Nintendo has previously said that it will have 2 million units of the Nintendo Switch available for its global launch date of March 3, but it has not released any official sales predictions on the upcoming hybrid console.
DFC Intelligence has now taken a stab at forecasting how many units of the Nintendo Switch will be sold, and from its expectation, the research firm looks like it believes the hybrid console will be a successful one.
DFC Intelligence Forecast On Nintendo Switch Sales
DFC Intelligence predicts that Nintendo will be able to sell 40 million units of the Nintendo Switch by the end of 2020, which is almost three times the number of units sold for the failure that is the Wii U over its first four years.
According to the latest information from Nintendo, only 13.36 million units have been sold for the Wii U, though more than 100 million units were sold for its predecessor, the Wii.
The research firm acknowledges that the initial sales performance of the Nintendo Switch may be hampered due to the low number of allocations of the hybrid console for retailers on its launch date, as well as its slim launch games lineup.
Just days after preorders for the Nintendo Switch were launched in the United States, retailers such as GameStop announced that the allocated number of units of the hybrid console for their outlets have been sold out. Gamers who looked at other retailers such as Amazon, Best Buy, Target, and Walmart likewise found that preorders for the Nintendo Switch were unavailable, prompting concerns that the device could see the same supply shortage that has so far plagued the NES Classic Edition retro console.
In addition, while the highly-anticipated The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be available for the Nintendo Switch as a launch title, the games available upon the hybrid console's launch is considered to be lacking by players. Many high-profile titles will be released months later after the console's March 3 launch, with Super Mario: Odyssey, for example, slated for the 2017 holiday season.
The 2017 holiday season is tagged by DFC intelligence as the major issue for the Nintendo Switch, specifically if the hybrid console will be able to attract a broad audience once the shopping season kicks in.
Forecast Of 40 Million Units By 2020 Still Conservative
The forecast of DFC Intelligence for the Nintendo Switch to sell 40 million units by 2020, however, is still a conservative number, with the head of the research firm David Cole claiming that it had to lower its forecast due to the poor track record of Nintendo in launching new products and the limited software available to the hybrid console upon launch.
At the very least, game developers agree with DFC Intelligence's prediction that the Nintendo Switch will outsell the Wii U. In a survey conducted among 4,500 professional in the video game industry, 50 percent believe that the Nintendo Switch will sell better than the Wii U, but only 19 percent think that the seamless shifting between a tabletop gaming console and a portable gaming device will surely appeal to consumers.
Compared to other video game consoles, the forecast of DFC Intelligence will place the Nintendo Switch in line with the performance of the Nintendo 3DS. Sony's PlayStation 4 reached 40 million units in sales in May 2016, which was less than three years after it was launched in November 2013. Microsoft's Xbox One, meanwhile, has not reached 40 million units, with estimates that it has only sold 26 million units so far since it was launched also in November 2013.