Nintendo Switch sales continue to fly

By Matt Clough | | 3806 |

In their latest earnings call, Nintendo announced the latest sales figures for the Nintendo Switch console. As of the end of March, the Switch had sold more than 55 million units, with more than 21 million of those coming in the year ending in March. This figure exceeds Nintendo’s goal for the year, and points to the Switch’s continued success.

Even more remarkable is the fact that the full, dockable model of the Switch has been very hard to find since huge sales over Christmas, and now with production hampered by the global lockdown. Though Nintendo are predicting a slow down in sales for this financial year, that has as much to do with these production issues than a decline in demand for the console. Our own data gathered from across our international gaming comparison sites shows demand for the Switch as high as ever, with the lockdown driving more people to try and pick a Switch up.

Since launching just over three years ago, the Switch has been a massive success, vastly outselling the console’s predecessor, the Wii U. In fact, the Switch has now sold more than four times the number managed by the Wii U. But how does it stack up against other consoles.

Compared to the Switch’s two generational competitors, the Xbox One and the PS4, the numbers are very promising. Microsoft stopped publishing Xbox One sales figures some time ago, but IHS Markit speculated that around 39 million Xbox One consoles had been sold by March 2018, around four and a half years after the console launched. On an earnings call around 9 months ago, Turtle Beach stated that they believed the Xbox One had sold around 50 million units. This would suggest that the Switch is likely now on a par with the Xbox One, despite being four years younger and the One rapidly nearing the end of its life. Sony, meanwhile, still regularly announce PS4 sales figures, recently revealing it has surpassed the 100 million units mark, making it the second most successful home console of all time (behind the PS2). By a similar point in its lifespan, the PS4 had sold somewhere between 57 million and 60 million units. It’s worth noting, however, that the PS4 launched just prior to the Black Friday and Christmas rush, when hardware sales typically accelerate markedly, meaning that the Sony console has had one more holiday period than the Switch has had. The fact that the Switch is so close to matching the PS4 at this stage hints at its potential to become one of, if not the best selling Nintendo console ever.

Speaking of other Nintendo devices, how is the Switch getting on? Well, the latest sales update means the Switch has now outsold the SNES (49 million), and will almost definitely have outsold the NES (61 million) by the end of the year, barring a complete production disaster. The next milestone is the 3DS family, which the Switch effectively replaced, which managed 75 million sales. Nintendo will need to surpass their sales expectations if they’re to meet this mark by the end of the next financial year in March 2021. The Wii remains the high water mark for Nintendo home consoles, with 101 million sold. If the Switch sticks to the typical 7 year lifespan we’ve come to expect from consoles nowadays, and is able to keep up its current sales trend (particularly if the much-rumoured Switch Pro eventually sees the light of day), then it’s entirely possible it will overtake the Wii.

Matt Clough

Matt is one of the writers for the Console Deals blog. His favourite console ever is the GameCube, and he will not have a bad word said against Just Dance.