Nintendo is selling way more Switches than it predicted

But it warns that semiconductor shortages may be a problem this year.

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Nintendo Switch
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Nintendo sold 4.73 million Switch consoles last quarter, almost doubling its own forecasts. The company shrugged off fears of a pull-forward from a blockbuster winter quarter to achieve a 44 percent increase in Switch sales on the same period last year. Nintendo also beat predictions for the full year by posting 28.83 million console shipments. That's a 37 percent jump from fiscal 2020, pushing lifetime sales to 84.59 million. 

Its ongoing popularity means the Switch has now outsold another legacy Nintendo console in the Game Boy Advance and should surpass the Wii next year. Well, as long as any supply chain wrinkles don't ruin its run. Nintendo noted that global semiconductor shortages could create "obstacles to the procurement of parts." All in all, the company is hoping to sell 25.5 million Switches over the next fiscal year, which runs from April 21st to March 22nd.

The software side was just as impressive. Nintendo ended the year with 230 million games sold, again beating its original expectations by 90 million. Like hardware, software sales were also up by 37 percent over the previous full year, and further emphasized the enduring appeal of its first-party titles. The year's biggest success was the blissful life sim Animal Crossing, which has now sold over 32 million copies since its release in March 2020. Meanwhile, Ring Fit Adventure sold over 7 million copies and has now topped 10 million shipments.

The company's Super Mario 3D All-Stars package, which was comprised entirely of older remastered games, sold 9 million units before being arbitrarily deleted from the store on March 31st. Another re-release of sorts (although this one with a considerable amount of new material added) was Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury, which Nintendo says sold 4 million units in its first six weeks on sale. Older games also continued to perform: Mario Kart 8 remains the platform's most popular title and shipped over 10 million copies throughout the year. 

Looking ahead, this coming quarter is a mixture of 'medium-important' games for Nintendo: Pokemon Snap came out last week, Miitopia is due in a couple weeks, the newly announced $30 Game Builder Garage arrives in early June, and then Mario Golf Super Rush will launch a few days before the quarter is done on June 25th. 

And even further down the line, players can expect a Zelda Skyward Sword remaster due in July, before the Pokemon Diamond & Pearl remakes arrive to likely dominate the end of the year. The more-intriguing Pokemon Legends: Arceus — an open-world prequel — is scheduled for 'early 2022.' Perhaps, the biggest releases, and the ones that will likely contribute the most to future console sales, are still without a release window. The Breath of the Wild sequel and Metroid Prime 4 are still TBA, as is the next instalment of the fan favorite Bayonetta.

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