Nintendo Switch has outsold N64 and GameCube combined lifetime sales

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 3,491   +1,040
Staff member
In a nutshell: Nintendo released earnings numbers and they look good with the Switch and first-party titles selling strong in the quarter ending March 30, 2020. The hybrid console has now outsold the SNES and has moved more units than the Gamecube and N64 combined.

We reported last week that despite shortages, Nintendo Switch sales more than doubled in March compared to 2019's numbers, according to research from NPD. On Thursday, Nintendo published its official earnings revealing that the Switch has now outsold the combined lifetime sales of the Nintendo 64 and the GameCube.

Nintendo 64 sold 32.93 million units in the six or so years it was on the market. GameCube sold 21.74 million during its run. Combined, that's 54.76 million consoles sold over the span of more than 12 years. In just a quarter of that time, the Nintendo Switch has already moved 55.77 million, with 3.29 million sold in the first three months of 2020 alone.

It is nowhere close to the company's top lifetime seller, the Nintendo DS (154.02 million), but the Switch is still early in its lifespan, considering that handhelds tend to have a longer manufacturing cycle than full-size consoles.

Since it's release, the Switch has been breaking Nintendo sales records left and right. It most recently surpassed the Super Nintendo's total sales, as projected, and is now creeping up to the NES, which sits at 61.91 million lifetime units. The company's projections have it passing the NES within the next two quarters.

Nintendo credited some of the growth to the release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons back in March even though that game released only 10 days before the end of the quarter.

"Animal Crossing: New Horizons, released in March, sold 11.77 million units, which is now the best start ever for a Nintendo Switch title," the company said in its report.

Luigi's Mansion 3, Super Mario Maker 2, and Pokémon Sword and Shield were also touted as top sellers. In total, Nintendo has had 27 first-party software titles top one million sales during this fiscal year.

The coronavirus lockdown has no doubt positively affected the demand for the Switch despite it being a portable game machine, and its momentum looks good through the end of the year. Demand for games across all platforms has remains high, but the pandemic has also created delays in manufacturing and shipping, causing some to build their own alternatives.

Image credit: Wachiwit

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Scshadow

Posts: 660   +318
I still will never understand why Nintendo's products suffer almost absolutely no loss of resale. Loss of any sort of manufacturer warranty means I think its worth at least a third less then MSRP. But apparently there are plenty of people that disagree with me. And right now, everyone that sells switches online are being bought out by bots for price gouging purposes. The demand is artificially higher then it should be.
 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 6,308   +7,247
I still will never understand why Nintendo's products suffer almost absolutely no loss of resale. Loss of any sort of manufacturer warranty means I think its worth at least a third less then MSRP. But apparently there are plenty of people that disagree with me. And right now, everyone that sells switches online are being bought out by bots for price gouging purposes. The demand is artificially higher then it should be.


Let's assume that the rules of "Supply and Demand" are true.

either the cost is high because:

#1 The supply is low or...
#2 The demand is high

Demand for Switch has been high since they were first released - which tells me that they aren't being produced fast enough to meet demand.

Supplies of Switch were disrupted by Coronavirus which leads to low supply.

New games like Animal Crossings released - increasing demand.

Switch is basically a portable game console which has no real competition. The Vita is dead. Microsoft has no competitor. Until the Alienware UFO is released, the switch is the only real choice right now for a portable console aside from smartphones.





 

amstech

Posts: 2,648   +1,809
We've had a Switch since Christmas and we love it, have NEVER used it for a portable device, not once. There are several quality titles now, but it does need more.
 

lvzx14

Posts: 11   +5
Nintendo really does need to release some more solid titles for the switch. They have plenty of great titles to follow up on, they also need to add n64 & gamecube titles to the virtual console.

 

Fearghast

Posts: 511   +422
Ofcourse there are emulators dude :D That can be used to deflect almost every other console on the market ... well PS4 and Xbox One ... you don't really need to emulate that, since they have same games like you can find on the PC ... only worse versions with lower graphic, lower sound quality etc.
But that hardly count as portable, since you have to own a decent PC to emulate.
BTH: That latest Zelda in 4K looked sweet as hell!
 

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 3,491   +1,040
Staff member
I still will never understand why Nintendo's products suffer almost absolutely no loss of resale. Loss of any sort of manufacturer warranty means I think its worth at least a third less then MSRP. But apparently there are plenty of people that disagree with me. And right now, everyone that sells switches online are being bought out by bots for price gouging purposes. The demand is artificially higher then it should be.

Demand is a function of desire. If consumers want something enough to pay more than its set MSRP, that is evidence of high demand. It is this demand that is causing scalpers to buy up the product at MSRP to sell for a profit. There is nothing artificial about that. Bots are not causing the demand, consumers willing to pay more are. Switch units not being available in brick-and-mortar stores is also driving that bus. It's a supply problem caused by Nintendo's supply chains. Until it gets that sorted, and physical retailers have ample supply, scalpers will continue to sell units at a profit using bots to buy up online supply.

Furthermore, even if we were to argue that scalpers are adding artificial demand, it doesn't matter to Nintendo's bottom line or to the actual demand. A unit sold is a unit sold whether to a scalper or a player. The actual demand is still high enough that scalpers are making sales $100+ over MSRP.

However, any time you disrupt a natural economic system it will create ripples that are felt later. At some point, Nintendo will meet demand at retail, and the scalpers are going to be stuck with a surplus, meaning they will have to start selling below MSRP because Nintendo will be meeting demand at MSRP. At that point, Nintendo will see a trough in sales as people pick up excess units on eBay on the cheap. Nintendo will go through a dry spell until the scalper inventories are depleted, and then things will go back to normal.

However, this is where it gets tricky. With a finite number of consumers who want the product, it is possible that the well could dry up. I'm not saying this will happen in this case, but it has in the past. Tamagotchis and Cabbage Patch Kids are perfect examples. Although they were fad products, which the Switch is not, the results of the scalping going on are the same. Scalpers bought up the product faster than it could be produced -- manufacturer increased production to meet demand -- scalpers were stuck with a surplus and sold cheap -- shortly thereafter, the market was dry.

Nintendo does, however, have the rebuy factor on its side. Electronics wear out, they break, they get lost, So even if scalpers were to run the well dry, which is not likely IMO, Nintendo still has residual sales to run on until Switch 2 or whatever they come up with. And considering OEMs have already started the trend of mid-cycle refreshes and such, Switch 1.5 or 2.0 or whatever is probably not that far off.