game not over

Switching Views on Consoles

The gaming device may surpass the 3DS's first-year sales of 17 million.
Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images
At Closing, January 19th
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Apparently the games console isn't dead. Yet.

Despite numerous distractions for consumers -- from smartphone games to Netflix -- Nintendo Co.'s Switch has a chance of becoming the Japanese company's best-selling gaming machine in a decade.

Flying Start

It'll be a stretch, but Nintendo may be able to surpass the 17 million units sold by the 3DS in its first year

Source: Nintendo; calculation by Bloomberg Gadfly

Note: Data are for remaining time in fiscal year of release, and the following full fiscal year ending March 31.

With the 10 million mark recently surpassed and Christmas ahead, it's possible Switch may beat the 17 million mark set by the Nintendo 3DS in the 2011/12 fiscal year. Selling another 7 million units in the next four months will be a stretch, but even even if it comes within a few million, Nintendo will be able to celebrate.

There are many good reasons to believe that the games console's days are numbered. But there are also 10 million reasons to think it's got some life left in it yet.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.

    To contact the author of this story:
    Tim Culpan in Taipei at

    To contact the editor responsible for this story:
    Matthew Brooker at

    Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.