Nintendo Fiscal Year: Switch Falls Short, Digital Sales Rise to $1 Billion

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Nintendo’s 2018 fiscal year ended on March 31, 2019. The company recently revealed its sales numbers for hardware and software sales throughout the year. Despite surging popularity and praise, their flagship console, the Switch, fell a bit short of their sales goals. Digital software sales, on the other hand, surged ahead to record-breaking numbers.

Read the full Nintendo 2018 financial statement.

For the fiscal year of 2018 (March 31, 2018 to March 31, 2019) the Switch sold 16.95 million units. That’s short of Nintendo’s original bullish forecast of 20 million units sold, and still short of the revised goal of 17 million units. That puts total lifetime sales of the Nintendo Switch at 34.74 million units, surpassing the Nintendo 64 and approaching the estimated units sold for the Xbox One (Microsoft no longer publishes hardware sales numbers).

In other Nintendo hardware news, the Nintendo 3DS continues its sharp but expected decline. Sales fell to just 2.55 million units, a 60% decrease over last year for the eight year old handheld. Software sales for the 3DS also fell 63% as Nintendo has all but softly phased out the handheld in favor of its console-handheld hybrid.


Digital sales through the Nintendo eShop on the Switch saw a huge amount of growth, however. Digital sales revenue rose by a whopping 95% compared to last year, resulting in the Japanese company reaching just over $1 billion in digital sales for the first time in company history.

Top software sales for the 2018 fiscal year were Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (13.81 million units sold) and Pokémon Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! (10.63 million units sold).

Finally, here’s Nintendo’s forecast for the 2019 fiscal year:

Nintendo Switch has continued to spread quickly around the world since launch, providing a foundation for further business growth. In order to maintain this momentum, we will release Nintendo Labo Toy-Con 04: VR Kit in April, Super Mario Maker 2 in June, and Fire Emblem: Three Houses in July, all worldwide. In addition, Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, Animal Crossing (temp.) and The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening are slated for release in 2019. Furthermore, major titles from other software publishers are scheduled to be released. We aim to contribute to momentum of the platform by continuously introducing attractive new titles in addition to popular titles already released.

Nintendo continues to enjoy hefty operating profits with the Switch’s success in both hardware and software. Nintendo has forecasted another 18 million units sold for the Switch in 2019.

playstation 5

Sony Reveals Details For Still Unannounced PlayStation 5

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In a surprisingly candid interview with Wired, PlayStation lead system designer Mark Cerny shared many juicy details regarding Sony’s next major console release. At this point we’re only guessing that it will actually be called “PlayStation 5,” since Sony hasn’t formally unannounced or revealed it (Cerny refers to it in the interview as “the next-gen console.” The official PlayStation twitter account tweeted the Wired article, confirming the details within.

Here are the hardware details according to the interview.

  • AMD Ryzen 8-core CPU.
  • Radeon Navi GPU that supports ray tracing.
  • “Custom unit for 3D audio.”
  • Support for PSVR.
  • Solid State Drive.
  • 8K resolution support.
  • Disc-based games.
  • Backwards compatible with PlayStation 4.

Most of these are expected incremental improvements. The biggest and most noticeable upgrade is the solid state drive (SSD). Anyone who has experience using one with their PC (or externally with a console) knows how vastly you can improve load times.

In the Wired article, Cerny uses last year’s Marvel’s Spider-Man as an example of using an SSD. Not only are fast-travel load times nearly non-existent (from 15 seconds to less than 1 second) but just moving quickly through the world is much smoother. Cerny tells Wired it’s “the key to the next generation.”

Cerny confirmed the PlayStation 5, or whatever it’s called, won’t be launching this year. But there’s an excellent chance that Sony will be formally announcing the console some time later this year. Sony is not attending E3 this year (for the first time ever). Most likely we’ll see a special Sony presentation, like their recent State of Play series.