Nintendo sold about 5 million Switch globally in the first half of its fiscal year, leaving just under 15 million units in sales needed to hit its 2018 fiscal year sales goal, the company reported Tuesday.
Despite that, the Wall Street Journal reports that Nintendo chief executive Shuntaro Furukawa said during a press conference that the Switch’s momentum is in line with what the company expected and that it still believes it can hit its goal of 20 million Switch sold during this fiscal year.
Traditionally, the final quarter of the calendar year accounts for a large portion of video game and video game hardware sales. Nintendo sold about 7 million Switch consoles during last year’s holiday quarter. The company would have to do much better this year to hit its goal. But it is on track so far for a slightly better year. The company’s 5.07 million units sold for the first half of this fiscal is up from 4.89 million for the same period last year.
Nearly 23 million Nintendo Switch have been sold since it’s launch. That means it has now outsold both the GameCube and the Wii U. If the system tops 33 million, it will have outsold the Nintendo 64.
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While price drops and bundles can have an impact on console sales, another big driver is software releases.
For the first six months ending on Sept. 30, Nintendo’s big software releases included “Mario Tennis Aces,” which sold 2.16 million and “Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze” which sold 1.67 million. The total software sales for Nintendo Switch reached 42.13 million.
Nintendo expects that the releases of “Super Mario Party,” which came out earlier this month, but isn’t part of the first half of Nintendo’s fiscal year, two “Pokemon” titles, and “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” will help drive significant sales during the holidays.
While both the Pokemon and Smash franchises have historically sold well on previous generation systems, they’re both significantly outsold by Nintendo’s Mario Kart franchise. A Mario Kart game was the top-selling title for the Wii U and 3DS. The Wii’s packed-in “Wii Sports” was its top-selling title, but “Mario Kart Wii” was the top-selling non-bundled game for the system. “Mario Kart DS” was the third best selling title for the DS, behind “Nintendogs” and “New Super Mario Bros.”
While Nintendo hasn’t yet released a new Mario Kart game for the Switch, “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe” — a port of the Wii U game — is currently the second best selling game on the Switch, just behind “Super Mario Odyssey.”
Nintendo hasn’t announced a new Mario Kart for the Switch, but it is working on one for smartphones. “Mario Kart Tour,” the company said Tuesday, is expected to hit smart devices this fiscal year.
Nintendo’s operating profit for the second quarter was up about 30 percent, to $274 million.