While Sony’s PlayStation 5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X/S still struggle to meet the demand, one console is breaking the sales record: the Nintendo Switch. It just happens to hold onto the “best-selling console” title month after month for more than two years by selling more than 89 million units, finally hitting a significant milestone.
Nintendo Switch just became the 7th best-selling console of all time by selling more than 89 million units worldwide, surpassing both Sony’s PlayStation 3, and Microsoft’s Xbox 360, as reported by IGN. The massive success of the most popular handheld console of all time was announced as part of Nintendo’s most recent financial results, whose sales results put it on track to outsell its older brother, the incredibly successful Nintendo Wii.
Nintendo expects to sell an additional 20 million units in the current fiscal year (ending March 2022), which would easily beat Nintendo Wii’s record of 101.6 million units sold, making Nintendo’s Switch the best-selling console of all time. But what makes these numbers particularly impressive is that the console sold so many units in a relatively short period. Nintendo Switch came out in 2017 and sold over 89 million units to date, all while PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 sold 87.4 million and 84 million units, respectively, during their entire lifecycle spanning from 2005 to 2016.
Not only did it outsell the previous generations of hardware, but Nintendo Switch continues to outsell both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S consoles, making Nintendo its own biggest competitor. The massive success of the Nintendo Switch could arguably be ascribed to the worldwide semiconductor shortage and the absence of PS5 and Xbox Series X/S from the market, but the company seemed to handle the shortage nicely – at least better than its competitors, Sony and Microsoft. Unfortunately, however, things aren’t so great for Nintendo either. In fact, Nintendo Switch sales are slowing down, and the reason behind it might be Nintendo itself and the lack of software.
Nintendo Switch’s massive sales numbers are driven by two factors: the absence of competitor consoles from the market and high demand for gaming entertainment facilitated by social distancing and lockdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic. However, there’s been a massive dip in sales that went down more than 21% compared to last year, mainly because the number of Switch-exclusive titles remains scarce. The system saw an upsurge of sales when Animal Crossing: New Horizons came out in 2020, but there haven’t been any massive, must-have titles for the system ever since. Sure, Nintendo made sure that some classics got reworked, like the recently-released The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD, but it’s highly improbable those would drive up the sales figures significantly.
With that said, the release of the upcoming Nintendo Switch OLED model might boost the sales, though the company may eventually face the same problem as its competitors – the lack of chips, which could significantly impact Nintendo’s abilities to deliver enough Switch units to meet demand. Nevertheless, supposing the company stays on top of the current semiconductor shortage situation the Switch may just topple the sales figures of the PlayStation 2 and become the best-selling console of all time.