Nintendo consoles can be notoriously difficult to find, and the Switch’s enormous popularity has made it no exception to this rule. But according to a new report, Nintendo is preparing to react to rampant demand for the console in a big way by massively upping its supply.
Just last month, Nintendo updated its fiscal year 2017-2018 forecast for the Switch to 17 million units sold by March 2018, the console’s 13th month on sale. That’s more than predecessor Wii U sold in its entire life to date, but apparently even that torrent pace is too slow to meet the kind of future demand Nintendo is expecting.
Sources who supposedly have “direct knowledge” of Nintendo’s plans informed the Wall Street Journal that the company is aiming to produce 25 to 30 million Switches during the fiscal year running from April 2018 to March 2019. And depending on how the Switch performs throughout the holiday season, Nintendo could increase that number even further.
The anonymous sources also added that Nintendo has updated its games industry partners about these plans, presumably to entice third-party developers and publishers to bring more games to its console and ship more units of those games going forward.
If Nintendo can sell upwards of 47 million Switches by March 2019, the system could potentially surpass the Xbox One in market share despite the rival console having hit the market more than three-and-a-half years before the Switch launched last March. Although Microsoft has long since stopped reporting Xbox One sales numbers, the company is believed to have sold somewhere around 30 million units to date.
PlayStation 4, meanwhile, would remain the market leader by a healthy margin. Sony’s console, which launched alongside the Xbox One in November 2013, has already eclipsed 60 million units sold and continued to sell at a pace much greater than Xbox One but somewhat off Switch’s throughout 2017. Still, if Nintendo could maintain a pace of 30 million or more units sold a year, that would seem to put the PlayStation 4 within striking distance at some distant point in the consoles’ lifecycles, depending on how long each lasts.
And while there’s no telling whether or not such a pace would be sustainable for Switch in the long run, the hybrid home/portable hardware would eventually surpass Nintendo’s most popular home console, the Wii, if it did continue selling at that pace for its lifetime. Nintendo sold just over 100 million Wiis over the console’s lifetime.