Speaking to investors in a newly-published Japanese Q&A, Furukawa said he was taking a long-term view in his plans for Switch, which Nintendo will continue to support with a dual-strategy of both releasing new software and supporting existing releases.
“The most important thing [for us] is whether we can maintain the momentum of Nintendo Switch,” he said, adding that pushing the portable-only Switch Lite to expand the audience was of particular importance.
“In terms of software, in addition to continuously introducing new software, we believe that it will be very important to continue our efforts to sell titles that we have released so far,” he added.
“We believe that the Nintendo Switch business is now in its fourth year and is just in the middle of its life cycle. Rather than just the next year, I think about things in terms of what to do the following year and the year after that.”
Furukawa said that following the Christmas sales period around 30% of Switch Lite sales came from existing Switch owners purchasing a second console, which is down from 43% at Lite’s launch.
The president attributed the increased adoption of Switch Lite by new customers to November’s release of Pokémon Sword and Shield.
In the same Q&A, Furukawa said Nintendo isn’t concerned about the upcoming launches of PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X as it doesn’t believe the new consoles will significantly impact its business.
“We will explain the specific figures for the next fiscal year in our next fiscal year announcement, but I think there will certainly be a change in the environment as new products of our competitors appear,” Furukawa said.
However, the president added that because he believes the target audiences of Nintendo Switch and its competitors will be different, new consoles will not have a significant impact on Nintendo’s business.
In its latest earning results, Nintendo said Switch had sold 52.48 million units as of December 31, 2019, up 10.81 million units since its second quarter ended September 30.
It means Switch now sits behind only NES (61.91m) and Wii (101.63m) as the company’s third best-selling home consoles to date, and in seventh place overall for games hardware.
The 52.48 million figure includes 5.19 million sales of the Nintendo Switch Lite model, which was released on September 20, 2019.
In its earnings meeting on Friday, the company said it felt it could better communicate the Lite’s unique features going forward.
“We feel that we have not yet fully communicated the special features and appeal of Nintendo Switch Lite, so we will continue to address this going forward,” it said.
Analysts have suggested Nintendo Switch may have a longer than expected life cycle during which it surpasses Wii’s sales total of 102.63 million units.