Nin­tendo prof­its surge on Switch’s lock­down suc­cess

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Technology Intelligen­ce - By Matthew Field

PROF­ITS at Nin­tendo surged five­fold from April to June, driven by the suc­cess of its Switch con­sole and sales of tran­quil is­land life sim­u­la­tor An­i­mal Cross­ing: New Hori­zons.

The Ja­panese man­u­fac­turer of Poke­mon and Su­per Mario games re­ported op­er­at­ing profit of 145bn yen (£1bn) in the first quar­ter, up from 27.4bn yen last year. Sales of the Switch and newer Switch Lite con­sole rose past five mil­lion units, as dig­i­tal shelves emp­tied in the early weeks of lock­down.

Launched in 2017, the Nin­tendo Switch has de­fied ex­pec­ta­tions and sold an es­ti­mated 59 mil­lion con­soles.

While other mod­els like PlaySta­tion and Xbox have re­lied on pow­er­ful con­soles to at­tract play­ers, Nin­tendo’s de­vice largely es­chews pow­er­ful fea­tures, in­stead re­ly­ing on its pop­u­lar line-up of ar­cade games. Its lat­est hit game, An­i­mal Cross­ing, sold 12 mil­lion copies in its first fort­night, and a fur­ther 10 mil­lion over the last three months.

Ring Fit Ad­ven­ture, which has play­ers ex­er­cis­ing while jog­ging in place hold­ing a ring that works as a con­troller, was also a hit.

Nin­tendo saw sales of dig­i­tal down­loads for games in­crease by 56pc of all ti­tles sold, with play­ers pre­fer­ring to down­load soft­ware than buy a phys­i­cal copy.

Other game mak­ers have en­joyed a surge dur­ing lock­down too. De­mand for dig­i­tal down­loads of Sony’s PS4 games surged 84pc, ac­cord­ing to its com­pany re­sults ear­lier this week, boost­ing its gam­ing divi­sion by 32pc.

In the UK, ac­cord­ing to on­line seller Con­sole Deals, dur­ing lock­down, sales of the Nin­tendo Switch dou­bled, while PS4 sales tripled.

Nin­tendo ac­knowl­edged Covid-19 had caused a short­age in parts to pro­duce the Switch, but said such prob­lems were be­ing grad­u­ally fixed.

“We did not change our fis­cal-year fore­cast be­cause it’s too soon to judge how long the cur­rent An­i­mal Cross­ing sales mo­men­tum would last,” a Nin­tendo spokesman said. “We would like to wait un­til the year-end shop­ping sea­son’s per­for­mance to check whether we need to re­vise our fore­cast.”

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