Fri, Dec 29, 2017 - Page 10 News List

Nintendo aims for 20m in Switch console sales

AFP, TOKYO

Nintendo Co is expecting to sell more than 20 million of its new Switch consoles in the next fiscal year, president Tatsumi Kimishima said, with sales outpacing its smash-hit Wii console in some places.

The momentum for Switch is stronger in some markets than that of the Wii, a smash-hit household console that sold more than 100 million units worldwide, Kimishima told the Kyoto Shimbun yesterday.

Kimishima expects Switch to sell “more than 20 million” units from March next year to March 2019, he said.

Nintendo launched the console in March with a price tag of US$300 and aims to sell 14 million units through March next year.

DUAL USE

Switch can be played as a household console or as a hand-held device.

It has flown off the shelves and also sold well online, sparking an upgrade in the Kyoto-based company’s annual profit forecast.

“We are seeing momentum beyond our expectations,” Kimishima told the Kyoto Shimbun.

“People have accepted the unique game experience that you cannot find anywhere else, where you can take it outside while also using it as a household console,” he said.

“In some countries, the pace is beyond what we saw with the Wii,” he said.

In a separate interview with the Asahi Shimbun, Kimishima said holiday sales had been in line with expectations.

The company was “starting to think” what console would come after the Switch, he said.

Separately, the holiday period is shaping up to be a game changer in Ubisoft Entertainment SA’s fight to stay independent from Vivendi SA.

The latest installment of the French gamemaker’s top-selling franchise, Assassin’s Creed Origins, has picked up rave reviews and showed strong sales through Christmas, which could further propel shares that have already almost doubled this year on the back of an excellent start since the game’s October release.

HOSTILE BID

The stock’s rich valuation is a barrier to any attempt by Ubisoft’s top shareholder Vivendi to pursue a hostile bid for the 73 percent that it does not already own. Ubisoft shares are worth four times more than when the media conglomerate run by chairman Vincent Bollore started to acquire the stock in 2015.

Strong sales have been boosted by glowing user reviews. On average, the game received an 85 percent positive rating since its launch, based on more than 17,000 reviews on PC online game platform Steam.

Assassin’s Creed, the newest game from the action-adventure blockbuster, is part of an elite group of franchises that have each sold more than 100 million copies, which includes Grand Theft Auto, FIFA and Super Mario Bros.

Retailing at about US$50, Assassin’s Creed sets the player in ancient Egypt exploring the pyramids, uncovering tombs containing mummies and pharaohs. A photo mode lets players capture shots that they can share on social media.

Additional reporting by Bloomberg

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