Here's how much Nvidia will make off the Nintendo Switch

JP Mangalindan
Chief Tech Correspondent

Graphics chip powerhouse Nvidia (NVDA) is poised to make hundreds of millions of dollars in additional revenues in fiscal 2018 thanks to the Nintendo Switch, according to a new report.

RBC Capital Markets analyst Mitch Steves predicts Nvidia’s top line may see a boost of $300 million-$400 million in fiscal 2018 just from sales of the Nintendo Switch, which is powered by Nvdia technology. That’s because the game maker Nintendo (NTDOYwill reportedly double production of its brisk-selling Switch console this year from 8 million units to 16 million.

The move from Nintendo comes on the heels of higher-than-anticipated demand for the Switch, which has been hard to find online and in-store, even at third-party retailers like Amazon (AMZN), Best Buy (BBY) and Target (TGT). Indeed, Switch reviews have mostly been positive about the device’s unique design. Nintendo, for its part, said this April the Switch “sold faster in its launch month than any other video game system in Nintendo history.”

RBC Capital Markets’ Switch estimates indicate a nice boost in incremental revenues for Nvidia, which reports first-quarter 2018 earnings on Tuesday. The Santa Clara, Calif.-based chipmaker and recipient of Yahoo Finance’s Company of the Year title for 2016 benefits from Nintendo’s production increase, given a customized version of its Tegra X1 chip powers every Switch device.

“We think the incremental 6-8M units could add $300-400M to the top line (3-4% growth to annual revenue on a $50 ASP),” wrote RBC Capital Markets analyst Mitch Steves in the report. “This is a notable metric given that the Wii U sold ~13.5M units since its release in 2012 and 10M+ in the first 12 months are unlikely reflected in current estimates.”

Wall Street analysts are expecting Nvidia to report earnings of $0.66 per share on $1.91 billion in revenues when the chip maker reports quarterly earnings on Tuesday after the markets close. Nvidia has historically been known as one of the leading graphics chip makers in the world, with products commonly found in personal computers.

However, over the last 24 months, the company has turned its focus to newer areas including auto, data centers and artificial intelligence — a relatively nascent technology transforming nearly every industry, from agriculture to e-commerce.

“AI is eating software,” Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang told TechCrunch in an interview last week. “The way to think about it is that AI is just the modern way of doing software. In the future, we’re not going to see software that is not going to continue to learn over time, and be able to perceive and reason, and plan actions and that continues to improve as we use it.”

For Nvidia, that obviously presents a huge market opportunity, provided the company makes smart bets in an already-competitive area.

JP Mangalindan is a senior correspondent for Yahoo Finance covering the intersection of tech and business. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook.  

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