Nintendo Switch is expected to ship about 8 million units in its first 13 months, according to IDC research director for gaming and VR/AR, Lewis Ward. This month alone, Nintendo Switch will ship an estimated 2 million units.

While we don’t know exactly how many units were sold in the week following its launch, there is confirmation that approximately 313,700 units were shipped in Japan alone as of March 5 – about two days after the launch.

That’s not bad, considering that figure is only for Japan. The Wii sold 600,000 units in its first 8 days globally, so it’s quite possible that the Switch could exceed those numbers as of today, March 10, which will be Day 8 since the launch.

Even the 8 million unit estimate for the 13-month period looks encouraging.

If you look at the sales trends for Nintendo consoles, you’ll see that the Wii sold a shade under 6 million units in Year 1 since its launch in 2007.

Nintendo console sales history

But the real challenge to Nintendo Switch will be during Year 2 and Year 3. It has to match Wii’s nearly 18 million units for Year 2 and 26 million units for Year 3.

Can it be done? Looking at the early response for the hybrid gaming system, it looks very close to being able to match Wii’s performance.

There are several factors pointing to this being possible.

First, the launch title Breath of the Wild is already being ranked as one of the top-ranked games of all time. Ward, in fact, says that this could be one of the reasons for strong first-week sales.

Second, there’s a long list of titles that are getting ready to make their debut on Nintendo Wii. If Breath of the Wild is anything to go by, then these titles should give a significant amount of long-term sales traction for the Nintendo Switch.

Third, the Switch is undoubtedly a revolutionary gaming system, bringing in three different styles of play to a single device – a handheld, a tablet and a console. That alone should be worth a few million units worth of sales.

Fourth, strong sales during the first quarter is quite a rare phenomenon, and a further validation that this year’s holiday season bodes well for the Switch.

Fifth, the relatively higher launch price doesn’t seem to have dampened consumer enthusiasm for the device, despite concerns over limited supply and the pricing as cited by Jefferies equity analyst Atul Goyal.

Sixth, demand was very strong even though there were limited titles and virtually no additional apps supported. The company is still talking to Netflix, Amazon and others to bring their content to the platform, but nothing has yet been confirmed.

All of these factors will work together to boost the sales of Nintendo Switch, and that’s where we stand on the matter. With regards to matching the Wii’s sales performance, that still remains to be seen. But all the indicators point towards Nintendo Switch eventually becoming one of the most successful gaming consoles of all time.

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