Nintendo reports growing digital sales in latest financial results

Nintendo has reported major growth in digital sales over its last financial year, while hardware and physical sales have dropped.
kirby on a cake; nintendo financial results

Nintendo’s latest financial report, which details successes and challenges during the fiscal year ending March 2023, has revealed major change for the tenured company. Overall, net sales were down 5.5% year-on-year but despite this, there were significant growth areas for the business, particularly in its digital sales.

As noted in the financial report, digital sales have risen by 12.7% since FY22, driven by a handful of digital-only releases including top sellers, Kirby’s Dream Buffet, and the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass which introduces fresh new races and characters to the popular game. Nintendo Switch Online subscriptions also played into this growth, although individual subscription numbers were not separated.

In addition to digital-only titles, it appears Pokemon Scarlet, Pokemon Violet, and Splatoon 3 also enjoyed success in the digital realm.

As of this financial report, around 48.2% of the total dedicated video game platform software sales for Nintendo Switch were digital, growing by a 5.6 point basis since FY22.

Read: Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom – Final Gameplay Preview

A significant growth in digital sales was not matched by hardware, which experienced notable downturn in the last fiscal year for Nintendo. Overall sales of Nintendo Switch consoles are down 22.1% year-on-year, with 17.97 million units sold in this period. The biggest drop was seen in sales for the base version of the console, and not even a 58.8% rise in sales for the OLED could aid this drop.

Nintendo has attributed this waning popularity to the shortage of semiconductor chips, which continued to impact console production into the middle of 2023. As a result of these challenges, and likely the maturation of the console, Nintendo has adjusted console sales predictions to 15 million for the next fiscal year.

Regardless of this bump in results, which Nintendo outlined in its Q1-Q3 financial report, the company remains hopeful for a solid uptick in the coming months – particularly given this period will play host to the launch of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, one of the most anticipated games of the year.

In the next financial quarter, Nintendo will also launch Pikmin 4 (21 July), the next two waves of the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass (2023), and the first chapter of DLC content for Pokemon Scarlet and Pokemon Violet (Spring 2023, Southern Hemisphere). The launch of the Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Switch OLED Model is also noted as a significant launch that will likely contribute to boosted financials in the next quarter.

While FY23 has certainly had its challenges for the company, expect to see a more positive outlook for Nintendo in the months ahead.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.