The Switch has been an unequivocal success for Nintendo, but if there’s one area where the company has faltered, it has been producing enough supply to meet the voracious demand. While Nintendo is doing everything in its power to ship enough consoles for the holiday season, production should pick up in a big way next year.
This week, people familiar with Nintendo’s plans told the Wall Street Journal that the company is hoping to produce and ship between 25 million and 30 millions Switch units in the next fiscal year, which begins in April 2018. That plan “is still in the early stages,” but Nintendo could even increase the number depending on holiday sales.
From the day the Switch launched on March 3rd up through the end of September, Nintendo sold 7.6 million Switch consoles worldwide. The company believes it will ship another 9.1 million units by March 2018, which would put the total sales at 17 million within a year of launch. For context, the Wii U sold under 14 million units all told.
Before the console launched, there was a great deal of trepidation. Not only had the Wii U been a failure, but the Switch was less powerful that Sony’s and Microsoft’s offerings and yet was still going to retail for $300. But it turned out that there was indeed a market for a hybrid console, and the Switch, as well as its most popular titles, have had a consistent presence on the monthly charts. In fact, the WSJ says that some industry watchers are now expecting the Switch to outsell the Wii by 2023, which would in turn make the Switch Nintendo’s best-selling console ever.
Nintendo is taking a gamble. If interest in the Switch fades after the holiday season, it might be stuck with excess inventory. But it’s a risk worth taking based on the reaction to the console in its first nine months on the market. And anyone who misses out on a Switch this holiday will certainly be able to grab one in 2018.