Nintendo Increases Switch Fiscal Year Unit Sales Forecast Despite Nine-Month Sales Decline

Nintendo Feb. 6 released nine-month fiscal year 2024 results, which included a projected 15.5 million Switch video game console unit sales through March 31 — up from a previous estimate of 15 million.

The enhanced number comes as the video game manufacturer reported Switch unit sales of 13.74 million unit sales, down almost 8% from 14.91 unit sales in the previous-year period. Switch unit sales plummeted nearly 35% to 3.4 million units from 5.22 million in the prior year period.

Nintendo Switch – OLED Model unit sales increased 6.2% to 8.17 million from 7.69 million units, while Nintendo Switch Lite unit sales increased 9.1% to 2.18 million from 2 million last year.

“Although [Switch] unit sales decreased year-on-year, sales have been stable given the fact that the platform is in its seventh year, and the results were generally in line with our expectations,” Nintendo wrote in the fiscal report.

Pushing the enhanced Switch unit sales estimate is the steady growth in sales for Super Mario Bros. Wonder, which has generated 10.7 million unit sales since its release in October 2023. Indeed, Nintendo increased its forecast for Switch video game sales by 5 million to 190 million units.

“In addition, The Super Mario Bros. Movie, released in theaters in April 2023, had a positive impact on sales of Mario related video game titles. As a result, there were 24 titles that sold over a million copies during the period, including titles from other software publishers,” Nintendo wrote.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie was the No. 1 theatrical release until being supplanted by Warner Bros. Pictures’ Barbie in July. Mario would end the year with $1.36 billion in ticket sales compared with $1.44 billion for Barbie.

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Nintendo Cites ‘The Super Mario Bros. Movie’ For Upping Q1 Hardware, Software Revenue, Profit

Video game giant Nintendo Aug. 3 cited the box office success of Universal Pictures’ The Super Mario Bros. Movie for contributing to the company’s first quarter, ended June 30, increase in Nintendo Switch player unit sales and software revenue. Nintendo owns the “Super Mario Bros.” intellectual property rights.

The company said the April release of The Super Mario Bros. Movie positively impacted sales of all “Mario” related titles, with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe recording sales of 1.67 million units (for cumulative sales of 55.46 million units) in the quarter due to the movie.

Nintendo Switch hardware unit sales increased 13.9% year-on-year to 3.91 million units, and software unit sales increased 26.1% year-on-year to 52.21 million units.

Nintendo said the launch of the Switch video game title The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (released in May) got off to a good start, generating sales of 18.51 million units.

Digital revenue increased 35.9% year-over-year to 119.6 billion yen ($840 million), helped by the depreciation of the yen to the U.S. dollar. That combined with strong sales of packaged software for the Nintendo Switch and increased sales related to Nintendo Switch Online.

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In the mobile and IP related business, the combination of an increase in income from royalties from The Super Mario Bros. Movie resulted in overall sales of 31.8 billion yen ($223.3 million), an increase of 190.1% year-over-year.

Nintendo said overall Q1 revenue reached 461.3 billion yen ($3.24 billion), with sales outside Japan of 369 billion yen ($2.59 billion), accounting for 80% of that total. Operating profit came to 185.4 billion yen ($1.3 billion). With the depreciation of the yen in foreign exchange markets, Nintendo said it recorded foreign exchange gains of 47.2 billion yen ($331.4 million), upping gross profit to 253.7 billion yen ($1.78 billion), and net profit attributable to 181 billion yen ($1.27 billion).

Report: Nintendo Switch Online Rated Best Value Video Game Subscription Service

Nintendo Switch Online has been rated as the best value-for-money gaming subscription service on the market, according to new data from Indivisible Gaming, an Australian-based company that creates a range of computer games.

Unlike other gaming services analyzed, Nintendo offers the most benefits for the lowest price: $3.76. The service meets five of the six criteria, missing the mark on “Weekly Updates,” which was only met by one other service, Apple Arcade.

The five other criteria cited in the report include: online access, cloud storage, multi-device, classic console, and member discounts.

The standard subscription gives access to online play, storage, and virtual consoles such as the NES, SNES, and Gameboy, including free-to-play games within those virtual consoles. An expansion pack can also be added to the service, providing additional content for the Switch’s biggest titles; Super Mario Kart, Animal Crossing, and Splatoon.

