Nintendo sold 3.19 million Switch consoles worldwide in the September quarter, up from 2.92 million units in the same period a year ago, reaching a lifetime total of 22.86 million units for the hybrid home/mobile console, surpassing the 2001-2007 era Nintendo GameCube in cumulative sales.
The result, announced this morning, signals a continued strong reception for the Nintendo Switch, which had already exceeded its immediate predecessor, the Wii U, in lifetime unit sales.
For the upcoming holiday season, Nintendo is counting a major lift from Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for Nintendo Switch, set for release on Dec. 7; and Pokémon: Let’s Go! Pikachu/ Let’s Go! Eevee, scheduled for release on Nov. 17 on the Switch. The Pokémon games will be released in conjunction with a separately sold, $50 device called the Poké Ball Plus.
Nintendo maintained its forecast of 20 million units sold for the Switch for the current fiscal year, which ends in March 2019. So far, in the first six months of the fiscal year, the company has sold 5.07 million units of the Switch, according to its earnings report this morning.
During an interview at the GeekWire Summit in October, Reggie Fils-Aimé, president and COO of Redmond-based Nintendo of America, explained how the company learned from the Wii U in developing the concept for the Switch, which can be picked up and taken on the go.
“Certainly without our experiences on the Wii U we would not have the Nintendo Switch in terms of what we learned, and importantly what we heard from our consumers,” he said. “They were telling us, I want to play with this tablet, this Gamepad, for the Wii U, but as soon as I get more than 30 feet away, it disconnects. So the core concept, something that you could take with you anywhere, anytime, was really compelling. So it was an important step for us to be able to deliver on this proposition.”
[Watch a GeekWire TLDR video report on Fils-Aimé’s comments above, and see the full interview here.]
By comparison, Sony this morning said it shipped 3.9 PlayStation 4 consoles in the September quarter.
Microsoft no longer discloses Xbox unit sales, but said it in its quarterly report last week, “Gaming revenue increased $842 million or 44%, driven by Xbox software and services revenue growth of 36%, due to third-party title strength, and Xbox hardware revenue growth of 94%, against a low prior year comparable due to timing of the Xbox One X launch in the second quarter of fiscal year 2018.”
Operating profit in the July-September quarter was 30.9 billion yen (about $275 million), up from 23.8 billion yen a year ago. The outcome fell short of analysts’ estimates but qualified as the company’s best quarterly result in eight years.
Nintendo said its results were helped strong sales of Switch games including Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (1.67 million units; May release) and Mario Tennis Aces (2.16 million units; June release). Total software sales for Nintendo Switch reached 42.13 million units, the company said.