Nintendo’s latest financial year ended on March 31 of this year, but it usually takes the company another month to gather and collate data about the year to report to investors. For most people, this is a boring overnight information dump. For me, it’s numbers Christmas.
This year, Nintendo announced that they hit 85 million Switch units sold internationally, an increase of 37% over the previous financial year. To put that in some context, that means the Switch has outpaced both the Wii and the PlayStation 4 in the same time-frame aligned to to their launches. It also likely means, assuming Nintendo hits their bare minimum Switch goal this year, that the system will be the fast-selling console to hit 100 million.
Nintendo’s forecast for FY 2021 was to sell 19 million units, and they later upped the forecast to an extremely optimistic 24 million — they sold 28.8 million instead. In this upcoming year, Nintendo’s forecast is 25.50 million units, a number they likely assume they are going to handily beat. It raises an interesting question of exactly how, though. Switch will likely still carry a lot of momentum, but presumably Nintendo thinks that several big things will happen between now and April 2022 to increase that momentum.
It is worth mentioning that games like Pokemon Legends and Splatoon 3 have been dated for 2022, but exact dates have not been given. Those two games alone could likely carry a ton of weight for unit sales.
Here’s some fun bullet-pointed minutiae about game sales:
- Animal Crossing: New Horizons has sold 32.63 million units. If you combine Animal Crossing on both N64 and Gamecube (2.7 million), Animal Crossing Wild World (11.75 million), Animal Crossing City Folk (3.38 million), Animal Crossing New Leaf (12.82 million), and Animal Crossing Amiibo Festival (0.09 million), you would get a series total of 33.78 million. New Horizons is assuredly going to beat those numbers of the entire aggregate series before long.
- Super Mario 3D All-Stars sold 9 million units since its release in September until its untimely death in March. That means the game sold roughly 46,153 units a day every day it was available to buy.
- Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury sold 5.59 million since its release in February until the end of March. Super Mario 3D World on Wii U has, also through the end of March 2021, sold 5.8 million units. So in two months, the Switch port (with the extra Bowser’s Fury campaign) outsold the entire lifetime sales of the Wii U original.
- In the past year, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has sold 10.62 million copies for a lifetime total of 35.39 million solely for the Switch version of the game. To contextualize this, zero games on the Wii U sold as much as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe sold last year. On the 3DS only seven games ever sold as well as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe did in one year.
- Pikmin 3 Deluxe crossed the multi-million mark with 2.04 million units sold, which makes the Switch port the best-selling game in the series, even when grouping the New Play Control Pikmin Wii ports in with the Gamecube originals.
- During a global pandemic, 2018’s Super Mario Party sold an addition 4.69 million units for a total of 14.79 million lifetime. That might explain why Nintendo recently went back to add online play to the years-old game.
- Ring Fit Adventure has sold a lifetime total of 10.11 million units, which secures it as (by Nintendo’s own definition) the best-selling new IP RPG this generation.
- From March 2020 to March 2021, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate sold 5 million units. To contextualize that, from February 2016 to May 2020, all permutations of Street Fighter V combined sold 5 million units.