The Nintendo Switch is back on top in the US after OLED launch

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Last month, the PS5 ended the Nintendo Switch’s nearly three-year-long reign as the best-selling console in the US. That proved to be short-lived, however. In October, thanks in large part to the release of the new OLED model of the Switch, Nintendo is back on top.

According to Nintendo, the Switch sold 711,000 units overall in the US during October, and 314,000 of those were the OLED version. The NPD Group says that these numbers made the Switch the US’s best-selling console that month “in both units and dollars.” (The analyst firm also says that the PS5 remains the top seller in 2021 in terms of dollars, while the Switch is on top when it comes to units sold.)

“We see this as a strong start for the Nintendo Switch OLED model and a very strong indicator of the performance we can expect as we go into the holiday season,” Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser tells The Verge.

Bowser notes that those October sales numbers are 3 percent lower compared to the same time last year. Earlier this month, Nintendo cut its overall sales forecast — it now expects to sell 24 million units globally between April 2021 and March 2022, 1.5 million less than previously forecasted — due to the global chip shortage. And Bowser says that he doesn’t predict those supply issues changing any time soon:

These challenges have been facing many industries, and they’ve been going on for quite some time. But we’re working to meet demand for our holiday products, including Nintendo Switch OLED model. I will say things are constantly changing, but we’ve been working across the supply chain — from production to overseas transport to local distribution channels — to make sure we have a steady flow of hardware and games through the holiday cycle. Now, despite all of our efforts, I’d say there’s still a high level of uncertainty. I’d certainly recommend if you see it, buy it this holiday season.

As you know, in our last earnings report, we did reflect a reduction in our overall number for this year; we took it down about 1.5 million units to 24 million units globally. And that does reflect the outlook and the visibility that we have into the rest of the fiscal year. I will say, the semiconductor components are in short supply, and the future is uncertain. There are no major improvements that we’ve seen on the horizon. So I think the challenges will continue into 2020. We’re going to continue to do our best working with our suppliers to make sure we have the best supply possible.

Outside of hardware, Nintendo noted that Metroid Dreadwhich launched alongside the OLED Switch on October 8th — sold 854,000 units in the US, making it “the best start for any Metroid game ever,” according to Bowser. Meanwhile, Animal Crossing: New Horizons received “a significant spike in people buying the game” after its final major update, according to Nintendo, though the company hasn’t released specific numbers on this. New Horizons is currently the second best-selling Switch game with nearly 35 million units sold globally.

Bowser also touched on a few other recent and ongoing Nintendo storylines, including:

Fan complaints of poor emulation for Nintendo 64 games on Switch Online

We’re constantly looking for ways to make our online features and those games better and continuing to add value through more services and more games as we go forward. We take the feedback very seriously, and we’re continuing to look at ways to improve the overall performance. For us, it’s about quality and great content at a great value.

The years-long battle against Joy-Con drift

As we’ve gone through the first five and a half years of the Nintendo Switch, we’ve observed gameplay, we’ve observed as people have returned units how they’ve worn, and we’ve been making continuous improvements overall to the Joy-Con, including the analog stick. This latest version, Nintendo Switch OLED, has the same updated analog stick that’s now available in the original Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite.

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