As excited as we are about the Nintendo Switch, there are of course doubts and concerns doing the rounds. That's understandable considering Nintendo's record of boom or bust over the past decade, but it's not just passionate Nintendo fans that are believers in the Switch - research firm DFC Intelligence has made some promising projections for the system's prospects.
The firm is estimating that Nintendo could shift around 40 million Switch systems by the end of 2020, a decent number all told. This is with a potentially slow start in mind, too, with stock limits and the launch offerings as potential road blocks - nevertheless "demand is expected to be strong and the major issue will be whether the system can attract a broad audience starting in the holiday sales season of 2017."
The company's boss David Cole also said the following:
The Switch is a compelling piece of hardware that could potentially reach a much larger addressable market. However given the limited software and Nintendo's poor recent track record of introducing new products we have tempered our forecasts to be conservative.
That's all careful language, but the projected sales figure seems relatively positive to us.
One key benefit the Switch could have, especially in Japan, is the fact that it is - at its core - a particularly powerful portable device. Nintendo is positioning it as a home gaming system in its marketing, but consumers will make their own interpretations of the hybrid device; after all, it caters to various gaming preferences and styles.
All told, 40 million by the end of 2020 (just under four years on sale) would be a decent number - not blowing the doors off, necessarily, but arguably solid enough to secure Nintendo's spot in the market. That'd be far in excess of Wii U (currently 13.36 million in just over four years) and not too far off the momentum that 3DS enjoyed in a similar period.
In any case, it's a solid projection from the research firm; here's hoping that it is indeed 'conservative' with more to come.