The service also provides an exclusive gaming coupon that subscribers can only purchase. This coupon allows users to buy two games for the Nintendo Switch, which provides a discount as big titles on the Switch.

Xbox Game Pass ranked as the second-best value-for-money gaming subscription service despite the recent price increase. The pricing for the game pass will increase on the July 6 in all markets.

Data shows that the standard subscription does not come with online or weekly updates, however, according to Microsoft, there are updates twice a month. Furthermore, users can add online play separately by purchasing Xbox Gold Live or the premium version of Xbox Game Pass, Game Pass Ultimate.

Despite not offering online play in the baseline edition, the service allows for cloud storage, member discounts, and the ability to play new games on the same day as the release.

Sony Interactive Entertainment’s PlayStation Plus also ranks as the joint second-best value-for-money gaming subscription service. The data showed that the subscription service met four of the six criteria, missing out on classic console and weekly updates.

The service, which is exclusive to PlayStation devices and PCs, offers a range of PS4 and PS5 games. The cheapest option of the service offers online multiplayer, monthly games, exclusive discounts, and game help — a benefit not offered by any other gaming service. The highest tier is the “Premium Plan,” which includes all benefits in addition to classic catalog games, game trials and cloud streaming.

EA Play is a subscription service dedicated to all EA game titles. It gives users access to the publisher’s catalog of games and early access to upcoming titles and ranks as the joint third best value-for-money gaming subscription service overall, alongside Ubisoft+.

Data shows that this service does not offer online play, but this is because EA does not own any hardware, and the service can only be downloaded to specific consoles: Xbox, PlayStation, and PCs.

Ubisoft+ ranks as the fifth best value-for-money gaming subscription service. Dedicated to Ubisoft titles, similar to EA Play, the subscription platform gives access to 100+ games and premium editions of games on PCs or on Xbox and Amazon Luna, if subscribed to the multi-access pass.

Ranked at No. 6 is Apple Arcade, a subscription service only available on iOS devices, allowing seamless play games on the iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple TV. The research shows that this service only met two of the six criteria, checking the box for multiple devices and weekly updates.

The service includes over 200 premium games not available on the app store and original titles from the App Store, such as Fruit Ninja Classic+. Unlike other services, Apple Arcade allows you to play games offline at a baseline cost.

Ranking last is Prime Gaming, a service included within Amazon Prime membership benefits, offering free games to play at no additional cost. The service is only available on Windows PCs by downloading the Gaming desktop app. The research shows that the service only met two criteria, cloud storage and multi-device.

“This study provides insight for new gamers into which gaming subscriptions offer the best value for money, which is especially helpful during the current cost-of-living crisis,” read the report. “Consumers must compare these costs and benefits to determine which system suits their individual needs and if the benefits are worth the additional fees.”

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Nintendo Posts 22% Switch Hardware Unit Sales Decline

Video game hardware/software manufacturer/publisher Nintendo May 9 announced that it sold almost 18 million Switch consoles in the fiscal year ended March 31. The tally fell 22.1% from around 23 million units sold in the prior fiscal year.

Nintendo attributed the unit sales drop to shortages of semiconductors and other components that impacted production until around the end of summer.

“We did not experience the growth in sales mainly during the winter holiday season that we saw in the previous fiscal year,” the company said in a statement. “The sales situation for software remained stable, but unit sales declined 9% year-on-year to 213.96 million units, affected to some extent by the decline in hardware sales.”

On the flipside, Nintendo-branded software titles flourished. The company posted strong sales with 35 titles selling 1 million units each.

Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet recorded combined unit sales of 22.1 million units, and Splatoon 3 sold 10.67 million units. Other new titles released during the year included Nintendo Switch Sports, which sold 9.6 million units.

Among titles released through the end of the previous fiscal year, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe sold 8.45 million units (for cumulative sales of 53.79 million units) and Kirby and the Forgotten Land (cumulative sales of 6.46 million units).

Finally, current box office blockbuster The Super Mario Bros. Movie, which was released in theaters in April, has topped more than $1 billion in global ticket sales. Nintendo said the movie underscores its ongoing efforts to expand consumer access to Nintendo IP.

“Through initiatives like this, we will work to continually grow our dedicated video game platform business, which is our core business,” Nintendo said.

