Some gamers may have embraced the innovative design and portability of the Nintendo Switch, but industry analysts say that the console has disappointed in its second year. The biggest problem for the Switch has been a lack of fresh content, with fewer new games leading to lower hardware sales, while cardboard add-on Nintendo Labo has failed to generate much interest.
The Nintendo Switch was launched in 2017, and offered a unique way for players to seamlessly "switch" between couch-bound gaming and gaming on the move. The handheld controller can either be docked, allowing for people to play games on a larger screen, or undocked and used as a portable gaming device. So, you could be playing Skyrim on the Nintendo Switch at home, and then undock the console and continue playing your game on the train to work. The console was initially a huge success, exceeding Nintendo's expectations by selling 14 million units in the first year of its release.
But a games console is ultimately only as good as the games that are available for it, and many AAA releases tend to skip the Nintendo Switch, releasing only on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Nintendo makes up the shortfall by having many exclusive franchises, like the Zelda and Super Mario games, but even those exclusives have been thin on the ground in 2018. BNN Bloomberg reports that the Nintendo Switch is on track to ship 35 million units by March 2018 - which may sound like a lot, but is short of the company's target of 38 million. William O’Neil & Co. analyst Cornelio Ash said, "All great consoles need a great second year, and Nintendo hasn’t delivered one for the Switch... Investors thought over five years they could sell maybe 90 million units. But after this year, that’s looking pretty much impossible."
The Nintendo Switch came out of the gate strong in 2017, with new titles like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Bomberman R available at launch, and heavy-hitters like Super Mario Odyssey, Splatoon 2, and Fortnite arriving later in the year. The console also acquired ports of older hit games like Skyrim and Dark Souls, making them available to play on the go for the first time. 2018, by contrast, has been considerably less exciting. Yoshi's release was pushed back to 2019, and Nintendo's lacklustre E3 2018 presentation caused the company's stocks to plummet this summer.
Bloomberg speculates that Nintendo could offer drastic price cuts in order to boost sales, which would at least be good news for those who have been holding off on buying the Switch. Nintendo declined to comment on these reports, saying only that sales projections haven't changed and it's still too early to get an accurate picture of what lifetime sales will be by March 2019. Still, if Nintendo is to put its current generation console back on the right track, it will need to line up some pretty special releases for next year.
Source: BNN Bloomberg