So, Nintendo had a good quarter
. They’ve sold 2.74 million units of the Switch in the month since launch – more than the Wii U did in its entire first year. Humorously, they actually sold even more copies of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
– 2.76 million – which should tell you all you need to know about inventory issues for the console itself that remain. Profit was $1.6 billion for the quarter, which finally pushed them back into the black for the year ($584M).
So, Nintendo is saved, right? Hardly.
Launch quarters of new consoles are always great. But it takes a while to see the actual lasting power of the device. The Switch is good, but not great
is great. People seem to like the just-released Mario Kart 8
, but that’s also just a port of the version made for the Wii U, which never sold well because that console was a disaster. Every other game so far (and there aren’t many) is entirely lacking.
The good news for Nintendo is that because they didn’t release the Switch in the holiday quarter, they can look forward to a bump at the end of the year (undoubtedly aided by the new actual Mario game as well). That’s assuming they can figure out production issues by then, of course.
But I’m most curious about a year from now. Once the Switch has been out on the market for a while and the main key titles are all post their blockbuster launches. Will it continue to sell well? That’s the only test that matters. Because if it doesn’t, Nintendo is not only right back in trouble, they’re in more trouble than ever
I just look at the company and see pure incompetence
. It’s being masked by their fantastic IP. But they’re continually doing the wrong strategic things with said IP. A mobile game that could make a ton of money, but instead makes almost none
. An insanely popular retro console that sells out immediately and the company refuses to make more (more on that in a link below). Etc.
These are things that on the surface look like good problems to have, but I believe that just below that surface are bad problems to have. The company doesn’t seem to know what it’s actually doing
, and worse, can’t execute when it becomes obvious.
So yeah, let’s talk in a year.