Nintendo profits surge on Switch’s lockdown success
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.”