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Analyst report: Nintendo Switch will sell 5 million units in 2017

"Launching much earlier in the year than its predecessors, we expect the Switch to initially appeal mostly to the loyal fanbase, before a broader, more mainstream audience adopts it."

Market research group SuperData expects the Nintendo Switch to sell five million units by the end of the year. 

As reported by GameSpot, the company believes the Switch could get off to a relatively slow start due to a lack of a killer launch line-up. 

"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," SuperData explained. 

The most high-profile Switch launch titles are The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild -- which was inundated with praise when the review embargo lifted earlier today -- and multiplayer party game 1-2-Switch

A huge variety of indie offerings will also be hitting the console over the course of the year, while a handful of first-party releases like Splatoon 2, Super Mario Odyssey, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe will also arrive during that time.

It's a long-term strategy that has SuperData suggesting Nintendo is preparing for a "slow and steady release," although the researcher believes the console maker will have some trouble convincing people to pick up the Switch as a second device. 

"Launching much earlier in the year than its predecessors, we expect the Switch to initially appeal mostly to the loyal fanbase, before a broader, more mainstream audience adopts it," SuperData suggested. 

"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 (53.4 million installed base, worldwide) or Xbox One (26 million)."

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