With the launch of the Nintendo Switch right around the corner, research firm SuperData has released a sales forecast for Nintendo‘s next console.
SuperData Research expects the handheld and console hybrid to sell five million units by the end of 2017 (via GameSpot). For point of comparison, the PlayStation 4 sold one million units on day one of its launch, with a worldwide install base currently sitting at around 53.4 million. The Wii U’s lifetime sales as of last December sits around 12.6 million, having sold about 400,000 units in its first week on the market back in 2012. SuperData expects the release and sales of the Switch to be “slow-and-steady” due to a “high starting price and the absence of strong launch titles.” The loyal Nintendo fans will of course be early adopters, but the general consumer will not be as compelled to buy the system immediately.
“Nintendo is gearing up for a slow-and-steady release of its new console,” SuperData said.
“Launching much earlier in the year than its predecessors, we expect the Switch to initially appeal mostly to the loyal fanbase, before a broader, more mainstream audience adopts it.”
Another reason the Nintendo Switch will not hit the ground running in terms of sales is because there are two consoles already on the market at a cheaper price with an extensive catalog of games. A PlayStation 4 and Xbox One S will set you back roughly £230 and are superior in terms of hardware specs, with various different bundles available to choose from.
“The biggest challenge for Nintendo is to convince console gamers to purchase the Switch as a second device, as many have already committed to a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One,” SuperData explained.
“Asking $300 for a new console without a bundled game is a comparatively higher barrier to entry for consumers, considering that the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are already discounted and come with a free game.”
There’s no denying the discussion surrounding the Nintendo Switch has been divisive. There are those that applauded the console’s functionality and portability, whilst others criticised the lack of third-party support and its weak launch lineup. The Switch will sell better than the Wii U, there’s no doubt about that, but whether it has the legs to sustain a healthy user base remains to be seen.
The Nintendo Switch launches on 3rd March.