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Credit: Nintendo

Super Mario Odyssey.

Pity the poor Wii U. Nintendo’s last system was poorly conceived, poorly executed and poorly marketed: it eked out the sales that it did manage because it had some incredible games in spite of its mystifying hardware, and all involved would likely prefer it be left forgotten. It brought us where we are today, however, and as it turned out it was massively successful&nbsp;as a test run for the ascendant Switch, which has done most of the things that the Wii U wanted to do, just much, much better. Nintendo just released quarterly earnings, confirming earlier suspicions that the new console had managed to outsell its predecessor’s lifetime sales in only ten months.

The Switch had sold 14.86 million units by the end of 2017 — it took the Wii U five years to hit 13.56 million units. The next target, however, is much loftier. The Nintendo Wii sold a staggering 101.63 million units in its time.

Even if the Switch doesn’t outsell the Wii, there’s reason to believe that it could wind up more successful anyway. The Wii was famously plagued by an abysmal attach rate: most people only bought it for the pack-in Wii Sports, and most of them really only played bowling. The Wii’s massively broad appeal meant that it had a lot of customers, but that none of those customers will hugely valuable, which is crucial for a company that’s both a hardware manufacturer and a prolific game developer. The Switch seems already poised to reverse that trend: Nintendo has already sold more than nine million copies of&nbsp;Super Mario Odyssey,&nbsp;7.3 million copies of&nbsp;Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and 6.7 million copies of&nbsp;The Legend of Zelda: The Breath of the Wild.&nbsp;And we’ve still got a&nbsp;Pokemon game on the way.

Overall, Nintendo had an excellent year, bolstered also by strong sales of the SNES Classic Edition and its still-nascent mobile games project. Nintendo posted revenue of $4.4 billion in the quarter ending December, it’s highest since 2009 and a 175% increase from last year. Profits were $1.07 billion.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Nintendo stuck with the Switch for a while, particularly as it gives the 3DS an extended sunset by migrating some of the portable console’s most popular games over to the new platform. We’ll likely see a similarly extended iteration that we’ve seen with the 3DS, however, with portable-only SKUs or a deluxe edition probably coming our way at some point. The company is clearly chasing that broad Wii audience as well, with the DIY cardboard “Labo” coming our way next year and who knows what after that.

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Credit: Nintendo

Super Mario Odyssey.

Pity the poor Wii U. Nintendo’s last system was poorly conceived, poorly executed and poorly marketed: it eked out the sales that it did manage because it had some incredible games in spite of its mystifying hardware, and all involved would likely prefer it be left forgotten. It brought us where we are today, however, and as it turned out it was massively successful as a test run for the ascendant Switch, which has done most of the things that the Wii U wanted to do, just much, much better. Nintendo just released quarterly earnings, confirming earlier suspicions that the new console had managed to outsell its predecessor’s lifetime sales in only ten months.

The Switch had sold 14.86 million units by the end of 2017 — it took the Wii U five years to hit 13.56 million units. The next target, however, is much loftier. The Nintendo Wii sold a staggering 101.63 million units in its time.

Even if the Switch doesn’t outsell the Wii, there’s reason to believe that it could wind up more successful anyway. The Wii was famously plagued by an abysmal attach rate: most people only bought it for the pack-in Wii Sports, and most of them really only played bowling. The Wii’s massively broad appeal meant that it had a lot of customers, but that none of those customers will hugely valuable, which is crucial for a company that’s both a hardware manufacturer and a prolific game developer. The Switch seems already poised to reverse that trend: Nintendo has already sold more than nine million copies of Super Mario Odyssey, 7.3 million copies of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and 6.7 million copies of The Legend of Zelda: The Breath of the Wild. And we’ve still got a Pokemon game on the way.

Overall, Nintendo had an excellent year, bolstered also by strong sales of the SNES Classic Edition and its still-nascent mobile games project. Nintendo posted revenue of $4.4 billion in the quarter ending December, it’s highest since 2009 and a 175% increase from last year. Profits were $1.07 billion.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Nintendo stuck with the Switch for a while, particularly as it gives the 3DS an extended sunset by migrating some of the portable console’s most popular games over to the new platform. We’ll likely see a similarly extended iteration that we’ve seen with the 3DS, however, with portable-only SKUs or a deluxe edition probably coming our way at some point. The company is clearly chasing that broad Wii audience as well, with the DIY cardboard “Labo” coming our way next year and who knows what after that.

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