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Forums - Sales Discussion - February NPD 2021: Switch~614k, PS5 ~300K, XBS <175k

Shadow1980 said:
PDiddy said:

Sorry, I meant wordwide. Could you give a general year to year estimate? BTW, I think the successor for the Switch won't be released until 2024 at the earliest.

Oh. Well, according to Nintendo's own internal sell-through figures, the Switch sold something like 25-26M in 2020, bringing the lifetime total to about 74M, up from 48M LTD at the end of 2019 (Nintendo's sell-through figures are rounded down to the nearest million, so there's a slight margin of error). So, if I had to guess actual yearly sales, I'm thinking of maybe 21-22M this year and 16-17M in 2022. Beyond that the margins of error get bigger (as with any long-range forecast) but assuming the Switch's successor releases in March 2024 (giving the Switch a 7-year lifespan), perhaps 11-13M in 2023, 4-6M in 2024, and 2-3M in 2025. So, that's about 54-61M in total from 2021 onward, giving us a lifetime total somewhere in the 128-135M range.

Considering how the Switch has been tracking against the DS (rapidly falling behind in the U.S., and massive and likely insurmountable deficits in Japan & Europe), I don't see it matching the DS, and I think it'll fall considerably short of the 150M mark. That's the main reason why I think the Switch will sell somewhere closer to the 130M mark.

First off, thank you for actually putting out your yearly predictions. Your percent drops seem somewhat reasonable, and I would advise you do not use Nintendo's internal sell-through estimates. As strange as it seems, their estimates have become increasingly unreliable.

Second off, I will admit that DS will be near unbeatable in Europe for Switch, and though it seems the DS's lead against Switch in Japan is insurmountable, there is enough life in the Switch for it to beat the DS. US is a bit of a toss up for me, and could go either way. But, RotW will be instrumental in the Switch's effort to beat DS.

Thirdly, My personal predictions based on Switch sell-in data:

2021: 28-30M

2022: 24-25.5M

2023: 18M

2024: 10M

2025: 4M (this is when Switch successor launches, Q1 to be exact)

2026-dc: 4M



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Shadow1980 said:
PDiddy said:

First off, thank you for actually putting out your yearly predictions. Your percent drops seem somewhat reasonable, and I would advise you do not use Nintendo's internal sell-through estimates. As strange as it seems, their estimates have become increasingly unreliable.

Second off, I will admit that DS will be near unbeatable in Europe for Switch, and though it seems the DS's lead against Switch in Japan is insurmountable, there is enough life in the Switch for it to beat the DS. US is a bit of a toss up for me, and could go either way. But, RotW will be instrumental in the Switch's effort to beat DS.

I'm gonna need a source on that claim regarding Nintendo's sell-through. They seem plausible enough. We know that in 2020 the Switch sold 9M in the U.S., likely another ~1M in Canada given the usual U.S./Canada split, and 6M in Japan (using the NPD-equivalent 52-week sales period, not Famitsu's 2020 period). That's 16M right there. While there is often a decent margin of error associate with VGC's sales figures, their 7.4M figure probably isn't grossly off the mark, so that brings the total for the three main regions up to about 23.4M. Once we include RoW, that ~26M figure is probably pretty close.

Common sense? I doubt there is around 5 to 6 million Switches in a warehouse or in transit somewhere, and its fair to say that it's a bit harder to track Latin America and SEA excluding Japan than the major regions. The other weird error is that Nintendo seems to not include MyNintendo shipments in their total sell-through numbers for Japan, which we can prove out with the known lack of inventory during 2020, especially in April. It's fair to say that at least 500k of those shipments aren't included in their cumulative sell-through figures.



I don't think anyone denies that covid gave video gaming sales a boost.

It's more the extent of the role it played that's in dispute. For example, while I absolutely think it contributed to the strong year Nintendo had in 2020, I think it was one factor of many rather than being the sole or majority driver.

Last edited by curl-6 - on 18 March 2021

Bet with Liquidlaser: I say PS5 and Xbox Series will sell more than 56 million combined by the end of 2023. (And over 130 million lifetime)

Shadow1980 said:
PDiddy said:

Common sense? I doubt there is around 5 to 6 million Switches in a warehouse or in transit somewhere, and its fair to say that it's a bit harder to track Latin America and SEA excluding Japan than the major regions. The other weird error is that Nintendo seems to not include MyNintendo shipments in their total sell-through numbers for Japan, which we can prove out with the known lack of inventory during 2020, especially in April. It's fair to say that at least 500k of those shipments aren't included in their cumulative sell-through figures.

Is it really that hard to believe? Shipped has never equaled sold. As of the end of 2020, the lifetime sell-through in Japan was sitting at about 17.65M, compared to 18.88M shipped. In the Americas, assuming again the U.S. is 90% of the regional market the LTD for the region is about 29M or so, compared to 31.17 shipped. So, between NA & Japan alone, we're already looking at well over 3 million units that have been shipped but not yet sold.

