Nintendo second-quarter profit hits eight-year high, powered by Switch sales

Florence Fletcher
October 31, 2018

During the six-month period ended September 30, Nintendo's sales were up 4% year-over-year to 388.9 billion yen ($3.4 billion). This puts it ahead of the GameCube's lifetime total of 21.74 million.

Quarterly figures from the two video-gaming rivals showed that Sony is benefiting from its best-ever console cycle, while Nintendo is struggling to expand sales of its play-at-home-or-on-the-go machine.

"Nintendo Switch hardware continued to be quite popular, reaching 5.07 million units sold" in the April-September period, it said. In the case of the Nintendo Switch portable console, the game has been downloaded by almost half of all the brand's now existing Switch users. That's, on average, a million copies sold for every month it's been available, cementing its status as the best-selling game on Nintendo Switch.

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The Kyoto-based game giant reported net profit for the 6 months to September of 64.6 billion yen ($574 million) on sales of 388.9 billion yen, which were up 4.0%. The company maintained its full-year forecasts. Instead, Nintendo will rely on a pair of Pokemon titles in November and the latest Super Smash Bros. game in December to drive the Switch during the holiday quarter.

"It was a quiet quarter without many big releases from Nintendo", Hideki Yasuda, senior analyst at Ace Research Institute, said prior to the release. Nintendo didn't really have any major new releases during this period, either, with Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker and a Labo Vehicle Kit being the only first-party highlights. "From the beginning we decided on a target that would be challenging to reach, not easy", said Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa following the results. If any first-party Nintendo title in the world were to boost the Switch into Wii-like numbers, I think it'd be that one.

While both the Pokemon and Smash franchises have historically sold well on previous generation systems, they're both significantly outsold by Nintendo's Mario Kart franchise.

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