In a recent interview with Kyoto.jp, Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima acknowledged that the company is targeting 20 million Nintendo Switch units for the install base during the next fiscal year, putting millions of more units in homes throughout 2018.
Kimishima noted that wrapping up 2017 they’re hoping to top out at 14 million units to round out the fiscal year. This is a revised forecast after the company moved 10 million units of the Nintendo Switch throughout the year, revising the margin after hitting the 10 million milestone back in October.
Bloomberg’s Yuji Nakamura noted that this would mean that the Nintendo Switch could have an install base of more than 36.7 million by March, 2019. Nakamura also shared a chart indicating that the Switch could catch up to or be on par in sales pace with the PlayStation 4, if 2018 proves to be a strong year for Nintendo.
Nintendo targeting >20m Switch sales next fiscal year, President Kimishima says in new interview. That would put cumulative sales at >36.7m by March 2019. And he’s probably being conservative… via @GearoidReidyhttps://t.co/86xnUjvxHX pic.twitter.com/wJQvAkrjfI
— Yuji Nakamura (@ynakamura56) December 28, 2017
As you can see, the Wii is still the beast of the best, moving 45 million units from November, 2006 to December 2008, a two year time span that saw massive growth for Nintendo with the little Wii that could.
They have a more conservative outlook for the Switch, setting it behind the PS4 in terms of two year fiscal volume by fewer than 1 million SKUs.
This likely means that the company isn’t expecting to ship the Nintendo Switch version of Pokemon in the fall of 2018, otherwise they would likely have a much stronger outlook for the forecast of the two year sales volume.
The big test for the Switch comes in the form of 2018 software support. While the first year out was strong, having multiple hard-hitting first-party AAA titles, they will need an equally strong 2018 to secure and maintain their current sales momentum.
While a lot more developers have signed on to make games for the Switch, those games will need to release in a timely enough manner if want those sales to matter.