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Nintendo Switch console sales down 22% year-on-year

But game sales remain strong, as latest Pokémon titles pass 22m.

Nintendo Switch console sales dropped by almost a quarter over the 12 months ending 31st March, though game sales remain strong.

Nintendo painted a mixed picture in its latest financial results, with hardware sales now definitively past the console's peak as the Switch enters its seventh year of life.

That said, game sales remain strong - down only slightly on the console's last two years in terms of first-party software like Pokémon and Splatoon, and still well up on 2020 and everything before that.

Newscast: Is Zelda playable in Tears of the Kingdom?Watch on YouTube

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet have now sold a combined 22.1m copies since their launch late last year, while evergreen games such as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (now on an astonishing 53.79m copies) continued to sell.

Nintendo Switch has now sold a total of 125.62m consoles worldwide, but only 18m more over the past 12 months. Looking ahead, Nintendo forecasts it will shift a further 15m consoles over the 12 months ending 31st March 2024 - which would make for yet another decline.

Indeed, Nintendo president Satoru Furukawa has admitted that 15m prediction may be tough to hit.

"Sustaining the Switch's sales momentum will be difficult in its seventh year," Furukawa said in an investor call, via Bloomberg. "Our goal of selling 15m units this fiscal year is a bit of stretch. But we will do our best to bolster demand going into the holiday season so that we can achieve the goal."

Nintendo's big launch for Switch this year is Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, which launches this week. After that, there's slim pickings for the rest of the financial year.

Pikmin 4 is set to arrive in July, and I'm very excited. Following that, Nintendo's own release schedule extends only to DLC for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Pokémon Scarlet and Violet.

Nintendo is due to make a big return to Gamescom this August, where it seems likely we'll hear about plans for the latter half of 2023. What could Nintendo still have up its sleeve?

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