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Nintendo raises Switch forecast as console shipments pass 52 million

Switch software sales now expected to hit 140 million for the year

Nintendo has increased its Switch sales forecast to 19.5 million for the financial year, up from the previous expected 18 million.

The company sold over 10.8 million Switch machines during the Christmas sales window, which is up over the 9.4 million it achieved in 2019. By the end of December, the firm had sold in 17.74 million during the first nine months of its financial year, a 22.5% increase year-on-year.

In total, Switch has sold in 52.48 million consoles, which means it has eclipsed the Super Nintendo. It sits behind the Nintendo Entertainment System and Nintendo Wii as Nintendo's third most successful home games console so far. Its sales are tracking slightly ahead of PS4 and PS2, although is currently lagging behind the Wii.

Software sales have also improved significantly. The company has sold in 123.13 million games over the financial year so far, which is 30.1% up on a year-on-year basis. Over Christmas, this was driven by Pokémon Sword and Shield, which together sold 16.06 million copies -- putting it narrowly behind the entire sell-in of its predecessor, Pokémon Sun and Moon.

Another significant hit over the period was Luigi's Mansion 3, which has sold 5.37 million copies -- making it by far the fastest selling game in the series so far. Super Mario Maker has also sold just over five million copies. Other key sellers have been The Legend or Zelda: Link's Awakening (4.19 million), Fire Emblem: Three Houses (2.58 million), Ring Fit Adventure (2.17 million), Astral Chain (1.03 million) and Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 (1.02 million).

It's Nintendo's most succeessful Q3 in terms of revenue since 2009.

Nintendo now expects to sell 140 million Switch games over the course of the financial year, up from the previously estimates 125 million.

For the nine months ending December 31st, Nintendo delivered sales of over ¥1 trillion ($9.2billion), and delivered profit of ¥262.9 billion ($2.4 billion).

Digital has been a big driver of that. Digital revenue has risen 48% year-on-year for the first nine months. Digital revenue is also 28.6% of its software and services revenue. That number was 21.8% for the same period last time. It's worth noting that Nintendo Switch Online was only switched on in September 2018, which has helped drive these figures.

Nintendo has since raised its profits outlook to ¥300 billion ($2.75 billion), a rise of 15.4% over the previously expected ¥260 billion yen ($2.4 billion).

However, the company's mobile segment remains a niche part of its business. Over 95% of Nintendo's revenue comes from Switch, which makes them heavily dependant on the device.

On 3DS, hardware sales reached 620,000 units (down 73% year-on-year), with 4,1 million software units sold in (down 63%). Nintendo has lowered its forecast for the device from one million to 650,000, and software sales are now expected to reach 4.5 million for the year, down from the previously expected five million.

UPDATE: The increase in Switch hardware sales forecast may be coming despite a snag in production. As reported by Reuters, Nintendo CEO Shuntaro Furukawa told reporters that the company has seen some impact on Switch production in China due to the Wuhan coronavirus.

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