Nintendo reports a drop in Switch sales and warns of no new hardware this year

Nintendo has reported a decline in Switch hardware sales and warned that no new hardware will be released until April 2024.

The company has now sold 125.62 million Switch consoles as of March 31, up from 122.5 million, but sales of consoles at the end of the year have decreased by 22%.

In its end-of-fiscal year results, Nintendo confirmed that it had sold a total of 17.97 million consoles during the 12-month period, meaning it missed its sales target of 21 million (and the later revised target of 18 million).

The company estimates it will sell 15 million consoles in the current fiscal year ending March 31, 2024, representing a further 16.5% decline, as the Switch enters a significant decline in its seventh year on the market.

Speaking on a call after the results, President Shuntaro Furukawa reportedly hinted that with console sales slowing, Nintendo isn̵[ads1]7;t entirely confident of reaching its next 15 million target. It also won’t release new hardware until March 31, 2024, he said.

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*As of 31 March 2023 (compared to December 2022)

  1. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – 53.79m (+1.79m)
  2. Animal Crossing: New Horizons – 42.21m (+0.62m)
  3. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate – 31.09m (+0.55m)
  4. Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – 29.81m (+0.81m)
  5. Pokemon Sword/Shield – 25.82m (+0.14m)
  6. Super Mario Odyssey – 25.76m (+0.64m)
  7. Pokemon Scarlet & Violet – 22.1 m (+1.49)
  8. Super Mario Party – 19.14m (+0.34m)
  9. New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe – 15.41 (+0.66m)
  10. Ring Fit Adventure – 15.38m (+0.16m)

“Sustaining the Switch’s sales momentum will be difficult in its seventh year,” Shuntaro Furukawa said via Bloomberg. “Our target of selling 15 million units this fiscal year is a bit difficult. But we will do our best to strengthen demand into the holiday season so that we can reach the target.”

Furukawa added that no new or upgraded hardware is included in Nintendo’s annual forecast.

The Switch’s sales decline comes despite two blockbuster releases during the fiscal year in the form of Splatoon 3 and Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, both of which reported strong sales of a combined 32.77 million.

And with the much-anticipated The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom coming out this week, some analysts don’t expect hardware sales to pick up like they have in the past.

“We expect Nintendo will not release next-generation hardware in the next 12 months,” UBS Securities said in a note ahead of the earnings report. “Nintendo’s valuation is very likely to shrink until the launch of the new hardware.”

Last year, the Switch was already confirmed as the best-selling Nintendo home console of all time, beating the Wii’s 101.63m. However, it still has a way to go before it matches the Nintendo DS’s 154.02 million units sold. Apart from Nintendo’s own consoles, only the PlayStation 2 (155m) has outsold the Nintendo Switch.

The Switch has now shipped 1.036 billion games since it launched in 2017, which is more than any other Nintendo console (the DS is closest at 948.7 million games shipped).

Nintendo reports a drop in Switch sales and warns of no new hardware this year
Nintendo reports a drop in Switch sales and warns of no new hardware this year

In its FY23 results, the Japanese company said net sales were down 5.5% to 1,695 billion yen ($12.56 billion) and net profit was down 9.4% to 432.7 billion yen ($3.2 billion )

The company attributed the Switch hardware decline in part to semiconductor shortages that affected production until around late summer, and a flatter holiday sales season compared to the previous year.

Despite the decline in hardware, Switch software sales remain strong at 213.96 million units for the fiscal year (down 8.9% year-over-year).

New entry Pokémon Scarlet and Violet shipped a whopping 22.1 million copies in the 4.5 months to March 31, 2023, while Splatoon 3 shipped 10.67 million, and Switch Sports sold 9.60 million.

Additionally, among titles released through the end of the previous fiscal year, Fire Emblem Engage shipped 1.61 million, Bayonetta 3 shipped 1.07 million, Metroid Prime Remastered shipped 1.09 million and Mario Strikers: Battle League 3.109 million.

“Looking ahead to software, in addition to The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom in May, and Pikmin 4 in July, additional content for Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet in the form of The Hidden Treasure of Area Zero is in order,” the company said.

“The first part of this add-on, The Teal Mask, is scheduled for release in Fall 2023, and the second part, The Indigo Disk, is scheduled for release in Winter 2023.

“Other software publishers also plan to release a wide variety of titles, and we will work to renew the platform by supplementing existing titles with a continuous stream of new titles and additional content.”