Nintendo Switch could outsell Microsoft's Xbox One this year, according to notable video game analyst Michael Pachter. Nintendo has been suffering financially over the past few years, struggling to sell console units while also hedging against increased competition from mobile gaming. Plus, it didn't help when Microsoft and Sony ushered in the next generation of gaming with the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, respectively, back in 2013 -- just one year after Nintendo released their last platform, the Wii U.
Now that both the Xbox One and PS4 have been widely adopted, Nintendo has the chance of reclaiming its throne as the world's top console manufacturer with the Nintendo Switch, which released this past March. Unlike the Xbox One and PS4, the Switch banks heavily on promoting hand-held play. Aside from its unique selection of games, the Switch is fundamentally different from its competition, and that's what makes the system appealing to consumers who don't want home entertainment systems.
Nintendo managed to sell 2.74 million Switch units during its first month of release, thereby making the new system the fastest-selling console in gaming history. And since it has already surpassed PS4 sales in Japan, there's really no telling how successful the system will be, though it stands to reason that it will likely beat both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in sales this year, at least worldwide. In an episode of the Pachter Factor, Pachter believes that sales will be "close."
"I'd say Switch could sell as many as 14 million, and if that happens, that's more than Xbox One. Xbox One probably will sell about 10-11 million. ... I'd say Xbox One is on track for 10 or 11 million a year; Switch is gonna do that many. It could sell more. My bias is that Switch is a hand-held, and it's a really good hand-held, but it's $300. Xbox [One] is a really good console, and it's $300. So, if you want a console, you're buying an Xbox, you're not buying a Switch. If you want a hand-held, you're buying a Switch, you're not buying an Xbox."
If Nintendo does manage to sell 14 million Switch units this year, that would already surpass the total lifetime sales of their last system, the Wii U, which officially ceased production ahead of the Switch's launch earlier this year. It's also worth noting that Microsoft plans on releasing the Xbox One X this November, an upgraded version of their current-gen platform that would surely bolster sales, though not by much. That's in addition to the Xbox One S that they debuted last year, which sees frequent price cuts around major holidays. It's also worth noting that Pachter didn't address PS4 sales in his prediction, presumably since the question didn't account for Sony's platform.
Overall, considering that Nintendo's new system released earlier this year and the Xbox One has already been out for almost four years, it makes sense that the Switch would outsell the competition, especially since the system debuted alongside the highly anticipated game, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Logically, the only thing that could get in their way is supply issues. Last year, the NES Classic sold out virtually instantaneously, and Nintendo saw itself facing supply shortages. That same thing has already been happening to the Switch, with there being more demand than there are supplies. Unfortunately, it's an ongoing issue with Nintendo, who might face the same problem with the SNES Classic when that console releases later this year.
Source: Pachter Factor