In the wake of successful early sales numbers for its hybrid home and portable console Nintendo Switch, the Japanese hardware maker has decided to double down, according to recent reports. This not only signals that Switch is meeting or exceeding company forecasts, but also that it stands a good chance of surpassing its forebear, the Wii U, in relatively short order.
The report comes via the Wall Street Journal, whose source informs that Nintendo intends to produce at least 16 million Nintendo Switch machines this fiscal year from April onward. This is, according to the same source, double the original plan, and is a response to the success of the company's goal of moving 2 million Switch's to retailers by the end of March. Also suggested in the report is that this number may end up being closer to 2.5 million or more.
Obviously 16 million Switches manufactured does not instantly equate to sales (as the Wii U well taught us), however it does suggest the Switch will pass the Wii U well before its own demise, given that the Wii U has managed just under 14 million units sold over the course of its lifetime. Nintendo 3DS, which has sold over 63 million, is in a league of its own as a dedicated handheld, but I've predicted before that eventually these users will be in the market for a Switch as well. It's impossible to tell this early whether Switch will maintain or achieve a pace toward true, 3DS-level level handheld sales at any point, but even half that would be an impressive feat in the long haul.
Nintendo's earnings report is April 27th, where it will issue an official forecast and generally confirm or deny what the WSJ is reporting. In the meantime, we recently broke down where each major console manufacturer is headed in the coming years, and how Nintendo plays into that landscape.