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Forums - Sales Discussion - The Road to 160m+ for Nintendo Switch

I expect Nintendo to keep releasing cross-gen first party games until people straight up stop playing the original Switch. Especially if Switch 2 is priced at $399 (though I expect $349), there will be room for a lower priced OG Switch that will still play all first party games for years. If that’s how they go about it 160M should be a lock.

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Current sales suggest that Switch outsells 2019 numbers next year, especially until the launch of Switch Lite back in 2019. So 2024 should be the first year in which we meet 2017/18/early19 numbers again with a weekly base below 200k. That still would be pretty good for such an old system.

The upcoming games lineup for 2023 suggests full first party support for next year. No signs for a need of any successor yet.

Switch performs better than I would have ever thought. It should reach 150M without any problems with a good chance becoming the most successful video game system of all time.

King Switch is coming for 160 million by spring 2025

They will release in november Pokemon Scarlet/Violet and then we have Zelda:Tears of the Kindom (may 2023). Hmm... I don't know. Between 140-145 mi. Even if Nintendo does have some ace up the sleeve they will save it for Switch 2.

Looking at this the dales trajectory and the likelihood of nintendo waiting for switch 2 for a longer time than expected, it will atleast be within margin of error of the ps2. I think switch will be the best selling console ever when all is said and done.

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

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I think it'll probably end up between 155 and 160m, but definitely a chance to break 160m.

Successor likely won't come out for 2 to 2.5 years, and they've got Pokemon soon, and then Zelda. After that there's supposedly Prime remake, maybe Prime2+3 remasters, maaaybe WW/TP HD, Prime 4, Pikmin 4, possibly DK, whatever other games they've announced for next year, more MK8D course waves, obviously a 2D Mario is gonna hit at some point and that's an automatic 20m seller and a HW mover, and then of course they still have a bunch more smaller series they could bring in 2023/24/25. I could see another Mario Party as well towards the end of Switch's life. And it's always possible there will be one more Pokemon towards the end of Switch's life unless the next one ends up being cross gen for the Switch 2 launch which is a possbility.

Then there's always the possibility of price cuts, as I doubt in 2+ years when Switch 2 comes out at let's say $300 or $350 we're gonna have Switch and Switch OLED selling at the same price as the new system, so LITE/OG/OLED should at least each drop $50 at some point and maybe another smaller cut later on.

Then there's the question of if Nintendo is gonna do the Nintendo Select's games at some point for the Switch and drop a bunch of their first party games to $30 which would be an enticing offer for anyone who has held out on getting a Switch.

I think 150m is guaranteed at this point. Ending up within 2-3 million above or below PS2 I think is very likely. But >160m is a possibility if Switch 2 doesn't launch until 2025 and if Nintendo has price drops and plenty more games planned for Switch the next two years.

I don't think it'll reach 160m. Rol what happened to the thread tho, I wanted to go back over what you laid out when you first posted...


This past quarter not gonna lie sort of tempered my expectations with how well the Switch will sell, but still think its gonna be close to PS2 sales numbers by the end of it. Really hard to tell and it really depends on when the Switch successor releases and if we'll actually see a price cut and new models.

tsogud said:

I don't think it'll reach 160m. Rol what happened to the thread tho, I wanted to go back over what you laid out when you first posted...

Did you miss the site getting hacked?

tsogud said:

I don't think it'll reach 160m. Rol what happened to the thread tho, I wanted to go back over what you laid out when you first posted...

The site got hacked and all of my posts got deleted. Unfortunately, nobody quoted my original post, so the next best thing is this follow-up post from February 2022:

RolStoppable said:

I wouldn't classify the regional breakdown as an official prediction (I don't have enough confidence in the Other region to roughly double its LTD sales), but a global total of 160m+ counts as that. I've said it often enough in recent years that I don't expect Switch's successor to launch in 2023, that holidays 2024 is likely the earliest date for such a launch. If this assumption holds true, it isn't challenging to compile a yearly sales progression for Switch's road to 160m+ units.

The following numbers are shipments adjusted to calendar years, because on VGC we talk about sales most of the time in the manner of calendar years rather than fiscal years. Five years have been completed and I'll follow that up by one potential progression of Switch shipments in the years afterwards.

