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Nintendo Reportedly Expecting Another Record Year for Software, With a Series of Major Games

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Nintendo is reportedly expecting to ship 250 million units of software in its next fiscal year – comfortably beating its existing all-time records – thanks to a line-up of (mostly unconfirmed) blockbuster games.Per anonymous sources of Bloomberg, Nintendo has briefed some partners and suppliers on its expectations for April 2021 to March 2022, and set expectations of shipping 250 million games. That huge number is seemingly driven by what Bloomberg calls “a series of marquee game releases”, and what analyst Serkan Toto calls “a much stronger blockbuster software lineup and new hardware”.

Nintendo is already forecasting a record year for sales in its current financial year (ending March 2021), expecting to see 205 million shipped units. Its previous best year came in financial year 2008, when the huge popularity of the Wii saw 204.6 million units shipped. Financial year 2020 was unexpectedly huge for Nintendo, with the upswing in gaming due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the enormous success of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, propelling the company to its current success.

250 million units is a frankly enormous increase on that new record and, if legitimate, represents huge confidence from Nintendo in its upcoming games. New Pokemon Snap, Mario Golf: Super Rush, and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD will all drop in that period, which could represent high-sellers, and a large proportion of Monster Hunter Rise’s sales will also likely come in the next financial year. We could also reasonably expect the release of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 and Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl in that window. Looking further, Pokemon Legends: Arceus, Bayonetta 3, Metroid Prime 4 and Splatoon 3 could also drop in that period.

However, none of the above includes follow-ups to Switch’s biggest three games so far – Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, or Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. While we can expect some additions to Nintendo’s line-up of games, these mooted numbers could point to some major unannounced games coming down the line.

All 2021 Games With Confirmed Release Dates

The company also seemingly expects to see further growth in its console space after Switch saw incredible sale success across the world in 2020, and an apparent planned new model of Switch, with a larger, OLED screen could help keep that momentum up. Back catalog games sales for new Switch owners could help push the company towards that 250 million unit goal.

Nintendo hasn’t officially commented on the 250 million unit figure, and we likely won’t hear mention of that until the company’s next financial briefing on May 6. The company’s games line-up was most recently added to in February’s Nintendo Direct – here’s everything announced in that show.

Joe Skrebels is IGN’s Executive Editor of News. Follow him on Twitter. Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to newstips@ign.com.



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