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Nintendo Has Crossed 800 Million Consoles Sold

Nintendo's quarterly sales indicate that Switch momentum is going strong.

For as conservative and secretive a company like Nintendo can be, it is also probably one of the best Japanese gaming companies out there for reporting sales numbers. Every quarter, the platform holder updates investors and the public at large with new numbers for the best-selling software and updated hardware numbers to surprising degrees. This quarter, ending in June 2021, is no different as Nintendo has hit a few milestones with both Switch hardware and Nintendo hardware in general.

As such, it’s time for the most fun event of the quarter….

  • Nintendo has officially crossed the barrier of 800 million consoles sold worldwide. This number includes basically everything from 1983 on, including things like the NES Mini. It also, of course, includes the handheld consoles like the Nintendo DS, which makes up a little more than 1/8th of the total numbers.
  • This works out to, on average, 21.07 million hardware units a year for the last 38 years.
  • The Switch itself has hit 89.04 million units by the middle of its fifth year. This puts it on pace to usurp the Wii, Nintendo’s current highest-selling home console, by the end of the financial year.
  • While it has not beaten the Wii yet, the Switch has beaten its contemporaries, the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360. Both consoles capped out at just under 90 million, meaning the Switch is just above them.
  • Assuming Switch momentum does not massively slow down, by the end of the next financial year, it could theoretically find itself as the second best-selling home console of all time — a spot currently occupied by the PlayStation 4, which itself is second to the PlayStation 2. The perfect storm of circumstances and market forces that pushed the PS2 to 155 million is unlikely to ever be replicated or equaled, so the ranking is quite literally a battle for second place.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has sold 23.20 million copies. That’s roughly three times as many copies as the original Legend of Zelda in four and a half years. On Switch alone, it has tripled Twilight Princess’ Wii version, which had been the best-selling single Zelda SKU.
  • New Pokemon Snap has sold 2.07 million copies outside of Japan, as The Pokemon Company reports sales in Japan. It’s like that the sequel will overtake the N64 original’s 3.64 million sales within the year. It is also now officially the best-selling non-F2P Pokemon spinoff.
  • With less than a week of counted sales, Mario Golf: Super Rush has become the second best-selling Mario Golf title in the series. At 1.34 million units, Super Rush is just shy of the N64 progenitor’s 1.47 million. It seems extremely unlikely that the game just outright stopped selling at the end of the financial quarter, so it likely has already become the best-selling game in the series. This puts it on par (pun not intended) with Mario Tennis Aces, which also became the best selling game in its series a few years ago.
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, the Switch enhanced port of Wii U’s Mario Kart 8, is poised to soon become the best-selling Mario Kart game and one of Nintendo’s best-selling individual titles of all time. At 37.08 million units, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe sold 1.69 million units this past quarter, putting it slightly under Mario Kart Wii’s total of 37.38 million units. As such, Deluxe should hit that number by the next results, though it most likely has already.
  • This would, by the way, make the Switch version of Mario Kart 8 the 13th best-selling game of all time. If you include the Wii U sales, it is bumped up to 8th. Mario Kart 8/Deluxe is the best selling game on both Switch and Wii U by leaps and bounds.
  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is about to hit 25 million units sold, having long-established itself as the best-selling fighting game of all time. That number is, roughly, five entire lifetime sales of the original game, Super Smash Bros. on the N64; 17 million above Melee; 11 million above Brawl; and 10 million above the Wii U and 3DS games.
  • Miitopia, despite being more expensive than its 3DS original with the Switch port, has hit one million units sold. The original game is one of the only 3DS titles to achieve a million sales after the Switch had launched.

While the next financial results will not include the Switch (OLED), they will include releases like Skyward Sword and WarioWare: Get it Together.

About the Author

Imran Khan

Imran is Fanbyte's News Editor and owns too many gaming t-shirts.