Nintendo has recorded record profits through the 2020-21 fiscal year on the back of demand for the Nintendo Switch. With 28.8 million new consoles sold in the past twelve months, the Switch now sits at 84.59 million consoles sold and has surpassed the Game Boy Advance’ lifetime sales.
Nintendo had an operating profit of $6 billion, its best ever, thanks to its second-best ever yearly revenue of $16.6 billion. However, while FY21 was a huge year for the company, they warn that FY22 (ending in March 2022) will not be as good.
It’s common knowledge that the pandemic boosted sales for the Nintendo Switch, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons was a huge part of that. The game has now sold 32.63 million units to date, reeling in the perennial seller Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which saw 10.62 million copies sold in the last year to now sit at 35.39 million total. They’re backed up by strong continuing sales for Breath of the Wild, Pokémon Sword/Shield and Super Mario Odyssey, which have all passed 20 million sales, and 22 first party games all sold over 1 million copies last year.
Want to know how ridiculous that is? The PlayStation 4 only has one known 20 million seller (GTA V), and the last we heard, the console’s best selling exclusive game was Uncharted 4 on 16 million sales.
FY22 is not expected to be as good for Nintendo, with operating profits projected to slide by 22%, but they still forecast that there will be 25.5 million Nintendo Switch consoles sold. That’s hardly doom and gloom, when you consider that this would see the console sweep past the Nintendo Wii’s 101 million consoles and rapidly close in Game Boy and even the Nintendo DS.
How can they maintain such a pace? Well, there’s always the rumours of a Nintendo Switch Pro which would surely get a number of ardent gamers to double dip on the console. The long-rumoured mid-generation upgrade to the Nintendo Switch might not dramatically impact the mass-market sales of the console, but it would help the console stay relevant when competing against the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. Additionally, a side story to the Switch’s success comes from families buying secondary Switches so that people no longer have to share a console – its handheld design makes it a rather personal device, after all – and a Switch Pro could tip more families toward doubling up.