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Nintendo Switch is dominated by physical sales - GAME

Publishers says physical tie-ratio for Switch is almost identical to Wii

Nintendo is selling three physical Switch games for every console sold in the UK and Spain, says GAME.

The retailer revealed the statistics in its latest financial report. It matches the performance of Nintendo Wii, which GAME observes was a console launched when digital was still a fledgling business.

GAME doesn't track digital sales, although Nintendo says the Switch's global tie-ratio is 3.6.

IHS figures state that 78% of Nintendo Switch games are sold in boxes, by comparison only 47% of PS4 games are sold physically.

GAME suggests that Switch has been created with physical games in mind, pointing to the machine's built-in memory of just 32GB. Nevertheless, the price of Switch cartridges have been one of the main reasons that the console's games are more expensive than some PS4 or Xbox One titles.

GAME also showed off the sales trends for Switch this year, highlighting how the only blips have occurred during moments of stock shortages, with a significant spike in hardware sales around the launch of Super Mario Odyssey. Graph below.

The retailer adds that across Spain and the UK (which is where it has stores), 469,000 Switch consoles have been sold for the first 36 weeks of its life. That's about 49% of what the Wii managed to do over the same period (and that machine launched over Christmas), and 300% of what the Wii U managed to achieve (and that also launched over Christmas).

GAME CEO Martyn Gibbs suggests that Switch may grow significantly again if Nintendo continues its trend of updating the hardware with new iterations. He states that although there is currently enough stock to satisfy demand at the moment, should demand increase ahead of Christmas then there may be more sell-out situations as "we don't have a warehouse full of stock ready to go."

Overall, GAME anticipates the hardware and software market to grow over its next financial year, with a decline in FY2018/2019, before possibly growing again with the launch of new consoles in 2019/2020.

You can read more from GAME and its vision for the future of retail here.

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Christopher Dring avatar
Christopher Dring: Chris is a 17-year media veteran specialising in the business of video games. And, erm, Doctor Who
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