There’s no question that the Nintendo Switch is off to a strong start since its launch in early March, but there are still questions regarding the console’s long-term viability. Nintendo, however, believes that the Switch will continue to sell well for the long term, and could even match the sales of the Wii.
Claims of Switch reaching “relative parity” with Wii come from Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima, who shared some thoughts on the console’s sales and where the company believes the system could end up. These are some bold claims to be made, no doubt, but whether or not Switch will deliver on those expectations is unclear.
"If our sales go according to our plan this fiscal year, we will be able to see Nintendo Switch gaining the momentum in which it can approach relative parity with Wii afterwards."
Of course, some will point out that the Nintendo Switch’s strong start is due in large part to its launch lineup, most notably The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. In fact, Nintendo sold more Switch versions of Zelda than it did Switch consoles, which suggests that many players want to experience Zelda on the Switch but can't get their hands on the console. But once those players do get their hands on Zelda and a Switch, the question then becomes, “What’s next?”
According to Kimishima, Nintendo will strive to deliver new games with “no gaps.” We already know that Nintendo is covered for the year with ARMS, Splatoon 2, and Super Mario Odyssey set to keep interest in the Switch going through 2017, but future content is still a mystery. Presumably, Nintendo will reveal and announce new Switch games at E3 2017, but the studio won’t be doing it during a press conference. As it has in the past, Nintendo will not be holding a press conference at E3, but there may be another Nintendo Direct timed around the event.
But whether or not those new games will drive the Switch to Wii sales numbers is going to take time. Wii, for those that might not know, is one of the best selling consoles ever, eclipsing 100 million units over its lifespan.
Some would argue that a large part of those 100 million units sold were to casual gamers who were intrigued by the motion control gimmick, but even so it’s hard to deny Wii was a hit for Nintendo. It also makes sense, then, that the console has become the new measuring stick for all future Nintendo consoles.
Nintendo Switch is available now.