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Nintendo Switch Sales Are On The Decline, But The Console Has Hit A New Record

Pokemon sales were huge, and the Switch has reached a new milestone.


Nintendo has revealed its financial results for the previous nine months, ending on December 31, 2022, and while revenue did experience a dip across the board, the Switch reached a new milestone. Net sales were down 2% year-on-year to $9.4 billion, while mobile and IP-related income dipped by 2.3%, earning Nintendo $295 million from that section.

Nintendo sold 5.22 million base Switch console units during this period versus 11.79 million during the same period the previous year, a 55.7% drop year-on-year according to its briefing. In comparison, sales of the Switch OLED model increased by 92.5% year-on-year, going from 3.99 million units sold the year before to 7.69 million units sold in 2022. As for the Switch Lite, it saw a 37% drop year-on-year, selling just 2 million units during this nine-month period. Combined, this accounts for 14.91 million Switch consoles sold during this window.

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For the future, the company is being cautious and has adjusted its expectations for 2023 after hardware sales did not perform as expected during the holiday season. Nintendo is estimating that it'll sell 18 million Switch consoles (down from 19 million) and 205 million game copies (down from 210 million) during its full fiscal year, which ends on March 31, 2023.

Overall, this lines up with the decline in sales that Nintendo had expected, but the company did note that the "number of annual playing users is increasing" and it estimates it had 122 million annual playing users from January to December 2022. Combining all the hardware sales together revealed a 21.3% decline in sales, although Nintendo had previously predicted that the global semiconductor shortage would have a big impact on how many Switch units it could shift around the world.

The console has managed to sell a very impressive 122.5 million units since its launch in 2017, and software sales accounted for 994.30 million copies sold. In total, this makes the Switch the third best-selling video game console of all time, surpassing the PlayStation 4 and the original Game Boy, and now trails behind the PlayStation 2 and the Nintendo DS family of handheld consoles.

While software sales were down 4% year-on-year, Pokemon Scarlet and Violet saw massive success upon release. Combined, the latest mainstream Pokemon games have sold 20.61 million units so far, making last year's entry the fourth best-selling Pokemon game of all time so far since it released back in November 2022.

For other new releases in this financial time period, Splatoon 3 hit 10.13 million units sold, Kirby and the Forgotten Land sold 3.4 million units, and Nintendo Switch Sports saw 8.61 million unit sales. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe continues to sell absurdly well, adding another 6.3 million unit sales during this time period, and Animal Crossing New Horizons added 2.9 million sales to its overall tally.

Nintendo added that "unit sales of first-party software continue at the highest levels seen since the launch of Nintendo Switch" and that Nintendo Switch Online revenue increased, helping to push its digital revenue gains up to $2.3 billion, a 21.5% increase year-on-year. For markets, the Americas accounted for 42.8% of total sales, Japan was at 23.6%, and Europe provided 24.9% of Nintendo's business.

Darryn Bonthuys on Google+

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