As 2017 came to a close, Nintendo was busy reveling in Switch sales that were exceeding expectations while Sony’s PlayStation 4 was showing signs that its strong sales had peaked. Leading into the all important 2018 holiday season, the companies’ comparative console war outlooks seem to have changed a bit.
Let’s start with Nintendo, which recently announced worldwide shipments of 3.2 million Switch systems in the July through September quarter. The good news is, that’s up slightly from the 2.93 million sold in the same period a year ago. The bad news is that slight increase doesn’t put Nintendo on track to meet its long-standing projection for 20 million Switch units sold during the fiscal year (which ends in March 2019). Overall, Nintendo’s quarterly profits and revenues both came in significantly below analyst estimates as well, though both were up from a year prior.
A strong holiday season could give Nintendo the boost it needs to hit that target, of course. But Nintendo’s next two months feature only a couple of major first-party titles—November’s Pokémon: Let’s Go and December’s Super Smash Bros. Ultimate—alongside a laundry list of third-party ports and downloadable indie games.