Looking at other systems, we see pretty much the same thing. For example, the PS4's LTD at the end of its fourth year was 73.6M units sold against 76.5M shipped, leaving 2.9M units unsold.

At this point in a system's life, several million units sitting out there in the wild is not unusual. Nintendo's "over 74 million" figure is not improbable.

Well yes, the PS4 had almost 3M consoles on transit and shelves at the end of 2017, and sold 20M that year. But the PS4 didn't run into any major shortages that year while the Switch did, meaning that there can't be too many on shelves already. And while we got a Mario title in January, it still didn't need to have that much more in transit to cover those extra sales. So I really doubt that there would be more than 4.5M in transit, warehouses and on shelves

curl-6 said:

I don't think anyone denies that covid gave video gaming sales a boost.

It's more the extent of the role it played that's in dispute. For example, while I absolutely think it contributed to the strong year Nintendo had in 2020, I think it was one factor of many rather than being the sole or majority driver.

↑↑↑This!



Shadow1980 said:
PDiddy said:

Common sense? I doubt there is around 5 to 6 million Switches in a warehouse or in transit somewhere, and its fair to say that it's a bit harder to track Latin America and SEA excluding Japan than the major regions. The other weird error is that Nintendo seems to not include MyNintendo shipments in their total sell-through numbers for Japan, which we can prove out with the known lack of inventory during 2020, especially in April. It's fair to say that at least 500k of those shipments aren't included in their cumulative sell-through figures.

Is it really that hard to believe? Shipped has never equaled sold. As of the end of 2020, the lifetime sell-through in Japan was sitting at about 17.65M, compared to 18.88M shipped. In the Americas, assuming again the U.S. is 90% of the regional market the LTD for the region is about 29M or so, compared to 31.17 shipped. So, between NA & Japan alone, we're already looking at well over 3 million units that have been shipped but not yet sold.

Looking at other systems, we see pretty much the same thing. For example, the PS4's LTD at the end of its fourth year was 73.6M units sold against 76.5M shipped, leaving 2.9M units unsold.

At this point in a system's life, several million units sitting out there in the wild is not unusual. Nintendo's "over 74 million" figure is not improbable.

Hold on now, USA is big but not THAT big. Just watch Canada sales (Can VS USA):

2017 = 400K VS 4.9 million
2018 = 540K VS 5.6 million
2019 = 630K VS 6.5 million
2020 (No data for December) = 790K VS 6.9 million

Historical Nintendo data usually have USA at around 85% of total America sales.

And yeah, 6 million difference between sold through and shipped for a console with stock issue is unbelievable too high. For some reasons Nintendo only annunce sales from the main markets like America/Europe/Japan, some times Australia.

Since you mentioned PS4, you can see how even when the console didn't have stock problems the difference was never THAT high, so it's hard to see how Switch difference in sold through and sold in can be this high when literally Nintendo sell whatever it can ship.



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Shadow1980 said:
PDiddy said:

Common sense? I doubt there is around 5 to 6 million Switches in a warehouse or in transit somewhere, and its fair to say that it's a bit harder to track Latin America and SEA excluding Japan than the major regions. The other weird error is that Nintendo seems to not include MyNintendo shipments in their total sell-through numbers for Japan, which we can prove out with the known lack of inventory during 2020, especially in April. It's fair to say that at least 500k of those shipments aren't included in their cumulative sell-through figures.

Is it really that hard to believe? Shipped has never equaled sold. As of the end of 2020, the lifetime sell-through in Japan was sitting at about 17.65M, compared to 18.88M shipped. In the Americas, assuming again the U.S. is 90% of the regional market the LTD for the region is about 29M or so, compared to 31.17 shipped. So, between NA & Japan alone, we're already looking at well over 3 million units that have been shipped but not yet sold.

Looking at other systems, we see pretty much the same thing. For example, the PS4's LTD at the end of its fourth year was 73.6M units sold against 76.5M shipped, leaving 2.9M units unsold.

At this point in a system's life, several million units sitting out there in the wild is not unusual. Nintendo's "over 74 million" figure is not improbable.

If you are using Famitsu sell through then the numbers are missing Nintendo online sales. Famitsu doesnt track those.

Just look at 3ds shipped vs sell through. And we know there is no chance 3ds has that many in Japan shelves.

Additionally, I dont have the numbers in front of me but Switch is performing better in Canada relative to % of Americas.

Id put Switch US sales at around 85% of Americas, and not 90%.

Plus Ninty sell through has always been proven inaccurate as Nintendo usually on references sales for NA, EU and Japan. Theyve even mentioned this in their reports.

But you probably already knew all this being the sales numbers person that you are.



tag:"reviews only matter for the real hardcore gamer"

brute said:
Shadow1980 said:

Is it really that hard to believe? Shipped has never equaled sold. As of the end of 2020, the lifetime sell-through in Japan was sitting at about 17.65M, compared to 18.88M shipped. In the Americas, assuming again the U.S. is 90% of the regional market the LTD for the region is about 29M or so, compared to 31.17 shipped. So, between NA & Japan alone, we're already looking at well over 3 million units that have been shipped but not yet sold.

