It’s of no big surprise that the Nintendo Switch is doing well. Pre-release marketing, when compared to its predecessor, the Wii U, is on point. The Switch is selling so well, in fact, that Gamestop Senior Director of Marketing, Eric Bright, feels overwhelmingly positive about the console’s future sales.
Speaking to GameRant, Bright said “The Nintendo Switch is off to a start right now that it could possibly eclipse the Wii. Initial sales on this have been phenomenal. I can’t give straight numbers, but I can say we’re seeing one of the highest attach rates of software and accessories to a device that we’ve seen in a long time.”
The Wii, released by Nintendo in 2006, and was the first console to ultilise motion controls sold around 101 million units during its lifespan, and is Nintendo’s most successful console to date.
It certainly is optimistic for Bright to believe the Switch will succeed the Wii in this respect, as despite Nintendo’s aggressive marketing of their newest console, a recent study in the UK found that just 32% of people who had heard of the Nintendo Switch planned to buy one. It seems that Nintendo have a lot to do to convince prospective buyers to part with their money, as gamers called the Switch “too expensive” and cited happiness with their current console as a reason to give the Switch a pass.
That said, demand for the console remains high and it is difficult to find a unit at retail, despite the Switch having shipped 1.5 million units within the first two weeks of sale, with Nintendo on track to meet their goal of 2 million shipped by the end of March 2017. Internally, Nintendo is optimistic that current demand will persist and have reportedly increased their manufacturing order to ensure 16 million units are shipped to retailers by the end of March 2018, as opposed to the 8 million planned previously.
Still, early predictions that the Switch will outsell, or even match the Wii’s sales, should be heeded with caution. The Wii U, Nintendo’s lowest selling home console, sold out at launch when launched in November 2012 and, much like the Switch, was difficult to find anywhere for weeks afterwards. However, part of the Wii U’s issue was that it was ineffectively marketed and had an unclear release schedule, whereas Nintendo have done a much better job at defining their messaging for the Switch and have provided a detailed release schedule for 2017/18, with the potential of further announcements at E3 2017. Still, in the first two weeks of the machine’s launch, there is a lot that can go wrong to prevent the Switch from lifetime commercial success and one can only trust that Nintendo maintains its marketing efforts and commitment to bringing the much desired third party support to the console.
Still, if it all fails and turns out to be another Wii U, it is a wonderful Zelda machine.