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Sony Continues to Expand PlayStation 5 Footprint, Distance Itself From Rivals

The Sony PlayStation ecosystem continues to distance itself from rivals Microsoft Xbox and Nintendo Switch in the competitive video game market.

Sony Interactive Entertainment April 28 said it sold a record 19.1 million PlayStation 5 video game consoles in the fiscal year ended March 31, beating its forecast of 18 million by more than 6%.

Many of those unit sales were to gamers over 45 years of age, the fastest growing consumer base, up nearly 22 million since 2018, according to research group Circana.

By comparison, Sony said it sold 11.5 million PS5 consoles in the previous fiscal year, ended March 31, 2022, as the company was facing supply chain issues brought on by the COVID pandemic. The company’s gaming division annual revenue was 33% higher ($26.6 billion) than the previous fiscal year at $20 billion, coming in as the biggest category by sales. Sony is forecasting 25 million PS5 units sold through March 31, 2024.

Meanwhile, rival Xbox Gaming saw quarterly revenue decrease $133 million or 4% driven by a decline in Xbox hardware sales. Hardware revenue decreased 30% on a strong prior year comparable, driven by lower volume of consoles sold. Xbox content and services revenue increased 3% driven by growth in the subscription-based Xbox Game Pass.

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In terms of hardware sales, Sony has sold about 30 million PS5 consoles  compared to around 18.5 million Xbox Series units.

Xbox Gaming nine-month revenue decreased $800 million or 6% driven by declines in Xbox content and services and Xbox hardware. Xbox content and services revenue decreased 5% driven by a decline in first-party content, offset in part by growth in Xbox Game Pass. Xbox hardware revenue decreased 11% driven by lower volume and price of consoles sold.

Nintendo reported a 26% drop in Switch hardware sales to 1.5 million in the nine-month period ended Dec. 22, 2022, from 1.9 million units in the previous-year period. Software sales dipped 4% to 17.2 million units from 17.9 million during the previous-year period.

Notably, Ampere Analysis said Sony ended 2022 with 45% market share in video games, followed by 27.7% for Nintendo and 27.3% for Microsoft. The percentages were all down by 1.6% and 0.5% for Sony and Nintendo, respectively, while Microsoft saw a 1.8% market share increase.

Sony continues to object to Microsoft’s planned $69 billion acquisition of game publisher Activision Blizzard, claiming the merger would limit Activision’s popular Call of Duty franchise to Xbox platforms, among other concerns. The British Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) regulatory agency last week blocked the proposed sale, citing cloud gaming concerns, a decision both Microsoft and Activision are appealing.

Wedbush Securities media analyst Michael Pachter disagrees with the CMA decision, believing it will be overturned.

“The CMA’s ruling disregards the fact that several cloud-based services have closed over the last two decades, including those offered by Google (Stadia), Time Warner (GameTap) and startups OnLive and Gaikai,” Pachter wrote in a note. “We agree that Activision content is highly unlikely to ever be licensed to cloud gaming services, but disagree that Microsoft’s ownership of Activision would change the outcome for third parties such as Sony.”

Anime App Crunchyroll Launches on Nintendo Switch

The Crunchyroll anime app launched worldwide Feb. 17 on the Nintendo Switch.

Viewers have access to more than 1,000 series and 30,000 episodes on the Crunchyroll app, including “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba” and “One Piece,” through their Nintendo Switch console either docked at home or taken on the go with offline viewing support.

With this launch, Crunchyroll will become the first streaming application to offer offline viewing on the Nintendo Switch, and one of a limited number of SVOD apps on the gaming console, according to the service.

The Crunchyroll app offers ad-supported anime or, through a Crunchyroll subscription, unlimited ad-free anime, with simulcast series streaming day and date with premiere in Japan.

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Powered by Epic Games’ Unreal Engine technology, the application allows users to watch anime in TV mode, with their console docked and plugged into a television; in tabletop mode, which allows them to share their anime with others; or in handheld mode, to pick up and experience with Joy-Con controllers attached.

Crunchyroll is also available through iOS and Android mobile and tablet devices, PlayStation, Xbox, Roku, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Chromecast.

Crunchyroll connects anime and manga fans across 200-plus countries and territories. In addition to free ad-supported and subscription premium content, Crunchyroll offers the anime community social engagement, events, games, consumer products, content distribution and creation, and manga publishing.

