The latest sales results for Nintendo show just how well the Switch did over Christmas, as Fire Emblem and Luigi’s Mansion 3 break series records.
It’s impossible to say for certain exactly when sales of the Nintendo Switch passed the Xbox One, because for years Microsoft has refused to release sales numbers, but with the Switch’s lifetime total now standing at 52.48 million it’s definitely already happened.
Unofficial estimates of the Xbox One’s total stand at 45 million at best, while industry analyst Daniel Ahmad estimates the Switch passed the Xbox One sometime during the run-up to Christmas.
Just like Microsoft, Nintendo has just announced its second quarter sales results for the last three months and they sold 7.58 million Switch consoles over Christmas and 3.24 million of the newer Switch Lite model.
Things went well enough that they revised their hardware forecasts for the full year up from 18 million to 19.5 million – an important detail that always pleases investors.
Doing so well, and beating the Xbox One, is all the more impressive given that the Switch was only released in 2017, three years later than the other consoles thanks to the failure of the Wii U before it.
The Switch has no chance of catching the PlayStation 4 though, whose most recent sales figures put it at 106 million worldwide.
Given the narrow profit margins on hardware though it’s always the software sales that are most important, but they’re looking especially healthy for Nintendo, with 64.64 million games sold in the last three months and 310.65 million since the Switch started.
Best-selling Nintendo Switch games
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – 22.96 million
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is 17.68 million
Super Mario Odyssey – 16.59 million
Zelda: Breath Of The Wild – 16.34 million
Pokémon Sword/Shield – 16.06 million
Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu/Eevee – 11.76 million
Super Mario Party – 9.12 million
Splatoon 2 – 9.0 million
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe – 5.85 million
Luigi’s Mansion 3 – 5.37 million
Super Mario Maker 2 – 5.04 million
Zelda: Link’s Awakening – 4.19 million
Fire Emblem: Three Houses – 2.29 million
Ring Fit Adventure – 2.17 million
Astral Chain – 1.03 million
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 – 1.02 million
Adding a not insignificant amount to that total is Pokémon Sword and Shield, which despite all the controversy managed to sell 16.06 million copies in less than two months.
That means that it’s already within less than a million of the lifetime totals for both Pokémon Sword/Sun and X/Y, although a way off the 31+ million of the best-selling original games of Red, Blue, and Green.
Just as impressive is that if you do the numbers it means that 30% of Switch owners already own a copy of Sword or Shield, which is a staggeringly good attach rate (although still below the 43% for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe).
The Switch already plays host to the most successful Zelda ever, in Breath Of The Wild, but Fire Emblem and Luigi’s Mansion have also achieved personal bests on the Switch, ensuring they’ll be far from the last entries in their franchises.
For that matter even Astral Chain managed to pass 1 million sales, an unexpectedly good performance for a game that was hardly even promoted by Nintendo.
It could barely be going any better for Nintendo at the moment and yet 2020 remains something of a mystery in terms of their plans.
Their only major confirmed release is Animal Crossing: New Horizons in March and while there are rumours of some kind of new hardware release this summer they’ve announced nothing official and there’s no hint so far as to if and how they’ll respond to the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X being released this autumn.
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