Nintendo turns to old favorites Mario and Pokémon to hit lofty Switch target

Nintendo is betting that two of its most-beloved franchises — Mario and Pokémon — can help it hit its lofty goal of selling 20 million Switch consoles this financial year.

The company made the bold prediction at the start of its financial year and now, six months later, the Switch sales count stands at 5.07 million units going into the festive period, as according to the company’s latest financials. Nintendo will be hoping for a big boost towards its goal around Christmas but, as The Verge notes, it sold ‘just’ 7.23 million units during Christmas 2017.

Already the arrival of Fortnite has given younger gamers a good reason to get the console, but the Japanese firm is banking on the appeal of the highly-anticipated ‘Super Mario Party’ — released this month — ‘Pokémon: Let’s Go! Pikachu/Let’s Go! Eevee,’ due out in November, and ‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate,’ which lands in December.

Nintendo said it has sold 42 million Switch titles in the past six months — that’s up 91 percent — with ‘Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze’ (1.67 million sales) and ‘Mario Tennis Aces’ (2.16 million) among the standouts.

To date, over 22 million Switch consoles have been sold to date, having flown past its predecessor Wii U’s numbers in under one year. With a revamped Switch reportedly coming next year, Nintendo looks to have more irons in the fire but at, this point, it is still hard to believe that the console — which has been a revelation — can reach that 20 million mark in time.

On the financials, Nintendo recorded a net profit of 33.97 billion JPY ($301 million) on total revenue of 220.75 billion JPY ($1.96 billion). For the six-month period, revenue was up four percent and profit grew by 25 percent.