Okay, guys- here’s the deal. The Nintendo Switch is selling exceptionally well worldwide, and for now, it shows no signs of slowing down. It has even managed to outsell the PS4 worldwide in North America and Japan consistently (that we know of) since launch. As of right now, it is clear that Nintendo has managed to mount an incredible comeback with the device.
And yet- and yet, I think we can all be reasonable with the amount of success that we expect from the thing, right? Like, it’s one thing to claim that the Switch will be a 3DS or Xbox 360 level of success, selling 70-80 million units worldwide over its lifetime (which itself is not a guarantee as things stand, incidentally). But to claim that the thing will sell 130 million units over the next five years is absolute insanity.
That’s what Credit Suisse analyst Keiichi Yoneshima feels the Switch will do, however. When explaining the reason for the astronomical prediction, they noted that the Switch was expected to perform more as a handheld than a console in terms of sales.
“As Nintendo’s Switch is a unique game platform for use as either a console or handheld, there was initially some uncertainty over whether its sales cycle would more closely resemble that of a console or handheld,” Yoneshima said (via Barrons). “Although the Switch is currently categorized as more of a console, we expect it to sell like a handheld. Many users are in fact using the Switch as a portable according to a Famitsu survey of users. We previously projected a sales peak at about three years after launch (i.e., in FY3/19) on the assumption of a console-like sales cycle. Now that the Switch looks more likely to sell like a handheld, we update our sales forecast to reflect a longer sales cycle. We now expect the Switch to achieve peak sales about five years after launch (i.e., around FY3/20–21) like a typical handheld game device. We also raise our peak-year sales forecast from 25mn to 31mn units.”
To be clear, Credit Suisse was bullish on the Switch to begin with, originally predicting a far more reasonable 70 million units by 2022- a prediction they have almost doubled. I think the Switch will sell well- but 130 million units is insanity. I don’t think even the PS4 will reach that over its lifetime, let alone the Nintendo Switch.