Big sales of ‘Super Mario Bros. Wonder’ boost prospects for Nintendo’s Switch

By Sam Nussey

TOKYO (Reuters) -Nintendo made a pitch for the ongoing match fitness of its aging Switch console on Wednesday, as the Kyoto-based gaming company continues to churn out hits even as the market debates the timing of a successor device.

The Japanese firm said it sold 4.3 million copies of “Super Mario Bros. Wonder” – the first entirely new instalment in the almost 40-year-old side-scrolling series in a decade – within two weeks of its Oct. 20 launch.

That is the best performance of any “Super Mario” title, Nintendo said, as it takes advantage of the Switch install base of more than 130 million units and interest generated by a barnstorming animated movie featuring the moustachioed plumber.

“The Switch will enter its eighth year from March 2024 but we will continue to develop new titles without being bound by previous platform lifecycles,” Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa told a strategy briefing.

The comments come a day after Nintendo reported it sold 6.84 million Switch units in the first six months of the financial year that started in April, a slight increase on the same period a year earlier.

Sales of first-party Switch games were the strongest of any year over that period other than 2020, Nintendo said, boosted by bumper titles such “The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom”.

Nintendo also announced on Wednesday “Super Mario” creator Shigeru Miyamoto is developing a live action adaptation of the “Zelda” franchise.

Games slated for release next year include “Mario vs. Donkey Kong” and “Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD”.

The timing of a successor to the hybrid home/portable Switch device will depend on the strength of Nintendo’s hardware and software sales, wrote Jefferies analyst Atul Goyal in a client note, flagging March and October as possible launch windows.

“The stronger the sales, the later the launch of Switch 2,” he wrote.

(Reporting by Sam Nussey; Editing by Christopher Cushing)