Multiple analysts have forecast that Nintendo Switch will be the best-selling console of 2021.
Offering predictions for the year ahead in a GamesIndustry.biz article published on Monday, three industry observers suggested Nintendo’s near four-year-old platform will outsell Sony’s and Microsoft’s latest consoles, which have been supply constrained since launching in November 2020.
Two of the analysts, Ampere Analysis’ Piers Harding-Rolls and Kantan Games’ Dr. Serkan Toto, also forecast that a new Switch model will help drive strong sales for Nintendo’s system this year.
“I expect Nintendo’s Switch family of devices to be the best-selling consoles again in 2021 following a very strong 2020,” said Harding-Rolls.
“Last year I was unconvinced there would be a new flagship model Switch in 2020, but it makes more commercial sense to release an updated version in 2021. I currently have an updated version of the Switch in my forecasts for 2021.”
Harding-Rolls expects Switch to sell approximately 24 million units this year and combined PS5 and Xbox Series X/S sales to hit 25 million.
Kantan Games’ Toto predicts Nintendo will launch “a beefed-up 4K” Switch model during its next financial year, which begins in April 2021.
“Everybody expecting the Switch to run out of steam in 2021 is in for a bitter disappointment,” he said. “The Switch will be the best-selling console this year as well, driven by more first-party games, a hardware refresh (see above), and the device having developed into a lifestyle product for the mass market over the course of 2020.”
The NPD Group’s Mat Piscatella also expects Nintendo’s console to come out on top in 2021.
“I will go a step further and suggest this will be driven by content and promotional efforts rather than the release of a new iterative model.”
Multiple outlets have reported that Nintendo is preparing to launch new Switch hardware in early 2021 and that it might feature upgraded computing power and support for 4K graphics.
Asked about ‘Switch Pro’, as it’s been nicknamed, during a Polygon interview published last month, Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser played down reports that the company is planning an imminent Switch revamp.
“Right now, with the momentum that we have, our focus will be on the existing form factors,” he said.
“First, we’re always looking at technology,” Bowser added. “And as we know, technology is constantly evolving and changing. And we’re always looking at what is coming to determine: How can it enhance and improve the gameplay experience? And whether that’s on a current platform, or whether that’s on a future platform, we’re always looking at that.
“However, we also see right now — and we just talked about it — that the momentum on Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite in the fourth year is strong. And we believe we’re changing the trajectory of another typical console life cycle.
“And we will continue, for the foreseeable future, to really lean into both of those platforms and the content that comes with it, because it’s the symbiotic relationship that makes the real difference. And it’s why Nintendo Switch is so differentiated.”
Bowser also reiterated Nintendo’s belief that the Switch platform is “just at the midpoint” of its life cycle.
Switch launched in March 2017 and had sold over 68 million units as of September 2020, according to Nintendo.