Nintendo is expecting a big performance from its Switch console after the predecessor, the Wii U, rather flopped on release. Many have indeed suggested that the Nintendo Switch could be the last console from the legendary Japanese manufacturer should it fail to attract punters. But already there has been good news for the video games corporation with early sales figures for the machine.

Nintendo Switch Rocket League
Image Credit: Nintendo.com (screenshot)

Switch Mini Tipped

But an exciting new prospect for fans of Nintendo games is already emerging, with reports this week suggesting that the company is considering a Nintendo Switch Mini release. This is an interesting concept in itself, but expert analysts are already suggesting that this new console could actually deliver a completely new gaming experience.

It is argued that rather than merely reducing the size of the Nintendo Switch and delivering the same specifications, the Nintendo Switch Mini may offer new hardware specifications. Alongside the new petite design would be internal improvements that would dramatically enhance the portable performance of the console.

Citigroup notes that this innovation is intended to attract younger users of the Nintendo Switch, who had apparently found the console slightly difficult to handle. Although the original machine is marketed as a handheld device, small children can find it difficult to utilize it comfortably due to the size and weight of the console. Thus, the Nintendo Switch Mini is intended to appeal to a younger demographic, although there is no reason why it shouldn’t find an audience with older Nintendo fans as well.

The flexibility of the Nintendo Switch, delivering both home and portable gaming in one device has already played a part in the commercial success of the console. The general market sentiment and critical reaction to the Switch has been positive, while early game releases have also received rave reviews, particularly the new Zelda title.

Market estimates

Analysts at the investment bank Citigroup suggest that Nintendo will ship 6.7 million Switch Mini units by the end of March 2019 should the hardware be introduced 12 months earlier. This estimate has been based on the current performance of the larger Nintendo Switch, and figures suggest that Nintendo can begin to steadily become a major player in the console niche once more.

It is customary, of course, in the video games market place for the major manufacturers to release mid-generation consoles that are slimmed down from the primary versions. The PS Slim range has now carried on for several console generations, and Nintendo clearly intends to get in on the act with the Nintendo Switch Mini.

Meanwhile, new figures suggest that the existing Switch is the most successful console in the history of the Nintendo Corporation. The Japanese company has suggested that the Switch is the fastest-selling console it has ever produced, outperforming both the Nintendo Wii and Super Nintendo systems.

“The Nintendo Switch system sold more than 906,000 units in March,” according to Nintendo, this figure being based on 28 days of potential sale. This means that the Japanese corporation has been able to shift 33,000 consoles daily on average, considered a rather favorable performance for the machine.

This is a particularly encouraging result as the console obviously launched in March as opposed to the traditional holiday season launch window. This could mean that when Christmas rolls around that the Nintendo console sells even better, although it will face serious competition from the anticipated Xbox Project Scorpio.

Zelda shifts more units than the Switch!

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, regarding an outstanding game by gamers and critics alike, has also being something of a monster release for Nintendo. This title has already shifted over 1.3 million units between the Nintendo Switch and Wii U console. In fact, the game has proven so successful that it has actually sold more copies on Switch than the console itself! Nintendo attributes this unlikely statistic to “people who purchased both a limited edition of the game to collect and a second version to play.”

Impressive sales figures for both hardware and software will encourage Nintendo, particularly as the corporation has several big games on the horizon. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe will launch in April, with Splatoon 2 following in July. Thus, the immediate prospects of the Nintendo Switch look rather bright, even if the console continues to compete with a Sony PlayStation 4 machine that is undoubtedly by far the market leader.

Remarkable reaction

Nintendo of America boss, Reggie Fils-Aime, believes that the reaction to the Switch has been nothing short of remarkable, and has contributed to a bullish mood within the Nintendo camp. “The reaction to Nintendo Switch has been remarkable,” Fils-Amie told Fox News. “Every day we’re setting new records from a US perspective, meaning, you know, today I can look back and see how I compare to the launch of the Wii or the Nintendo DS or the Nintendo 3DS, and I’m setting sales records every day with the Nintendo Switch.”

Fils-Aime also claims that the new Zelda game has been particularly highly regarded, claiming it to be one of the most critically successful ever. “I’ve seen the games, like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, right now the fourth highest-rated game in the history of video games,” Fils-Amie stated.

And the executive also suggested that the transformative potential of the Nintendo Switch, with its unique combination of handheld and home gaming, is having a disruptive effect on the entire video games industry.

“The reaction has been fantastic. Consumers want it, I’ve been with industry peers, they’re excited with what we’re doing and hoping to drive the industry. We’ve turned the industry on its ear and to do that, to be part of a company that has a reputation for doing it on a regular basis, has been tremendous,” Fils-Amie commented.

Already the success of the Switch has seen Nintendo confirm that it will double production of the console in the remainder of the year, with the Japanese corporation anticipating bumper sale before 2017 is out. With the Nintendo Switch Mini also arriving in the coming months, Nintendo could be on to a real winner with the Switch, and a performance that will reinvigorate the company’s brand and video games future.