The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Nintendo plans on shipping anywhere between 25 and 30 million during fiscal 2019, which stretches from April, 2018 to April, 2019. The company is hoping to rectify the manufacturing woes they suffered throughout 2017 by continually increasing supply to meet consumer demand.
Some people think that the figure is a bit absurd, but this would actually fit in line with Nintendo’s expected line-up of games set to release either in fall of 2018 or at some point in 2019, such as Square Enix and Ubisoft’s series of games that are set to come out, as reported by GI.biz, and the upcoming Shin Megami Tensei title that many Atlus fans are awaiting. The biggest game of them all due out within the next two years is obviously Game Freak’s full fledged Pokemon.
The game is bound to be a massive seller so long as it’s a quality made title with decent enough HD assets and the typical role-playing experience that gamers have come to expect from the portable Pokemon games.
Earlier this year during the Nintendo E3 Direct, The Pokemon Company’s CEO, Tsunekazu Ishihara, had commented that Game Freak had already started work on the game and that it would be ready after more than a year of development, saying…
“Game Freak has begun developing a core RPG Pokemon Nintendo on the Nintendo Switch. It may not release for more than a year, but we hope you look forward to it more the same.”
So “more than a year” could mean fall, 2018. The more likely release date would be at some point in 2019, however.
Nintendo seems to want to have a bunch of Switch units shipped throughout 2018 to make it readily available for whatever software they have planned to release throughout the year.
If Pokemon for the Switch is going to be released in late 2018 then there’s no doubt in my mind that Nintendo will easily be able to fulfill the 24 through 30 million SKUs they have planned to move throughout 2018. If, however, Pokemon is releasing in 2019, then it’s likely that Nintendo is building up an install base to move as many software units as possible for the highly popular franchise right out of the gate.
It’s hard to tell what the release frame will be, but it was announced that Pokemon Ultra Sun and Pokemon Ultra Moon are going to be the last Pokemon games released for the Nintendo 3DS, so Game Freak will be 100% focused on the Switch.
On October 19th, 2017, Game Freak director Shigeru Ohmori told IGN that they’ve pushed the 3DS to its limits and it was time to move on, saying…
“[…] With Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, we’ve tried to eke that out more and really, really push the system to its absolute limits, and we’re now feeling that perhaps this is the maximum of what we can get out. So we’re really treating Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon as the culmination of our work with the 3DS system.”
According to the IGN article, half of Game Freak’s 80 staff worked on Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon while the other half – the veteran staff – put in time and work into the other project.
The upcoming Switch release will have better visuals, a more robust multiplayer function, and additional support for Nintendo’s hybrid console when it does release.