The Nintendo Switch console is another massive hit for the world's best-known video game company, besting already high expectations and driving the company to a massive 500 percent profit increase.
Nintendo announced Thursday that the Switch — a hybrid system that allows for both portable and home gaming — has sold nearly 18 million units since its launch in March 2017. That's 4 million units more than the Wii U console sold in five years, and nearly double the 10 million units of the Switch Nintendo initially planned to ship in the last year. According to The Verge, the sales boost created a $1.62 billion profit for the company — a 505 percent increase from the previous fiscal year — and upped its overall revenue by 116 percent, to $9.66 billion.
The robust sales of the Switch also drove more game sales for the company, including more than 10 million units of Super Mario Odyssey and 9 million of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Between now and next April, Nintendo plans to be even more ambitious with the Switch, shipping 20 million units of the Switch and predicting yet another profit increase. Plus, the company's new line of cardboard DIY accessories for the Switch, Labo, is expected to further drive sales and bring the console to a wider audience.
The news of the Switch's strong sales also came with the announcement of a major shift for Nintendo: a new company president in Shintaro Furukama, who was named this week as the replacement for outgoing president Tatsumi Kimishima. Furukama, at 46, played the Nintendo Family Computer (what the Nintendo Entertainment System was called in Japan) as a child, and now he'll work to usher in the next generation of the company's hardware.
“We will develop the company to its fullest,” he said at a news conference. “I will balance Nintendo’s traditions: originality and flexibility.”
So the Switch joins fellow hits like the NES, Game Boy, and Wii as another major milestone for Nintendo, and its success is only expected to grow in the coming year. Now we'll see how the company's new president will build on those expectations and keep the legendary video game titan growing into 2019.