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Nintendo to ship almost 50 million Switch units by April 2019

Platform holder plans to produce up to 30 million consoles in next fiscal year

Nintendo is planning to once again ramp up Switch production as it expects demand to grow throughout 2018 and beyond.

Sources have told the Wall Street Journal reports the platform holder plans to manufacture between 25 million and 30 million in its next fiscal year, ending March 2019.

That works out to a maximum of 2.5 million units produced per month, a slight increase over the two million per month currently being built. No doubt the conservative increase is due to competition over components with smart device manufacturers, but if more become available this could allow Nintendo to aim even higher.

If Nintendo ships 30m by April 2019, on top of the 17m it expects to ship by the end of the current financial year, it will bring the number of Switch units in the channel or in consumer's hands to nearly 50m.

By comparison, Wii U's entire lifetime shipments came in at less than 14 million units. It took Nintendo over three years to ship 50m Wii units, adding weight to the platform holder's claims that Switch could match if not surpass the Wii's sales momentum.

Of course, hardware sales are very much driven by compelling software. Nintendo has had a solid line-up in 2017, with a major hit releasing almost every month since Switch's March launch - including Zelda, Mario Kart, Arms, Splatoon 2, the Ubisoft-developed Mario + Rabbids and Mario Odyssey, with Xenoblade Chronicles still to come next month.

Numerous third parties are dramatically increasing the number of games they are producing for the system, with Square Enix and Ubisoft both announcing such intentions earlier this week. However, major publishers Activision and Electronic Arts have yet to pledge much support for the device, with the latter still undecided whether to release more than just FIFA updates.

Third parties that have already thrown their weight behind Nintendo Switch include Bethesda, Rockstar, Sold Out and Rising Star - not to mention the number of indies that are thriving on the system.

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