Crunchyroll was acquired in August 2021 by Funimation Global Group, a joint venture between Sony Pictures Entertainment and Sony Music Entertainment Japan.


NPD: Nintendo Switch Top-Selling Video Game Console in November

While the Sony PlayStation 5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X game systems make headlines for in-store shortages and supply issues, the Nintendo Switch has quietly dominated sales.

New data from The NPD Group found the Japanese-based Switch console was the best-selling device in November, with combined sales of Nintendo SwitchNintendo Switch Lite and Nintendo Switch — OLED Model systems topping 1.13 million units.

For the holiday-shopping week of Thanksgiving, which includes Black Friday, Switch was also the top-selling console, with nearly 550,000 systems sold. Switch has now been the top-selling console for 35 out of the last 36 months, according to NPD.

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“As we head into 2022, and the sixth year of Nintendo Switch, the system continues to see strong demand,” Doug Bowser, president of Nintendo of America, said in a statement.

Last month on the fiscal call, Nintendo executives said the Switch was in the ‘middle phase’ of its lifecycle, which promptly ignited scuttlebutt about a possible Switch 2 device on the distant horizon. Nintendo has made no official comment about a second-edition Switch.

In July, Nintendo bowed the Switch OLED console featuring a brighter and more-colorful screen.

NPD: Record October Video Game Revenue Tops $4.39 Billion

Consumer demand for video game hardware, software and accessories continues unabated. The games market saw a 16% revenue uptick in October to a record $4.39 billion, from revenue of $3.78 billion in the previous-year period, according to new data from The NPD Group. That’s the sixth-consecutive month of revenue increases across all market segments.

Through 10 months of the year, consumer spending exceeds $46.7 billion, up 12% from $41.7 billion during the same period last year.

Despite ongoing product shortages, game console sales skyrocketed 82% to $472 million, from $259 million last year. Accessories increased 5% to $158 million, from $150 million. Video game revenue increased 11% to $3.75  billion, from $3.38 billion. Mobile gaming revenue jumped 12% to more than $2 billion, from $1.78 billion last year.

Nintendo Switch regained the monthly hardware sales No. 1 ranking after months of Sony PlayStation 5 domination. Through 10 months, the PS5 leads in revenue while the Switch leads in unit sales. Nintendo recently announced it was considering a next-generation Switch, which was last launched in 2017.

NPD: PlayStation 5 Snaps Nintendo Switch’s 33-Month Run as Top-Selling Game Console

Sony’s PlayStation 5 video game console was the top-selling unit in September, ending a 33-month run by Nintendo Switch as the industry’s top-selling console, according to new data from The NPD Group. November 2018 was the last month a game platform (PlayStation 4) other than Switch led in unit sales.

In a blog post, NPD analyst Mat Piscatella wrote that September hardware dollar sales increased 49% to $412 million when compared to the previous-year period at $276 million. Year-to-date hardware spending is up 49% to $3.5 billion, compared with $2.35 billion at this point last year.

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September game sales, which includes hardware, software and accessories, inched up 3% to a record $4.36 billion, from $4.24 billion last year — a notable achievement considering ongoing chip shortages due to the pandemic.

Meanwhile, software sales, which include packaged media, digital and subscription, were flat at $3.78 billion. Accessories fell 12% to $171 million, from $193 million during the previous-year period.

NPD: March Sets Another Monthly Video Game Revenue Record

Another month, another 30 days generating record billions of dollars in sales of video games, hardware and accessories. New data from The NPD Group found that gamers spent record $5.61 billion in March, which was up 18% from $4.75 billion spent in the previous-year period.

Through 90 days of 2021, video game spending is up 30% to $14.92 billion from $11.47 billion last year.

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Main revenue drivers include next-generation game consoles from Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox. But notably, the biggest seller in the month was the Nintendo Switch, which outsold the PS5 and Xbox Series X combined in unit sales. The PS5, however, remains the fastest-selling console in U.S. history in terms of units and dollars. Hardware sales skyrocketed 47% to $680 million, from $462.5 million a year earlier.

Software sales grew 14% to $4.63 billion, from $4 billion a year earlier, while accessories sales leaped 26% to $300 million, from $238 million. Accessories are up 42% through 90 days to $717 million, from $505 million last year.