Nintendo hikes sales forecast of Switch console to 15.5 million units

Nintendo has kept players interested in its ageing Switch console series through key games with characters such as Super Mario and Zelda.

Charly Triballeau | AFP | Getty Images

Nintendo said on Tuesday it now expects to sell 15.5 million of its flagship Switch consoles in its current fiscal year, upping a previous forecast, after it beat market expectations for December quarter profit and revenue.

The Japanese gaming giant previously forecast sales of 15 million Switch consoles in the current fiscal year which ends in March.

Here’s how Nintendo did in its fiscal third quarter, from October to December, versus LSEG estimates:

  • Net sales: 598.6 billion Japanese yen ($4 billion) versus 568.7 billion yen expected
  • Net profit: 136.7 billion Japanese yen versus 130.3 billion yen expected

Net sales fell 6% year-on-year while net profit rose 18%.

Switch boost

The December quarter underscores how Nintendo has managed to extend the life of its near seven-year old Switch console.

The Japanese gaming giant has managed to keep momentum up recently thanks to the release of the “Super Mario Bros. Movie” and the flagship Zelda game last year, which boosted interest in the Switch and helped sales of the ageing console.

Nintendo said the “Super Mario Bros. Wonder” game, which was released in October, had a “solid start,” with sales of 11.96 million units. The Mario movie is also helping sales of older titles such as “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe,” Nintendo said.

In the first quarter of this year, the gaming giant is planning to launch news games based around characters from the Mario world including Donkey Kong and Princess Peach.

Nintendo Switch successor in focus

Even as the Switch continues to find new sales, fans and investors alike are watching for any signals or an outright announcement of a successor to the flagship console. Analysts who spoke to CNBC said they expect a new Nintendo Switch to come out this year.

Tokyo-listed Nintendo shares are up around 14% this year already amid a broader rally in Japanese stocks and as investors bet the gaming firm will launch a new console soon.

Nintendo also raised its financial forecasts for the current fiscal year ending in March. The company said it now expects 1.63 trillion Japanese yen in net sales, up from the previous forecast of 1.58 trillion. The gaming giant also anticipates net profit will come in at 440 billion yen, compared with the 420 billion yen that it had previously forecast.

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