In one look :
- Net sales down 3.6% to $13.1 billion, net income stable at $3.7 billion
- Biggest year for software sales in a single hardware family in Nintendo history
- 23.06 million Switch units sold at retail – a 20% year-over-year decline, but the second-biggest year since the console’s launch
Nintendo announced the annual results of its last fiscal year, showing a slight decline in overall sales.
For the twelve months ended March 31, 2022, net sales decreased 3.6% year-on-year to 1.7 trillion yen ($13.1 billion).
Naturally, the majority of that came from its dedicated video game platform business, almost entirely driven by Switch, with sales of 1.6 trillion yen ($12.3 billion), which is also down from 3.6%.
Mobile and IP-related revenue fell more sharply by 6.5% to 53.5 billion yen ($411.1 million). The company saw a 55.9% increase in sales from its playing card business, but that was only 2.7 billion yen ($20.7 million).
Net profit was flat with a drop of just 0.6%, reported at 477.6 billion yen ($3.7 billion).
In fiscal 2022, Nintendo sold 23.06 million Switch units at retail, down 20% year-over-year.
The platform holder said shipments were impacted by the continued shortage of semiconductor components and other parts, as well as the strong comparison to fiscal 2021, which benefited from both containment necessitated by the pandemic and the recent launch of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which debuted less than two weeks before the start of this fiscal year.
Even so, FY2022 marked the second highest year of Switch hardware sales since launch – the highest, of course, being the previous year.
Over the past twelve months, the standard Switch has sold 13.56 million units at retail, down 33.3%. The Switch Lite saw hardware sales drop 56.5% to 3.7 million.
Meanwhile, the OLED Switch, which debuted in October 2021, sold 5.8 million units in its first six months.
Lifetime sales of the Switch now stand at 107.65 million, or six million units ahead of the Wii, Nintendo’s former best-selling home console.
While hardware suffered declines, software shipments edged up 1.8% to 235.07 million.
Nintendo reports that this is the highest level of software sales for a single hardware family in its history.
Digital sales increased 4.5% year-on-year, reaching 359.6 billion yen ($2.8 billion). Downloads accounted for 42.6% of all software sales, down slightly from 42.8% last year.
The best-selling game of the year was Pokémon duology Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, which moved 14.65 million units since its launch in November. It’s already the eighth best-selling Switch game of all time.
In second was Pokémon Legends: Arceus, which launched in late January and has already shipped 12.64 million units.
Two other new releases from the past fiscal year were highlighted, with Mario Party Superstars selling 6.88 million and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD moving 3.91 million.
As always, games from the old catalog were also among Nintendo’s biggest sellers, with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe moving an additional 9.94 million units throughout the year, bringing its lifetime sales to 45, 33 million. Animal Crossing: New Horizons has sold another 6.01 million, with lifetime sales now at 38.64 million.
A total of 39 Switch games sold over one million units in fiscal year 2022, including 26 Nintendo titles and 13 third-party games.
Switch’s lifetime software sales reached 822.18 million. The number of annual game users rose to 102 million – the first time it has topped 100 million since the launch of Switch, after hitting 87 million in the previous fiscal year.
Looking specifically at the three months ended March 31, similar patterns from the annual results can be seen across hardware and software.
The total number of hardware units shipped fell 13.1% year-on-year to 4.11 million units, including 1.81 million OLEDs and 1.77 million standard Switch models. Software sales rose slightly by 1.7% to 55.7 million units.
Digital sales accounted for 104.6 billion yen ($803.1 million), of which 56.6% was for downloadable versions of titles also available at retail – the remainder includes download-only games, add-on content and subscriptions Nintendo Switch Online.
In comparison, the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 saw digital sales of 88.1 billion yen ($676.5 million), including 64.4% for downloadable versions of boxed software.
Nintendo also announced a 10-to-1 stock split, effective October 1, 2021. This means that for every share investors hold, they now own ten.
This is a measure taken to improve the liquidity of the company’s shares and to make it more affordable for retail investors to purchase shares of the company.
Reuters reports that Nintendo is the latest in a string of tech companies to make such a spinoff, with Amazon, Google and many others making a similar move in recent months.
In fiscal year 2023 – the twelve months ending March 31, 2023 – Nintendo expects net sales of 1.6 billion yen ($12.3 billion), which would mark a decline of 5.6% from compared to the 2022 financial year.
The platform holder expects to sell 21 million Switch units during the year. This is the second year in a row Nintendo has predicted it will sell fewer consoles.
Net profit was expected at 340 billion yen ($2.6 billion), down 28.8% year-on-year.
The lineup for this exercise includes the recent release of Nintendo Switch Sports, the launch of Mario Strikers: Battle League and Fire Emblem Warriors in June, Xenoblade Chronicles in July, Splatoon 3 in September, and Pokémon Scarlet and Violet towards the end of the year. . Bayonetta 3 is also set to debut in 2022.
The company said the current component shortage and any future wave of COVID-19 could further affect its performance.