Nintendo Gains A New President As Profits And Switch Console Sales Soar

Nintendo Switch

There are no two ways about it, the Nintendo Switch is a runaway success, with Nintendo having to adjust its sales forecast multiple times since launching the hybrid consoles. Nintendo said it sold over 15 million Switch units during its last fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, which is 5 million more than its original forecast. Overall, Nintendo has sold sold 17.79 million Switch consoles, surpassing the Wii U's five-year total of 13.56 million units.

Strong Switch sales contributed to Nintendo raking in 178 billion yen (around $1.62 billion in US currency) in operating profit for its fiscal year, representing an eye-popping 505 percent increase over the prior year. Revenue hit 1.06 trillion yen (~$9.66 billion), up 116 percent over the previous year, with tens of millions of games sales contributing to the company's bottom line. Specifically, Nintendo's top selling titles included Super Mario Odyssey (over 10 million copies sold), Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (over 9 million copies sold), The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (over 8 million copies sold), and Splatoon 2 (over 6 million copies sold).

"Consumers have been very receptive to the new concept introduced by Nintendo Switch as a home gaming system that they can take with them to play anytime, anywhere, with anyone, which helped it maintain its favorable momentum during this fiscal year. Looking ahead, we plan to leverage this momentum to reach an even broader range of consumers and expand the installed base of the hardware," Nintendo said.

Nintendo also announced a new president. Shuntaro Furukawa, a 46-year-old managing executive officer in charge of global marketing and corporate planning, will step into the role in June, replacing 68-year-old Tatsumi Kimishima, a former banker who took the position after the death of former president Satoru Iwata. Kimishima said he decided to step down after getting "close to fulfilling responsibilities" to revive Nintendo.

Furukawa takes the helm as on the heels of Nintendo turning around its fortunes. The Switch has proven a huge success, and Nintendo has been building on the interest in its hybrid console not only through traditional game software sales, but also by leveraging its capabilities in unique ways. Nintendo Labo taps into the console's mobility and motion controllers with cardboard kits that kids and adult alike can construct into fishing rods, robots, and other things.

Looking ahead, Nintendo will build on the Switch's momentum with more big game releases, and will also begin offering a paid online service to flesh out its existing online functionalities.