Nintendo's handheld-only Switch Lite is a huge success right out of the gate, and came close to the original Switch console's massive 2017 debut.
While combing over Nintendo's recent earnings report, I found something interesting: The Switch Lite has sold 6.19 million units in its first six months on the market. But how much is that really? To put things in context, I compared the Switch Lite's figures up against the original Switch's 6-month sales in 2017. The results speak for themselves.
The Switch sold 7.65 million units in its first 6 months on sale, just 1.44 million units higher than the Switch Lite. The cheaper $199 portable shaves off a number of features--no TV docked play, for instance, and a lower-clocked GPU that's locked at 302.7MHz--but the $100 price drop is a huge driver for widespread adoption.
The system has been accretive to Nintendo's business. Despite releasing only halfway into the fiscal year, the Switch Lite contributed nearly 30% to the total 21.03 million Switch consoles sold in the FY2020 period.
So what does this mean for Nintendo? Lots of earnings from a new hardware source, of course.
The Switch Lite will replace the 3DS as an affordable and portable option for Switch gamers. It's part of a new ecosystem family of Switch products and complements the true hybrid system quite well. We don't expect the Switch Lite to dominate overall Switch sales, but act as a strong entry point to the billion-dollar software ecosystem.
In short, the Switch Lite will continue selling well and should grow over time. How much it grows of course depends on availability--which is slim right now--and demand, which is particularly driven by new software.
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