2017: 14.86m/14.86m LTD
2018: 17.41m/32.47m
2019: 20.22m/52.49m
2020: 27.38m/79.87m
2021: 23.67m/103.54m

2022: 20.00m/123.54m
2023: 18.00m/141.54m
2024: 12.00m/153.54m
2025: 5.00m/158.54m
2026: 1.50m/160.04m

To elaborate on these projections, 2022 sees only a modest drop because first and third party support remains strong; Pokémon Legends Arceus is already off to a very strong start and Splatoon 3 seems to be a safe expectation for a 2022 release. Breath of the Wild 2 slips into 2023, but Nintendo is able to have a replacement for the year's holiday title with a 3D Donkey Kong game. I am going with this one because it has been rumored for a while and the next game from EAD Tokyo is due. They've released Super Mario Odyssey in late 2017 and the less resources-demanding Bowser's Fury in early 2021.

2023 is able to hold up well in comparison to 2022 because BotW finally releases in the first half of the year and because the next generation of Pokémon games takes the holiday slot. This is accompanied with a new Switch revision. So far we've had Switch in 2017, Switch Lite in 2019 and Switch OLED in 2021. The two-year-pattern to reinvigorate interest in Switch hardware makes sense, so I consider it fair to expect it to continue. Introduction of value-added bundles for the older SKUs, meaning hardware price remains the same, but with a free pack-in game.

2024 experiences a significant drop (33%) because Switch's successor releases during the holiday season, so Switch will be without a big holiday title from Nintendo and the marketing focus will have shifted too. Nevertheless, Switch will still be able to have a decent holiday season for the usual reasons in a transition period: Notably cheaper hardware and software prices than the new next gen hardware has.

2025 sees significantly scaled back first party support, but the system can still sell several million units based on its combination of price and strong back catalogue. 2026 is when Switch approaches the end of its production run.

This example of a sales progression does not assume anything special for Switch, except if it's considered special that Switch could go on for more than seven years before its replacement launches. This shouldn't be special though when one considers the sales curve through the first five years. In this example there is no assumption for Switch to receive as much first party support as the 3DS got after Switch had launched; rather the expectation is much more modest and projects a sharp decline once Nintendo begins to shift their attention to their next gen hardware.

Essentially, if Switch manages to have another two good years, it will be much harder to come up with realistic scenarios for it to fall short of 160m units sold than the other way around. I suppose some would say that Nintendo could pursue a strategy like Sony where they deliberately scale back Switch production to make consumers transition faster to next gen, but that's a redundant and idiotic strategy because it limits profits. I mean, it should be self-evident for everyone that the PS4 and PS5 could have had good sales for the respective point in their lifecycles simultaneously. It may take some time until the majority realizes just how much of an idiot Jim Ryan really is, but that's another topic.

So let's see how it holds up:

After Nintendo's downward revision for the current fiscal year, Switch is on pace to hit ~124m shipped by the end of December 2022, so in line with the modest expectations above.

Breath of the Wild slipped into 2023 as expected, but 2022's holiday game doesn't come from EAD Tokyo; it's the next generation of Pokémon which I assumed to release in late 2023. Doesn't really matter though, because at the moment it's just two games of similar caliber swapping places. There's still no reason to anticipate a Switch successor in 2023, rather there is more reason to expect 2024 or later due to the Mario Kart 8 DLC that got announced after the above post had been written; said DLC runs through the whole of 2023. In short: While some people are back to doubting 160m+ after Nintendo's latest financial report, I am not flustered by the lower numbers, because I didn't calculate with everything playing out in the best way possible to begin with.

Of course the next Switch revision will be key to keep 2023 at a high level, but it would be pretty insane of Nintendo to bungle Switch's late life after they squeezed everything out of the 3DS just one generation before. There were six 3DS models, Switch is at only three as of now and Switch is much more successful than the 3DS ever was. One important thing that I had said in the original post of this thread is that a Switch Pro would turn most doubters into believers. I don't know if Nintendo will go for such a substantial upgrade, but Switch's final revision being 2021's OLED model would be just sad, so there has to be at least something else.

What I do know is that price cuts are off the table after this year of record inflation in the USA and Europe, so that's something we definitely won't see in 2023. But value-added bundles would work: Same hardware prices, but with a pack-in game.

As for 2023's software lineup, we don't know anything beyond May, but what has been confirmed is solid. Fire Emblem, Octopath Traveller 2, Kirby, Tears of the Kingdom. That's not shabby for the first few months of the year and there's of course a bunch of third party titles too. Ideally, a Switch revision should launch with Tears of the Kingdom because it just makes sense.

Legend11 correctly predicted that GTA IV will outsell Super Smash Bros. Brawl. I was wrong.