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Nintendo profits spike as Switch approaches 18m sales

Mario Odyssey breaks 10m sales barrier

Nintendo reports a sharp rise in full year revenue and profit on the back of Nintendo Switch.

The platform holder posted net sales of $9.7 billion, a 115.8% increase year-on-year. Nintendo Switch sold in 15 million units in the last financial year - which is more than the entire install base of Wii U. Overall, Switch is approaching 18 million sales with 17.79 million machines shipped so far (the console launched at the end of Nintendo's last financial year, where it shipped just shy of 3 million machines).

The biggest game of the year was Super Mario Odyssey, which sold 10.41 million copies since its debut in October. This includes digital, physical and bundled copies of the game.

Just behind it is Mario Kart 8: Deluxe, with 9.22 million copies - more than the game achieved on Wii U. While The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sits on 8.5 million units. Splatoon 2 also sold strongly with 6.02 million sales. There were 12 Switch games that sold over one million units last year, 1-2-Switch now sits on 2.29 million, Arms hit 1.85 million, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is on 1.31 million while the newly released Kirby Star Allies is already at 1.26 million. 63.5 million Switch games were sold last year in total.

The company now expects to sell a further 20 million Switch consoles over the next 12 months and 100 million games.

Switch grabs all the headlines, but there were other successes for Nintendo last year. 6.4 million 3DS consoles and 35.64 million 3DS games were sold last year, driven by Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon (7.51 million sales across both). Although this is a decline compared with the previous financial year when 7.3 million machines were sold and 55m games, it's nevertheless an impressive achievement for a machine in its seventh year on the market.

Nintendo expects to sell 4m 3DS consoles and 16m games over the next financial year.

Elsewhere, the SNES Mini sold 5.28 million consoles, while Amiibo figures grew year-on-year to 10.3 million figures sold (and 5.8 million Amiibo cards).

The area that Nintendo isn't quite seeing the expected returns is in its smartphone business. However, even that grew 62% year-on-year to $360 million, driven by Fire Emblem Heroes, Animal Crossing: Pocket Paradise and Super Mario Run.

Mario Kart Tour is due to release on smartphones over the next financial year.

Nintendo says its digital sales have risen 87% year-on-year, and now represents $556.5 million - plenty of room for growth there.

Overall, Nintendo expects sales to hit $11 billion over the next financial year, and profit to reach $1.51 billion.

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Christopher Dring avatar

Christopher Dring

Head of Games B2B

Chris is a 15-year media veteran specialising in the business of video games. And, erm, Doctor Who