Nintendo Plans to Ship 12.74 Million Switch Units by March 2018; 2.74 Million Units Shipped in March 2017

Nintendo Plans to Ship 12.74 Million Switch Units by March 2018; 2.74 Million Units Shipped in March 2017

Nintendo announces very positive initial results for the Switch in March, and bullish predictions for its performance until March 31st, 2018.

Today Nintendo released its financial results for the fiscal year ended on March 31st, 2017, and besides the total lifetime shipments for its consoles, they provided quite a lot of information on the business.

First of all, we learn that Nintendo shipped 2.74 million Switch units in the month of March 2017, alongside 5.46 million software copies.

On top of that, the manufacturer predicts to ship 10 million Nintendo Switch units between April 1st 2017, and March 31s1, 2018, which marks the end of the current fiscal year. This means that the total by then would be 12.74 millions.

The prediction also mention 35 million copies of Switch games between April 1st 2017, and March 31s1, 2018, which would add to the 5.46 million units sold in March 2017, for a total of 40.46 million software units.

On the 3DS front, lifetime hardware sales are at 66.12 million by March 31st, with six million more predicted for the period between April 1st 2017, and March 31s1, 2018. This would bring the total at 72.12 million copies by March 2018.

3DS software sales are at 329.25 million by March 31st, with a prediction for the current fiscal year of another 40 million. The predicted lifetime total by March 31st, 2018 would be 369.25 million.

We also get the consolidated results for the full fiscal year ended on March 31st, with all numbers in the black.


In addition to that, Nintendo provided a statement via press release, giving a detailed overview on the state of its gaming business.

We learn that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild shopped 2.76 million units worldwide on Nintendo Switch, and 3.84 million copies counting the total including Wii U copies.

“Nintendo Switch, a new home console system that diversifies the ways you can play games, launched during this period on March 3 worldwide and is off to a promising start. In particular, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has won immense popularity with recorded sales of 2.76 million units (the total units sold including the Wii U version is 3.84 million units) and 1-2-Switch has been generating buzz. Both of these games were released at the same time as the hardware. The sales volume for hardware and software during this period reached 2.74 million units and 5.46 million units respectively.

Sales volume for the Nintendo 3DS software also grew favorably. In addition to Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon, which released worldwide in November and generated a tremendous amount of buzz with recorded sales of 15.44 million units, Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS sold 2.34 million units and Kirby: Planet Robobot sold 1.36 million units. The release of the smart device application Pokémon GO led to increased sales of software in the Pokémon series and drove the Nintendo 3DS family hardware sales growth outside of Japan. The worldwide sales volume for the Nintendo 3DS hardware this period was 7.27 million units (7% increase on a year-on-year basis), while the Nintendo 3DS software sales volume reached 55.08 million units (14% increase on a year-on-year basis).

For Wii U, while The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild released worldwide in March and reached sales of 1.08 million units, the Wii U software sales volume during this period was 14.8 million units (46% decrease on a year-on-year basis) and hardware sales were in alignment with our expectations at the start of the fiscal year, decreasing to a sales volume of 760 thousand units (77% decrease on a year-on-year basis). On the smart device front, we released Super Mario Run, a new action game application featuring Mario, in December for the iOS and March for the Android.

This title elicited a fantastic response from consumers worldwide. Furthermore, we released Fire Emblem Heroes, a full-fledged simulation RPG game application that can be enjoyed casually on smart devices, in February. The game is being enjoyed by both long-time fans of the Fire Emblem series and consumers who have never played the series on dedicated video game systems. The Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition also launched in Japan and overseas in November to widespread popularity.

Although the release of some new titles offering amiibo functionality restored some momentum, amiibo sales remained limited to 9.1 million units for figure-type and 9.3 million units for card-type. In addition, there were relatively fewer offerings of downloadable content during this period, so digital sales were also down to a large extent on the same period last year. These factors resulted in an operating profit of 489.0 billion yen against net sales of 29.3 billion yen (of which 359.0 billion yen, or 73.4% of the total sales, were overseas sales).

We have also included 50.3 billion yen share of profit of entities accounted for using the equity method related to The Pokémon Company and other investments, resulting in an ordinary profit of 20.2 billion yen. In addition, due to the sale of part of our equity in the company that manages the Seattle Mariners Major League Baseball team, we recorded gain on sales of investment securities totaling 64.5 billion yen as extraordinary income, meaning that the net profit attributable to owners of parent was 102.5 billion yen.”

The press release also included the outlook for the current fiscal year. Interestingly, we read that Nintendo intends to “maintain favorable conditions surrounding Nintendo Switch by providing a continuous stream of appealing third-party titles across varying genres.”

“Regarding Nintendo Switch, we will maintain buzz about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and 1-2-Switch, which are off to a phenomenal start, and release Mario Kart 8 Deluxe in April and ARMS in June worldwide. We will release Splatoon 2 in July. Splatoon 2 exemplifies the concept of Nintendo Switch, enabling consumers to play anywhere, anytime, and with anyone, and will bring competition between consumers to new levels of excitement. In addition, we will maintain favorable conditions surrounding Nintendo Switch by providing a continuous stream of appealing third-party titles across varying genres. We aim to stimulate the platform and expand sales going into the holiday season this year.

Total sales volume for the Nintendo 3DS hardware worldwide has surpassed 66 million units and it has developed into a platform that we can rely on for software sales. We will release Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia overseas in May (April in Japan) and plan to release Ever Oasis and Hey! Pikmin in June and July. Furthermore, this year is Kirby’s 25th anniversary, so we are planning to release downloadable titles and a new multiplayer action game for Nintendo 3DS.

Third-party developers have also announced major titles for Nintendo 3DS. During this period we will continue striving to maintain the momentum of the platform and to reach a broader audience, including females and children, across the world. In the smart-device business, we released three game applications during this period, each with different playstyles and profit models. We were able to present opportunities for consumers who had never played Nintendo games before and those who live in regions we had previously been unable to reach to experience Nintendo’s intellectual property (Nintendo IP) and the different worlds featured in Nintendo games.

Going forward we will endeavor to expand our smart-device business by making use of the experience we have gained so far to provide new game applications, while also focusing on continued operations for our released applications so that consumers can enjoy playing them for a long time.

Based on these efforts, we project a net sales of 750.0 billion yen, an operating profit of 65.0 billion yen, an ordinary profit of 60.0 billion yen and a net profit attributable to owners of parent of 45.0 billion yen. Unit sales of the major products used for the forecast are listed on page 15 under the heading of “(4) Consolidated sales units, number of new titles, and sales units forecast” in the “Others” section. Exchange rate assumptions for the major currencies used for the forecasts are 105 yen per US dollar and 115 yen per euro.”

Below you can find shipments broken down by platform and region, including the prediction of shipments for the current fiscal year.


Last but not least, Nintendo announced that Representative Director and Technology Fellow Genyo Takeda is retiring, and the company anticipates to replace him with Ko Shiota, who will take the role of Director, Senior Executive Officer and General Manager of Platform Technology Development Division.