The Nintendo Switch looks to deliver a gaming experience suited to both home console players and those who play on the go, but Nintendo is remarkably conservative with its initial sales estimates thus far, only expecting to sell 2 million units by the end of next March.
This would be substantially less than the Wii U, which managed to sell about 3 million units by the end of 2012.
Nintendo revealed its estimate at a fiscal earnings report attended by Wall Street Journal reporter Takashi Mochizuki, during which Nintendo CEO Tatsumi Kimishima also stated that there will be opportunities for prospective buyers to try out the Switch before launch and that the company doesn’t plan to sell the system at a loss — this is a strategy that Nintendo also appeared to use in 2011 with the launch of the 3DS, before it drastically cut the price after just a months on the market and provided early adopters with 20 free games as an apology.
But while Nintendo’s sales projections remain more reserved than previous years’ earnings, company CEO Tatsumi Kimishima assured investors at a press conference that Nintendo would “roll out more than the 2 million Switch systems before the fiscal year ends March 31 if market demand is strong,” Venture Beat reported.
Because the company has been struggling to turn a profit, keeping manufacturing low until demand is certain can reduce supply chain costs, including storage space in warehouses for Switch units that will be rolled out to retailers post-launch. Keeping manufacturing low prior to launch could ensure a healthy, steady supply chain, and ensure that the company minimizes its losses.
Mochizuki added that Nintendo is “listening to what consumers expect from [Nintendo]” in regards to the system’s price. The Wii and Wii U both offered a less-expensive alternative to PlayStation and Xbox, and financial services group Marquarie predicts that the console will cost somewhere between $300 and $350.
Either price would be less expensive than the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One were at launch, but both consoles have gone on to receive substantial cuts in the years following. Nintendo saw its share price drop following the Switch’s announcement, with investors worried that Nintendo wasn’t doing enough to separate itself from the mobile gaming market.
Though investors haven’t been impressive with the Nintendo Switch thus far, we’re very excited about Nintendo’s next gamble. With processing power that appears to almost rival the Xbox One and the (apparent) ability to play games like Skyrim on the go, the Switch could very well be a smash hit.
Updated on 10-29-2016 by Harrison Kaminsky: This post has been updated with comments from Nintendo’s CEO that the company would manufacture more than 2 million Switch consoles for its March release, if needed.
Article originally published on 10-26-2016.