The Nintendo Switch will sell around 5m units by the end of the year.
That's according to SuperData Research, as reported by Polygon. The number would be a pretty decent performance for the machine when you consider that the Switch's predecessor, the Wii U, only hit 14m in its entire lifetime. Nintendo has previously said that it has shipped 2m Switch consoles for the machine's launch tomorrow.
The biggest challenge for Nintendo is to convince console gamers to purchase the Switch as a second device, as many have already committed to a PlayStation 4 (53.4m installed base, worldwide) or Xbox One (26m),” SuperData said.
Asking $300 for a new console without a bundled game is a comparatively higher barrier to entry for consumers, considering that the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are already discounted and come with a free game.”
The company added that while The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will drive lots of hardware sales at launch, it will need to be followed by a strong first and third company lineup to keep momentum building toward Christmas.
It also added that investors remain a little dubious about Nintendo's mobile strategy after iOS title Super Mario Run fell short of earnings estimates, despite a massive marketing push from Apple.
The platformer was downloaded some 78m times, but only around 4m of these translated into paid purchases. The game's Android launch is still to come, of course.
The Nintendo Switch launches in the UK and other major markets tomorrow. Hardware reviews have been largely positive, although concerns have been aired about possible connectivity issues with the left Joy Con controller. A lotl remains unknown about the machine's operating system and online services, too, although these mysteries will shortly be solved.