Too Early To Judge Nintendo Switch Success, Says Michael Pachter
Nintendo Switch Sales
(Last Updated On: August 15, 2017)

Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Michael Pachter has been one of the leading voices of Nintendoom for a decade, and he’s back with more sage wisdom regarding the newest hybrid gaming device from the Big ‘N’. Even with the Nintendo Switch moving 4.7 million units between March and July this year alone, Pachter still isn’t convinced that the Switch deserves to be called a “success”.

In a video segment for SIFTD Games, one of the questions Pachter is asked deals with whether or not Microsoft and Sony will attempt to replicate Nintendo and make hybrid portable and home consoles given the current sales trends for the Switch. You can check out the video below.

Pachter has a resounding “No!” as an answer, citing the PlayStation Portable and PlayStation Vita as failed experiments by Sony that simply could not put a dent in Nintendo’s market share over the portable gaming market.

The Wolf Hall transcribed Pachter’s quote about the Switch’s success, where he stated…

“We know a bunch of analysts are saying it sells 16, 20, a 100 lifetime units or more. Let’s see, the truth is I think it sells between 50 and 70 million which is great but not as good as any of their handhelds and if they keep the price at $300, 50 (million lifetimes units), if they cut the price to $200 pretty quickly, 70 (million units), if they cut the price to $100, then 90 (million units). But at $300 there’s no way they’re selling more than 50 million.”

Pachter reiterates that there’s “no chance” that the Switch is moving beyond 50 million lifetime sales at the $299 price point. He also brings up a good point about what the real demand is for the system: he states that until supply balances out, he won’t have a good gauge on demand.

SuperData had originally estimated that Nintendo would only move 5 million Switch units throughout the fiscal year, but Nintendo managed to sell 4.7 million units from March to July.

Hardware shortages of NAND chips forced Nintendo to under-supply retailers and distributors with Switch units throughout spring and summer. They’ve stated that during July and August supply will be available to meet demand. According to NowInStock.com, supply still isn’t present to meet demand in North America, and retailers are still selling out even with $100 markups above MSRP.

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Stock shortages may also continue through the fall even with Nintendo being able to fix the NAND shortage. According to Game Transfers, Japan Display recently had to layoff more than 3,700 employees. Why is this significant? Because Japan Display is the one who provides Nintendo with the liquid crystal display for the Switch units.

Japan Display took a hard fall over the last quarter due to Apple switching to OLED screens, forcing a downturn in manufacturing, which resulted in the layoffs.

So technically, we still may not have a true gauge on demand because of various supply shortages from one hiccup in the chain of manufacturing to the other.

We do know that at least Nintendo should have proper supply for July and August, according to reports from back in June. Japan has been holding retailer lotteries due to shortages, slowly rolling out units to eager customers. According to Nintendo Everything, some Nintendo Switch waiting lists have extended to more than 3,000 people.


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Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.