Switch Surpasses Wii to Become Best-Selling Nintendo Console – Thumbsticks

The Nintendo Switch is becoming Nintendo’s best-selling home console, but there’s still a ways to go to catch the GameBoy and DS handhelds.

When the Nintendo Wii U was discontinued, it had only sold 13.56 million units worldwide. Compare that to the console that came before it – the Wii, Nintendo’s best-selling home console, selling 101.63 million units – and it seemed like the developer, publisher and platform holder well- beloved could be in dire straits.

Well the Wii has been Nintendo’s best-selling home console at the time. But with global Nintendo Switch sales hitting 103.54 million, that’s no longer the case. (And any concerns about Nintendo’s future after the “Wii U dip” have been refuted.)

For Nintendo home consoles, this makes the all-time graphics look something like this.

Sales of Nintendo home consoles, as of December 31, 2021

  • Nintendo Switch – 103.54 million
  • Nintendo Wii – 101.63 million
  • NES/Famicom – 61.91 million
  • SNES/Super Famicom – 49.10 million
  • Nintendo 64 – 32.93 million
  • Nintendo Gamecube – 21.74 million
  • Nintendo Wii U – 13.56 million

Don’t forget that the Nintendo Switch is also a console/handheld hybrid (“Consheld”? “Handsole”?), so we also have to consider its sales figures compared to Nintendo’s handhelds.

Nintendo laptop sales, as of December 31, 2021

  • Nintendo DS – 154.02 million
  • Game Boy – 118.69 million
  • Nintendo Switch –103.54 million
  • Game Boy Advance – 81.51 million
  • Nintendo 3DS – 75.94 million

When we do this, the Switch jumps from first to third place. But considering the huge bulk and massive lifespan of Nintendo’s previous handheld systems, that’s still no small feat for a console that’s not yet five years old.

Nintendo also wants to remind us that the Nintendo Switch is “in the middle” of its lifespan, so don’t be surprised if it knocks the Game Boy down before it’s over. The Nintendo DS, however? That one might just be a bit too far ahead.

Source: Nintendo Investor Relations

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