Nintendo (7974.T) on Tuesday raised its full-year Switch sales forecast to 15.5 million units from 15 million units previously, as the company squeezed sales out of the aging console over the year-end shopping season.
With the hybrid home-portable Switch nearing its eighth year on the market, expectations are rising that Nintendo will release new hardware this year.
“We want to maintain the momentum of the Switch business,” Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa told an earnings briefing.
The Kyoto-based gaming company sold 13.74 million Switch units in the first nine months of the financial year, an 8 per cent decline on the same period a year earlier.
The lifecycle of the Switch has been extended by a string of hits such as “The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom”, which launched last May, and “Super Mario Bros. Wonder”, which went on sale in October and has sold more than 10 million units.
The Switch, whose iterations include the handheld only Switch Lite and a version with an OLED display, followed the poorly performing Wii U and has total sales second only to the Nintendo DS handheld after passing the Wii.
Nintendo reported a record net profit of 408 billion yen for the April-December period.
“There will be new Switch games for a while for sure, considering the current model’s massive install base,” said Serkan Toto, founder of game industry consultancy Kantan Games, who expects a successor device to launch later this year priced at around $400.
Nintendo shares closed down 0.5 per cent ahead of earnings and have gained 14 per cent year-to-date.