Japanese gaming giant Nintendo reported results for the fiscal year ended March 31 on Tuesday. The company's revenue was down 5.5 percent year-over-year, while profit declined almost 10 percent, as sales of its flagship console, the Nintendo Switch, slowed down notably from the year before. Nintendo sold roughly 18 million Switch units last year, down 22 percent from the year before and 39 percent from fiscal 2021, when sales had peaked at almost 29 million units.
Following the disastrous spell of the Wii U, which ended in its early retirement, Nintendo took a huge gamble with its follow-up console. Once again, the company didn't try to copy the successful recipe of Microsoft's Xbox or Sony's PlayStation business, but went with its own approach instead. Little more than six years after the Switch's release in March 2017, it can safely be said that the gamble to make it a hybrid between home and handheld console paid off.
Not only was the Switch a return to form after the Wii U disaster, but it even ended up overtaking the Wii as Nintendo's most successful home console ever in terms of sales. With more than 125 million units sold, the Switch is not only Nintendo's greatest hit, but also the second most successful console of all time, trailing only the PlayStation 2, of which Sony sold 155 million units over its lifetime.
And while the Switch still has some life left in it, Nintendo expects to sell 15 million units in the fiscal year ending March 2024, the end of its lifecycle is on the horizon. As the following chart shows, every console cycles comes to an end eventually, and none of Nintendo's previous consoles have managed to turn things back around once sales had started to decline.