On October 20, 2016, the Nintendo Switch was announced by the Kyoto firm. An announcement made via a short, but effective video, to present the whole concept of this new machine. Yet at the time, many players and journalists remained skeptical.
After the big failure of the Wii U, did the Switch really have the shoulders to raise the bar, compete with the 3DS and get Nintendo out of this sticky situation?
In February 2017, a new detailed presentation of the Nintendo Switch is made to announce the release date: March 3, 2017. Again, a large part of the players had difficulty in being seduced by the concept of Big N. Nobody ‘had seen the master stroke coming.
Nintendo: The Unexpected Rebirth
Brilliant manufacturer, Nintendo has marked the history of video games on several occasions. The Kyoto company even saved this industry thanks to the NES and Super Mario in 1985 after the famous video game crash of 1983. Nintendo is at the origin of many cult licenses like The Legend of Zelda, Donkey Kong or even more recently Splatoon.
Nintendo is the undisputed king of portable consoles with the Game Boy and especially the Nintendo DS. In the home console category, the firm has had a little more trouble since the late 1990s. The arrival of PlayStation will disrupt the industry with a Nintendo 64 and a GameCube which did not sell as well as expected. despite their great qualities and their catalog of quite incredible games.
But in 2006, Nintendo revolutionized again with the Wii. This time it is possible to play differently and with the whole family. The console was a critical and commercial success and would very quickly become the best-selling machine when it was released, quite easily ahead of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 which were the new small stars of the time.
The Wii is the ultimate home console. The DS is an even bigger hit in the laptop market. Nintendo is alone at the top. Unfortunately, a communication error will change everything for Big N. In 2013, the Wii U was released and the latter was a monumental flop with only 13.5 million units sold worldwide. To this day, it remains Nintendo’s least-selling console in history. After this heavy failure, no one really believed in the Switch.
Nintendo Switch: The planetary box
While the Switch will celebrate its four years on March 3, Nintendo unveils the latest official figures for the console to start 2021. And the results are staggering.
Nintendo’s annual net profit record dates from 2008 at $ 2.2 billion. As the fiscal year ends on March 31, Nintendo is already on the cusp of breaking that record and expects to hit $ 3.15 billion in 2021.
In 2020, The Switch sold more than 26.5 million copies. It is quite simply the historical record allowing to dethrone the Nintendo Wii (24.8 million) or the PlayStation 4 and its 19.4 million sales in a single year. Will the PS5 or Xbox Series X have enough to compete with or beat this record? (When there is stock of course).
As of December 31, 2020, the Switch was in fifth place among the best-selling Nintendo consoles with 79.87 million copies sold. According to Nintendo, the machine is expected to surpass the 82 million mark by the end of the fiscal year. The Nintendo Switch would then become the ninth best-selling console in video game history in just four years.
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Best-selling video game consoles in history (as of December 31, 2020):
- PlayStation 2 (2000): Over 157 million
- Nintendo DS (2004): Over 154 million
- Game Boy (1989): Over 118 million
- PlayStation 4 (2013): Over 115 million
- PlayStation (1994): Over 103 million
- Wii (2006): Over 101 million
- PlayStation 3 (2007): Over 87 million
- Xbox 360 (2005): Over 85 million
- Game Boy Advance (2001): Over 81 million
- Nintendo Switch (2017): Over 79 million
We can see that in the first 60 months of the Switch, the Nintendo console is ahead of all machines in history. The latter is therefore on course to reach the top 3 of the best-selling video game consoles. It is not impossible that the console may even grab the top spot in the next few years.
532 million Switch games worldwide
In addition to the console’s gargantuan numbers, games are keeping pace with more than 532 million small cartridges sold in just four years. Animal Crossing New Horizons manages to flow to more than 30 million copies in nine months. An incredible feat that will rank it second among the best-selling Switch games on the console.
Top 10 best-selling games on Nintendo Switch:
- Mario Kart 8 Deluxe: 33.41m (+ 4.42m in the last quarter)
- Animal Crossing: New Horizons: 31.18m (+ 5.14m)
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: 22.85m (+ 1.75m)
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: 21.45m (+ 1.71m)
- Pokémon Sword & Shield: 20.35m (+ 1.33m)
- Super Mario Odyssey: 20.23m (+ 1.24m)
- Super Mario Party: 13.82m (+ 1.72m)
- Pokémon Let’s Go: 13.00m (+ 0.51m)
- Splatoon 2: 11.90m (+ 0.63m)
- New Super Mario Bros. U DX: 9.82m (+ 1.50m)
The Switch Lite, a success that is not light!
The statistic that hurts is at the level of comparisons on the sale of the Switch Lite (available since September 2019) and total sales of the Wii U. The youngest of Big N is thus on the verge of overtaking the old console of the firm, proof of the failure of this model. Also proof that the “Lite” is a success.
The latter therefore represents (in just one year) 16.9% of total Switch sales since 2017. And obviously, this is likely to continue.
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Nintendo Switch Pro: Not For Now
In recent years, many rumors have circulated around the Nintendo Switch Pro. Asked about this, Shuntaro Furukawa, current Nintendo president announces that no new model is planned for the moment.
We don’t plan to make an announcement anytime soon, we have one in Mario colors in February and another for Monster Hunter in March.
As Takashi Mochizuki points out, Bloomberg reporter, last year the same Shuntaro Furukawa had made it clear that Nintendo had “no intention of marketing a new Switch model in 2020”. This year, the president of Nintendo does not deny the rumor, and is content to dodge the subject to highlight the two special editions which will be released before the end of the fiscal year. A nice surprise to plan for the end of 2021?
The glorious future of Nintendo and the Switch
The Nintendo Switch is therefore more than 79 million consoles sold in less than four years, including 13 million for the Lite model. A sales curve that is impressive and ahead of all other consoles in history. Games that are sold by pallet. Nintendo is on its own and may well remain so for a few more years.
Everyone is now waiting for the sequel and this new, more powerful machine that could once again surprise players and allow Big N to raise its Switch to the top of historical sales. Be careful, however, not to reproduce the mistakes made with the Wii U.