Looking at other systems, we see pretty much the same thing. For example, the PS4's LTD at the end of its fourth year was 73.6M units sold against 76.5M shipped, leaving 2.9M units unsold.

At this point in a system's life, several million units sitting out there in the wild is not unusual. Nintendo's "over 74 million" figure is not improbable.

If you are using Famitsu sell through then the numbers are missing Nintendo online sales. Famitsu doesnt track those.

Just look at 3ds shipped vs sell through. And we know there is no chance 3ds has that many in Japan shelves.

Additionally, I dont have the numbers in front of me but Switch is performing better in Canada relative to % of Americas.

Id put Switch US sales at around 85% of Americas, and not 90%.

Plus Ninty sell through has always been proven inaccurate as Nintendo usually on references sales for NA, EU and Japan. Theyve even mentioned this in their reports.

But you probably already knew all this being the sales numbers person that you are.

famitsu don't tracker amazon neither nintendo store. The numbers of physical games and consoles aways don't match because of this. And famistsu digital is a joke estimation. 

Shadow again make wrong conclusion? For someone alleged knows make one market analysis, u need to study the trackers better. 

6m on the shelves? Console with short supply in US/Japan/Europe and 6 m on the shelves?

Historically, Nintendo Estimation sold numbers is low bar and worst-case scenario. It's funny 6m on the shelves and all the retailers in the world with OG low or zero stock situation. U don't research this? Look the availability? it's seem you don't make this.

Last edited by Agente42 - on 20 March 2021

Agente42 said:
brute said:

If you are using Famitsu sell through then the numbers are missing Nintendo online sales. Famitsu doesnt track those.

Just look at 3ds shipped vs sell through. And we know there is no chance 3ds has that many in Japan shelves.

Additionally, I dont have the numbers in front of me but Switch is performing better in Canada relative to % of Americas.

Id put Switch US sales at around 85% of Americas, and not 90%.

Plus Ninty sell through has always been proven inaccurate as Nintendo usually on references sales for NA, EU and Japan. Theyve even mentioned this in their reports.

But you probably already knew all this being the sales numbers person that you are.

famitsu don't tracker amazon neither nintendo store. The numbers of physical games and consoles aways don't match because of this. And famistsu digital is a joke estimation. 

Shadow again make wrong conclusion? For someone alleged knows make one market analysis, u need to study the trackers better. 

6m on the shelves? Console with short supply in US/Japan/Europe and 6 m on the shelves?

Historically, Nintendo Estimation sold numbers is low bar and worst-case scenario. It's funny 6m on the shelves and all the retailers in the world with OG low or zero stock situation. U don't research this? Look the availability? it's seem you don't make this.

Dunno if this proves a point but next quarterly results NSW should be less than 2mil of shadow is right. That many consoles still on store shelves than why is retailers letting Nintendo ship so many and this combined with shortages especially in the 2 biggest markets alone. NSW going to ship close to or over 5mil for Jan-mar. I doubt more than 1.5mil NSW are on shelves WW by end of the quarter 



tbone51 said:
Agente42 said:

famitsu don't tracker amazon neither nintendo store. The numbers of physical games and consoles aways don't match because of this. And famistsu digital is a joke estimation. 

Shadow again make wrong conclusion? For someone alleged knows make one market analysis, u need to study the trackers better. 

6m on the shelves? Console with short supply in US/Japan/Europe and 6 m on the shelves?

Historically, Nintendo Estimation sold numbers is low bar and worst-case scenario. It's funny 6m on the shelves and all the retailers in the world with OG low or zero stock situation. U don't research this? Look the availability? it's seem you don't make this.

Dunno if this proves a point but next quarterly results NSW should be less than 2mil of shadow is right. That many consoles still on store shelves than why is retailers letting Nintendo ship so many and this combined with shortages especially in the 2 biggest markets alone. NSW going to ship close to or over 5mil for Jan-mar. I doubt more than 1.5mil NSW are on shelves WW by end of the quarter 

Worst case scenario is 2- 2.5 m on the shelves and the majority is Nintendo Switch lite. Because of the situation low stock in December everywhere. The great sales is OG model, the indication of great supply of lite is the ratio is more towards OG model, Us, Japan and other minors country have supply problems yet. 



6M on store shelves on Dec 31 would mean unsold consoles represent >22% of TTM shipments and >51% of holiday quarter shipments (a quarter that was supply constrained in late Nov/early Dec).

In the US, the NSW was supply constrained again in Jan and first weeks of Feb (at least on Amz). In JP, the hybrid model has been short on supply since the start of Feb I think. How can this be possible simultaneously with 6M on store shelves (presumably around 2M of that would be NA/USA)? Are there just mounds and mounds of NSW Lite models sitting on store shelves and warehouses?