At this point, Nintendo Switch pre-orders are sold out virtually everywhere, both in retail stores and online. But, will these pre-order indicators translate to actual sales success" Unfortunately, we don?t really know what early pre-order signs mean for a console. After all, Wii U pre-orders sold out nearly immediately and the console was sold out everywhere for a few weeks after its launch. What can we glean from early Nintendo Switch pre-order information"
The most important figure for us to look at is 2 million. That number is the figure Nintendo estimates for March shipments of the console. So, how many of those units will be ready on day one"
When the Wii U launched, the console sold 400,000 units in its first week in the US, ultimately selling 900,000 units in its first six weeks on sale. With these numbers, I think it is safe to assume that about half of shipped units were available to purchase on the first day or week on sale. Ultimately, it doesn?t matter if we?re talking just a day or an entire week if the pre-orders are immediately sold out and it takes about a week for a new shipment to arrive.
Assuming there are a million units available for the Switch on day one worldwide, how many of those will end up in the US" Nintendo will likely base its shipments on the success of other consoles by territory. Out of all the Wii Us sold, about 48 percent were sold in the US. Meanwhile, about 34 percent of 3DS units were sold in the US. Unfortunately, given that the Switch is somewhat of a hybrid console, we don?t know if shipments to the US will be closer to the one-third figure, or closer to the one-half figure. For argument?s sake, let?s assume that the Switch gets a number right in between, and the US gets 41 percent of the original shipment.
Assuming there are 1 million units available at launch, and 41 percent of them come to the US, a sold-out launch would put the console right at 410,000 units – about on par with the launch da...