Nintendo shipped 6.86 million Switch consoles between July and September, increasing its numbers by more than 40 percent year-on-year and reaching 68.3 million units sold since its launch in 2017. That’s impressive growth for the company, since this quarter last year was a strong one — it saw the launch of the cheaper Switch Lite variant, boosting Nintendo’s shipments by more than 50 percent on 2018.
The Switch figure is also an improvement on the previous quarter, when Nintendo shipped 5.68 million systems. Animal Crossing: New Horizons was a major sales driver then with more than 10 million copies moved, and continued to sell well this past quarter with more than three and a half million units. It’s now sold 26.04 million copies overall, making it the second best-selling Switch game behind Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
Nintendo’s software releases for the past quarter were fairly low-key, but two titles have performed very well already. Super Mario 3D All-Stars, a collection of Super Mario ports, had sold 5.21 million copies by the end of September, while Paper Mario: The Origami King sold 2.82 million units.
Nintendo has significantly raised its outlook for the financial year due to its strong sales performance, now expecting to make 450 billion yen in operating profit by the end of March 2021. That’s a 50 percent increase from the 300 billion yen figure it forecast in May. The company has already made 291.4 billion yen ($2.79 billion) in operating profit through the first six months of the year. Nintendo also now expects to sell 24 million Switch consoles this fiscal year, up from 19 million.
Nintendo will be looking to carry its sales momentum through to the all-important holiday quarter, where it will face heightened competition due to next week’s launch of the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, and Xbox Series S. The company’s biggest holiday release title is the Breath of the Wild prequel/Hyrule Warriors sequel Age of Calamity, which was only announced less than two months ago.
Beyond that, Nintendo pretty much just has an AR Mario Kart game-toy hybrid and a limited-edition Super Mario Bros. Game & Watch handheld this quarter, so it may feel like the company is letting Sony and Microsoft take the spotlight. Some reports have claimed that Nintendo is planning an upgraded Switch for early 2021, however, with Bloomberg suggesting that more games will be timed to that release.