After selling 23 million Switches two years ago and 18 million in the last year, Nintendo expects demand for the aging console to continue to fall. It's forecasting sales of 15 million for next year (fiscal year 2024) and isn't even confident of that figure, the company announced in its latest earnings report. "Sustaining the Switch’s sales momentum will be difficult in its seventh year," said President Shuntaro Furukawa in a call. "Our goal of selling 15 million unit this fiscal year is a bit of stretch."
To achieve that, the company said that it will focus on selling second and even third consoles to people who already own one. "We try to not only put one system in every home, but several in every home, or even one for every person."
For the last full year (fiscal 2023 for Nintendo), the company saw sales drop 5.5 percent from 1.695 trillion yen ($12.57 billion) to $1.601 trillion yen ($11.87 billion), while profit dropped 14.9 percent to 504.3 billion yen ($3.74 billion). Net sales for its last quarter were down 18 percent year-over-year to 306.5 billion yen ($2.27 billion), indicating that it's on a slippery downward slope.
Switch sales for the quarter were 3.06 million (with exactly half being OLED Switch units), one of the company's worst sales quarters for the console to date. However, Nintendo did predict this would happen, saying last year at this time that it expected sales of the console to keep slowing down.
That's to be expected for a six-year-old console that has sold extremely well in its lifetime (125.62 million units, third best of all time) and effectively saturated the market. Consumers may also be waiting for the company's next-gen console, whatever that turns out to be.
Luckily for Nintendo, we're just days away from the new Zelda release, which will likely drive game sales and inspire extra console demand. It's not looking too good for the Switch overall though, especially next to Sony which just had a second consecutive blockbuster quarter, selling 6.3 million PS5s and easily beating its forecast of 18 million for the year.