Nintendo Caught Off Guard by Popularity of the Switch

The Kyoto-based game giant, in announcing its Fiscal 2016 earnings, said the Switch has sold 2.74 million hardware units worldwide since its launch. Nintendo says that it expects to sell an additional 10 million Switch consoles in fiscal 2017. This makes the Xbox One and PS4 easier to support than the Switch, and it is also a strategy that makes sense for Nintendo, since it lets them keep prices down. Games at the level of quality of their home consoles in what is, in essence, a portable system. Nintendo also called out 1-2-Switch as a title that has been "generating buzz", but it didn't give us any solid sales numbers for any games aside from Breath of the Wild.

The more improbable feat, however, remains sales of the Switch version of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild at 2.76 million units. But if they are still releasing major titles that would bolster their new hardware on their older hardware, that is bad, and gamers will see that and respond accordingly. In fact, Nintendo reports the Switch managed to move 2.74 million units, a figure that surprised even Nintendo given Switch's off-holiday arrival.

Meanwhile, the Nintendo 3DS sold 7.27 million units with a 7% increase on a year-per-year basis. This title elicited a fantastic response from consumers worldwide.

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Analysts at Morgan Stanley only expected guidance of 8.7 million Switch units for the first fiscal year. It's a move that has been paying off big for them in the sales department, and may just eclipse the sales of their last console by this time next year.

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Looking forward 12 months, Nintendo expects operating profit of 65 billion yen ($583 million) on net sales of 750 billion yen. Profit has fallen by 3 percent annually, while the company's operating revenue was down by 11 percent.

For the year that ended in March, Nintendo said it had recorded a net profit of Yen102.6 billion, compared with the street forecast of Yen93.6 billion.

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As a result, Nintendo's profits have soared 14 per cent year-on-year to ¥102bn (£11.5m), beating its initial expectations of ¥90bn.

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