Nintendo predicts Switch sales will continue to slow this year

Nintendo sold (PDF) 23.06 million Switch units overall for the fiscal year ending in March 2022, over 5 million units fewer than its previous year. The gaming giant originally thought it was going to sell 25.5 million units this fiscal year, but it lowered its forecast to 24 million (and then 23 million) because the continued global chip shortage has made it difficult to procure components. In fact, the company most likely expects to continue grappling with supply chain issues, because it has lowered its forecast to 21 million Switch units sold for its next fiscal year ending in March 2023.

Nintendo’s sales were buoyed by the pandemic in previous years, with people purchasing new gaming consoles to get them through the COVID lockdowns. The Switch even became the company’s best-selling home console ever after total sales eclipsed 103.54 million units in the third quarter. Nintendo noted in today’s financial release that it has now sold a total of 107.65 million consoles.

Even though global lockdowns aren’t as regular, parts continue to be harder and harder to get, so the company’s forecast must also reflect that reality. Analysts and industry execs previously expected the chip shortage to persist throughout 2023, but Intel chief Pat Gelsinger recently said that the issue could drag on until 2024.

Nintendo also expects lower net sales and net profit overall in its next fiscal year. In FY2022, it reported net sales of 1,695 billion yen (US$13 billion) and an operating profit of 592 billion yen (US$4.6 billion). Next year, it expects its net sales to fall to around 1,600 billion yen (US$12.3 billion) and its annual operating profit to fall to $500 billion yen (US$3.8 billion). 

Despite the lower hardware sales, Nintendo has claimed the highest annual software sales for a single hardware family. It sold 39 million Switch games in its 2022 fiscal year, led by Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl with 14.65 million units sold. Pokémon Legends Arceus, which sold 6.5 million copies in seven days, has sold 12.64 million units so far. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe sold 9.94 million units, while Kirby and the Forgotten Land sold 2.1 million units in just over two weeks.

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