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

Shadow1980 said:
SKMBlake said:

Never said that.

Well, do you accept that the COVID bump exists or not?

Well of course



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SKMBlake said:

Well of course

Then why the snide comments regarding the subject? The COVID bump was and is real. It created an increase in demand for all systems. That shouldn't be controversial to say, and it shouldn't result in dismissive comments from someone who says they accept the fact that the bump exists.



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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:
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



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.

As for catching the DS, the Switch's surplus over it in the U.S. was because the DS had a slower start than the Switch, which was posting good sales right out the gate. But that surplus started dwindling rapidly in 2019, and that decline was only temporarily halted by last year's gains, but picked back up again over the holidays, and now the Switch is running a deficit, one that's likely to keep growing throughout the year, considering the DS's fifth year (2009) was its peak year, selling a record 11.2M units. The Switch's deficit in the U.S. will likely be well over two million by the end of the year. And to further make things difficult, the Switch will have to sell another 8.56M or more next year just to keep the deficit from growing even further. And this is excluding the 1.23M the DS sold in its 2004 launch holiday. I really doubt the Switch will pass 50M in the U.S., though it may come close, but the odds of it matching or beating the DS are rapidly approaching nil.

Japan is possible, but unlikely. The Switch has recently pulled ahead of the 3DS in Japan in LTD sales. The 3DS has sold 24.56M to date. The DS however sold over 33M. It's going to be closer in Japan than anywhere else, and 30M is definitely possible, but actually narrowing that massive deficit with the DS is an uphill battle.

As for Europe, forget about it. That's the biggest deficit of all. The Switch isn't even keeping pace with the PS4 in Europe, much less the DS. If the Switch gets to 50M in North America (45M U.S. + 5M Canada), then assuming their current ratio is about the same the Switch will probably looking at 30M in Europe, 35M tops.

That's 115M, give or take, across the three main regions. Add in another 15-20 for RoW, and you get 130-135M. Unless there's some massive boom outside NA, Europe, and Japan and the Switch pulls off record-shattering RoW sales, I really don't see any scenario where the Switch matches or beats the DS. I think it'll land at a still-impressive third place ranking among the list of all-time best-selling consoles, behind the DS and PS2.



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:
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.



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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.

Last edited by Shadow1980 - on 18 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").

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.

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.



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.



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