The Nintendo Switch is a video game console developed by Nintendo, released worldwide in most regions on March 3, 2017. It is a hybrid console that can be used as a home console and portable device. Its wireless Joy-Con controllers, with standard buttons and directional analog sticks for user input, motion sensing, and tactile feedback, can attach to both sides of the console to support handheld-style play. They can also connect to a grip accessory to provide a traditional home console gamepad form or be used individually in hand like the Wii Remote and Nunchuk, supporting local multiplayer modes. The Nintendo Switch’s software supports online gaming through Internet connectivity and regional wireless ad hoc connectivity with other consoles. Nintendo Switch games and software are available on physical flash-based ROM cartridges and digital distribution via Nintendo eShop; the system has no region lockout. A handheld-focused revision of the system, called the Nintendo Switch Lite, was released on September 20, 2019. The Nintendo Switch has reached a total of 61.44 million hardware sales, fast-approaching the legendary NES console – and quite possibly beating it. Nintendo’s latest financial earnings report is now in our hands, allowing us to compare the Switch’s current lifetime sales to its predecessors. The table below shows Nintendo home console hardware sales correct as of June 2020.
As an eighth-generation console, the Nintendo Switch competes with Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4. The console shipped nearly three million in the first month of its launch, exceeding Nintendo’s initial projection of two million. Within a year of release, over 14 million units sold worldwide, outselling total lifetime sales of the Wii U. By the start of 2018, the Switch became the fastest-selling home console in Japan and the United States. As of June 2020, the Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite have sold more than 61 million units worldwide. Switch sales have been strongly tied to sales of Nintendo’s first-party titles, with six games, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Pokémon Sword and Shield, and Super Mario Odyssey has sold over fifteen million units each. On July 10, 2019, Nintendo announced a version of the Nintendo Switch dedicated to handheld play called the Nintendo Switch Lite. The Switch Lite is a single unit, integrating the Joy-Con as part of the main unit’s hardware, and uses a smaller screen measuring 5.5 inches (14 cm) diagonally. Additionally, a regular directional pad replaces the four directional buttons on the integrated left Joy-Con. While using a smaller battery than the original Switch, the Switch Lite uses a more power-efficient chipset, the 16-nanometer Tegra X1+, to extend the estimated use time from 2.5-6.5 hours to 3–7 hours on a single battery charge. Because of the integrated Joy-Con, the Switch Lite is primarily limited to those games that can be played in handheld mode, while some other games like 1-2-Switch require separate Joy-Con to be used. The Switch Lite was released worldwide on September 20, 2019, with an MSRP of US$199.99. Officially, the Switch is now a few hundred-thousand sales away from outselling the NES, but it’s worth bearing in mind that these numbers only cover up until June 30. On August 6, the Switch may well have sold enough units to beat the NES’ total. It’s also worth noting that we’re still only three-and-a-half years into the Switch’s life – we’d expect it to stay on store shelves for several more years. So, the next target? The unstoppable Wii.