It's been over a month since the Nintendo Switch launched and they're still hard to find. Last we heard, the Switch had blown everyone out of the water by selling 1.5 million units in its first week alone. New reports suggest that number jumped up to 2.4 million for the first 4 weeks. It's impressive for sure, but the question on everyone's mind has been how it compares against other consoles.
Initial sales reports after launch:
- Switch: 1.5 million in 7 days
- PS4: 2.1 million in 14 days
- Xbox One: 2 million in 18 days
First six week sales:
- PS4: 4.2 million
- Xbox One: 3 million
- Wii: 3.1 million
- Switch: 2.4 million (4 weeks)
The Switch has been staying relatively on track with other console launches. We don't have the first six weeks' sales for the Switch, but estimations put it at 2.4 million units total in March. Individual regional sales have been strong as well. The Wii sold 1.25 million in its first six weeks in the US while the Switch sold an estimated 906,000 in four weeks. Sony and Microsoft did not have US sales reports for PS4 or Xbox One. As for Japan, where Nintendo and PlayStation run strong, both the Switch and PS4 were neck and neck for the first two weeks before a divide formed. 2ch posted weekly numbers from Media Create, showing how the two launches compare.
The characters in parenthesis after the Switch means it sold out each week. While both consoles have found sales declining as the weeks go by, the Switch's weekly sales have stayed consistently ahead of PS4 sales by a large margin.
Nintendo originally only planned to move 2 million consoles worldwide in the first month, playing it safe after the Wii U, which was later reportedly increased to 2.5 million as consoles were flying off shelves. Due to the unexpectedly strong launch, Nintendo also increased overall production numbers for the fiscal year, doubling the number of Switches to be made from 8 million to 16 million. This indicates they expect the Switch to perform as well or possibly even better as the popular #Wii a decade ago.
The Year To Come
The Switch launched in March, historically a slow time for games and missing out on the sale frenzy of holiday shopping. Other consoles have historically launched mid-November, catching Black Friday and the entire holiday shopping season for a strong first 6 weeks. That the Switch has still stayed competitive with those holiday-boosted sales is impressive and it will likely receive a bump in sales this holiday season.
It's hard to compare first year sales, since #PS4 and #XboxOne had different launch dates. They launched in the US in November 2014, but the PS4 launched in Japan in January 2014, and Xbox One didn't even reach Japan until September 2014. Sony and Microsoft reported sales for the first 12 months, while Wii sales came in at the end of the fiscal quarter, which fell at the end of December and over a month after the anniversary of the launch date. The Wii had the benefit of counting two full holiday shopping seasons, inflating its numbers a bit.
First year sales:
- PS4: 14.4 million units worldwide in 12 months, jumping to 18.5 million in 13.5 months
- Xbox One: 10 million units worldwide in 11.5 months
- Wii: 20.1 million worldwide in 13.5 months
Nintendo has 16 million units planned by the end of the fiscal year in April 2018, indicating that they think they can sell at least 10 million Switches in that time, if not more. A lot of its current success is due to its launch title #BreathoftheWild and further game launches later this year will only add to that number. The holidays will add to sales as well as both Mario games (Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Super Mario Odyssey). If the Switch keeps on track, it could be one of the best console launches yet.
Do you think the Switch can beat out the competition?