Nintendo expects the Switch to surpass sales of Wii U in just a year

Nintendo Switch review
Mike Epstein/Digital Trends

The Nintendo Switch is off to an incredible start and has consistently surpassed the company’s sales expectations since its launch earlier this year, but the console could soon hit a milestone that would truly cement its success. Nintendo now predicts the Switch will surpass the lifetime sales of the Wii U in only a year.

The prediction comes via the company’s latest earnings forecast, which stated that between April 2017 — a month after the Switch launched — and March 2018, Nintendo expects to sell 14 million systems. That is about 500,000 more than the Wii U managed to sell over its entire lifespan, which ran from 2012 until 2017.

To date, North America has been the strongest supporter of Nintendo Switch, with more than 3 million consoles sold, while Japan has sold just under 2 million. Game sales for the system have also been strong, with Splatoon 2 managing to sell 3.6 million units, and Nintendo even had success with its Amiibo figures — more than 5 million have been sold over the last six months, despite the decline in toys-to-life lines experienced by other companies recently.

The Switch certainly deserves its success. After launching with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which many have as their frontrunner in game-of-the-year conversations, the system received Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Arms, Splatoon 2, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, and most recently, Super Mario Odyssey. The game currently stands as the highest-rated title of all time on the aggregate site OpenCritic, even beating out Breath of the Wild.

The good news is that despite the Switch’s sales success, it isn’t difficult to find anymore. In recent trips to retailers, including Walmart and Target, we found more than a dozen systems on store shelves, including the standard bundles as well as limited-edition ones.

The 3DS has also continued to stay relevant, due in large part to the release of games like Metroid: Samus Returns, and Nintendo expects to sell an additional 6 million systems by next March. The latest games coming to the platform are Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Ultra Moon, which are enhanced versions of last year’s games, complete with a new story, new creatures, and additional gameplay features. A Switch-exclusive Pokémon role-playing game is also in development.