The Nintendo Switch is off to an impressive start, and its strong sales should help draw more third-party developers to the system.
The Nintendo Switch appears to be off to an impressive start, with demand high enough for the portable-hybrid console for it to be sold out at most online retailers. But Nintendo has a plan to get every paying customer a Switch before too long, as the company is reportedly doubling production of the console due to strong early sales numbers.
The Wall Street Journal (via Polygon) reported that Nintendo is planning to manufacture 16 million Switch consoles from April 1 until the same date in 2018. This is double that of the company’s more conservative 8 million system plan, and Nintendo believes that it can sell as many as 10 million consoles during that time period.
Nintendo’s sales expectations for the Switch’s predecessor, the Wii U, were much loftier. The company had planned to sell nearly 100 million of the machines, which would have been on par with the original Wii, but as of last July, the Wii U had only managed about 12 million in worldwide sales
The Switch became the biggest 48-hour launch in the history of Nintendo when it released earlier this month, with the U.K. selling double that of the Wii U during this time period. To date, the system has sold more than 1.5 million units, with nearly every buyer also purchasing a copy of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
The Switch’s strong sales numbers are perhaps surprising to Nintendo more than anyone. The console was expected to sell about 2 million in its first month — a million less than the Wii U managed — but given that the 1.5 million figure was primarily derived from just first week sales, we expected it to be much higher. If supply could keep up with demand, it would likely already have passed 2 million units sold.