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Nintendo bumps sales forecast as Switch beats lifetime NES sales

Today, Nintendo released its earnings report covering the first half of the 2021 fiscal year, which includes the six months ending on September 30, 2020. Following up its results for the first quarter, the company posted a 209.3% increase in operating profit year-on-year, reaching 291.42 billion yen ($2.8 billion). The company also revised its profit forecast for the rest of the year, now expecting 450 billion yen ($4.32 billion) instead of 300 billion yen ($2.88 billion).

This was fueled in no small part by sales of the Nintendo Switch console, which show no signs of slowing down. Sales in the second quarter actually beat the first quarter, with 6.86 million units sold across the regular Switch model and the Switch Lite. The hybrid model sold 5.31 million of those units, with the remaining 1.55 million being attributed to the Switch Lite, while sales numbers for the two models were more balanced in the previous quarter (3.05 million versus 2.62 million for each model).

Source: Nintendo

With this, the Nintendo Switch family has sold 12.53 million units in the first half of the fiscal year, and its lifetime sales reached 68.3 million. That puts the Nintendo Switch ahead of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), which sold 61.91 million units in its lifetime, marking yet another milestone for the hybrid. The next target among Nintendo's consoles is the now-discontinued Nintendo 3DS, which currently sits at 75.94 million units, pushing around 70,000 units sold in this quarter.

That shouldn't be too hard, though, because Nintendo has revised its sales forecast for the Nintendo Switch in light of the strong sales performance in the first half of the fiscal year. Initially projected to sell 19 million units for the entire fiscal year, Nintendo now expects to sell 24 million in that timeframe. If that's accurate, the Nintendo Switch will be sitting around 80 million units sold by March 31, 2021.

On the software side, the launch of Super Mario 3D All-Stars didn't go unnoticed, with sales reaching 5.21 million units - an impressive feat considering the game launched on September 18, 12 days before the end of the financial period. Animal Crossing: New Horizons has sold 14.27 million in this semester, roughly 3.64 million of which were in the second quarter, making its lifetime sales hit 26.04 million units; while Mario Kart 8 Deluxe continues to be popular with 2.24 million units sold in the second quarter, maintaining its spot as the best-selling Nintendo Switch game yet with 28.99 million units sold. In total, 14 of Nintendo's first-party games have sold at least one million units in the first semester, with many older titles still performing strongly.

With the holiday season fast approaching, it's very likely that sales numbers are set to increase in the next couple of months. Nintendo should release its nine-month earnings results - covering the three months ending on December 31 - in early 2021.

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