The Nintendo Switch is having a fantastic year, beating sales for competitor consoles week after week. It’s selling so well that analysts are starting to think it may even outsell the Xbox One in 2017, taking the console’s crown and becoming the new king of current-era gaming.
On his most recent episode of the Pachter Factor, games industry analyst Michael Pacther fielded a question on whether or not the Nintendo Switch will outsell the Xbox One this year. The Robert DeNiro look-alike equivocated briefly before replying, “[The] Switch could sell as many as 14 million, and if that happens, that’s more than Xbox One, which sells about 10-11 million per year.”
That’s a huge amount of sales for a console that hasn’t even been around for a year, and definitely a huge number for any handheld console. The Switch sold 906,000 at its release in March, and with news that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a real contender for game of the year those sales have remained strong. Nintendo has already reported total sales of 2.74 million and expects to produce 18 million units by the end of 2017 to avoid “customer tantrums” when they can’t find it on store shelves.
Pacther remained skeptical of Nintendo’s sales targets, saying they were being overly optimistic if they believed the Switch will outsell the Wii. Over the course of its lifetime, the Wii sold over 100 million units across the globe, with yearly sales typically in the 20 millions. Xbox, on the other hand, has rarely sold above 10 million year after year, and even the most successful Xbox of all time, the Xbox 360, only sold 86 million units over the course of its life.
However, complicating things will be the upcoming release of the Xbox One X, the next generation console that so far is the most graphically advanced console ever built. Set for release this November, it could definitely shake things up in the console market and tank Nintendo’s 18 million unit target if it catches on.