Nintendo posts strong quarter despite lowering Switch sales estimates to 17m for the year

Mobile spurs on approximately $300m in sales

Nintendo posts strong quarter despite lowering Switch sales estimates to 17m for the year

Nintendo has reduced its Nintendo Switch sales forecast for the year ending March 31st 2019 to 17 million.

That’s down three million from the 20m it had previously targeted. Despite the drop, the console giant still posted a strong quarter.

Operating profit for the three months ending December 31st 2018 was up 36 per cent year-on-year to ¥158.6 billion ($1.46bn). Revenue meanwhile came in at ¥608.4 billion ($5.6bn). Both were above expectations.

For the nine months ending December 31st, sales grew 16.4 per cent to ¥997,295 million ($9.1 billion), while operating profit rose 40.6 per cent to ¥220,029 million ($2 billion).

Mobile millions

Smart devices and IP-related income - which includes Nintendo’s mobile games - saw income of ¥33.3 billion ($306.5m), up 14.7 per cent year-on-year.

While not called out specifically, Fire Emblem Heroes is likely the key driver of revenue in this sector. Mobile intelligence firm Sensor Tower estimates the title generated around $230 million in 2018.

Nintendo's next big mobile game, Mario Kart Tour, has been delayed until summer 2019.

Switched on

Nintendo Switch software performed solidly during the nine months. Around 14.5 million Switch consoles have been sold.

Super Mario Party, released in October, sold 5.3 million units, while November releases Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee sold a combined 10 million units.

Super Smash Bros Ultimate, launched just in December, quickly sold over 12 million units.

Including third-party titles, the number of games that sold more than one million copies on the platform during the nine-month period totalled 20.

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Craig Chapple is a freelance analyst, consultant and writer with specialist knowledge of the games industry. He has previously served as Senior Editor at, as well as holding roles at Sensor Tower, Nintendo and Develop.