Today we’re running down analysis and subsequent analysis for time until a price drop for the the Nintendo Switch. Spoiler alert: you’re going to be waiting a while. According to the most recent report on Nintendo’s plans, the company is planning to ramp up production of the console starting their next fiscal year – that’s April of 2018. Based on the numbers we’ve got here today, Nintendo’s first price drop – if there is a price drop any time soon – won’t be until Black Friday 2019.
Sales Numbers So Far
This July, Nintendo confirmed that they were closing in on 5 million units sold for the Nintendo Switch gaming console. Just this mid-October, Nintendo confirmed that they’d surpassed 2-million units sold in the United States alone. As of this November, Nintendo reported “about 7 million units of Nintendo Switch hardware have been delivered into the hands of customers around the world” – that’s BEFORE the holiday season, 2017. Nintendo’s current estimates for sales of the Switch by the end of the console’s first year available are up to 16+ million units worldwide.
“Even though the Nintendo Switch launch was in March (and not during the holiday season), we had planned at the start of this fiscal year to ship 10 million units of hardware by the end of March 2018, based on our understanding of the high level of interest from so many consumers before the launch,” said Tatsumi Kimishima, Nintendo President and Representative Director. “The 10 million target was a very high figure, and we simply didn’t think such a high-volume sales target was easy to meet.”
Based on information from the Wall Street Journal and Nintendo’s own earnings reports, the Switch could reach between 40-45 million units sold by the end of its second fiscal year – and the original Wii sold approximately 45 million units by the end of its own second fiscal year.
Nintendo’s earnings call this November (this month we’re in right now) showed the chart you see above for USA and Canada sell-through in Nintendo consoles their first year. This chart is nearly identical to that of the European chart, and quite similar to that of the Japan chart. “While Wii and Wii U were released during the holiday season, it’s important to note that the Nintendo Switch launch was timed completely differently, in March,” said Nintendo. “It now looks like holiday season sales for Nintendo Switch could catch up to the Wii figures.”
Based on the information we have before us and precedents set by the Wii, Wii U, and Nintendo DS (DSi, 2DS, 3DS), we’ve got some analysis in order for Nintendo’s next moves. The very EARLIEST we see the Nintendo Switch having any sort of price drop is Black Friday 2019. Even then, any sort of price adjustment is tenuous. The original Wii launched at $250 in November of 2006 and its first price drop was just under 3 years later: September of 2009, down to $200.
The Wii U didn’t do nearly so well, but still, only the more expensive version of the Wii U got a price cut by $50 one year after launch. The original Wii U still hadn’t gotten any significant price drop when Nintendo stopped producing the console in November of 2016.
As for the 3DS – and such – there might sit the true fate of the Switch. Instead of lowering the price of the original Switch, Nintendo might well produce alternate versions of their newest console. Imagine a Switch without removable controls. Imagine a Switch that has removable controls, but is somehow relegated to the living room. Imagine all sorts of things that could happen to this console – and don’t expect the original to change price any time soon.
Additional analysis provided by SlashGear’s own Eric Abent.