as for Japan, MK11 was banned there).

It's just a simple fact of the matter that third-party AAA titles thrive on PS & Xbox, but not so much on the Switch. Third parties typically don't have the Switch in mind when making their biggest games. Very few AAA third-party multiplatform titles made it to the Switch, and nearly all of those were belated ports that had to be downgraded. In cases where we know the sales of a particular big-budget multiplatform title that has a Switch version, the Switch version has sold less than other versions. And when we don't know the exact sales, when we look at other indicators of performance we see evidence that the Switch version sold the least. Switch owners are either getting those AAA titles for their PlayStations & Xboxes (if they have one or both) or are for the most part just not bothering with those games (if they don't have a PS or Xbox). Except for Minecraft and Among Us (not exactly AAA titles), the best-performing third-party games by far on the Switch are games made especially for that system, and those third-party Switch best-sellers aren't exactly numerous.

When people want to play the big AAA third-party games, they go to PlayStation & Xbox. They don't look to Nintendo systems for those sorts of experiences. They get Nintendo systems primarily to play Nintendo games. Is that really so hard to admit?

I have no horse in this race but I just want to point out, that staying in the Top 10 is harder on Switch than on XBO/PS4 since the Switch has a lot of evergreens that will stay in the Top 10 all-year round (Mario Kart, Smash, Pokémon, Ring Fit).



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TruckOSaurus said:

I have no horse in this race but I just want to point out, that staying in the Top 10 is harder on Switch than on XBO/PS4 since the Switch has a lot of evergreens that will stay in the Top 10 all-year round (Mario Kart, Smash, Pokémon, Ring Fit).

Even then, the relative year-end rankings still indicate that the Switch version of MK11 sold worse than the PS4 & XBO versions. MK11 was the #5 overall game of 2019. On PS4 it was #4 for the year and on XBO it was #7, which is fairly close to the game's overall ranking across all three platforms. The Switch version by itself wouldn't have even come close to the Top 20 (only the Top 5 Switch games of 2019 made it into the overall Top 20, and MK11 didn't even make it into the Switch's Top 10 of that year). We can also tell from the rankings that a game that sold as much as the Switch version of MK11 wouldn't have cracked the Top 10 for either the PS4 or the XBO. We can therefore conclude that the Switch version sold the least of the three, even if the exact ratio is an unknown at this point.



Visit http://shadowofthevoid.wordpress.com

In accordance to the VGC forum rules, §8.5, I hereby exercise my right to demand to be left alone regarding the subject of the effects of the pandemic on video game sales (i.e., "COVID bump").