When talking to Wired, Nintendo of America’s President, Reggie Fils-Aime, confirmed that the Switch will ship 2 million units worldwide at launch and through the hardware’s first month on the market, as initially mentioned by President Tatsumi Kimishima a few months ago.
The news come specifically from a part of the interview where Wired asks what does Nintendo foresee in terms of the number of Switch consoles that it will be able to release in the year of 2017. To which Fils-Aime responded:
What we’ve said publicly is that there will be 2 million units that will be shipped worldwide for the launch, essentially through month one.
Fils-Aime continues by saying Nintendo is aware of the concern about supply, following the NES Classic shortage:
I know, because I read the boards and I read the comments, that there is concern about supply. From what I’ve read, the concern seems to stem from the lack of ability to buy NES Classic. So what I would say is this: Two million for essentially the first month is a huge number, especially when you look and see that this is not peak seasonality. This is essentially the first three weeks of March. Our focus is making sure that the consumer who wants to buy a Nintendo Switch can buy a Nintendo Switch. That’s how we build our supply chain, that’s how we think through the amount of product that’s available.
What happened with NES Classic is that was a situation where the global demand was well in excess of anything we had anticipated, and that’s what created shortages. The good news, at least for consumers in the Americas, is we’re going to continue to make the NES Classic available. With the ongoing level of supply, the ongoing demand is going to be met. We know the concern.
The president of Nintendo continues on the topic of the NES Classic, providing a more specific reason as to why Nintendo fell so drastically short of demand:
We know the popularity of our classic games. That’s a known situation. The challenge for us is that with this particular system, we thought honestly that the key consumer would be between 30 and 40 years old, with kids, who had stepped away from gaming for some period of time. And certainly we sold a lot of systems to that consumer. But what we also see here in the Americas is that we’ve sold a lot to [fans] who just saw a compact, all-in-one opportunity to get the 30 greatest games from the NES generation. I think that incremental demand is what surprised us. Because again, how many times have you purchased the original Super Mario Bros.? We thought that the consumer that already had a Wii or a Wii U and had purchased those games once or twice already, we didn’t think that they’d buy the NES Classic. And they did.
As you may know, the Switch is currently sold out almost everywhere, including GameStop, Amazon, and Best Buy.