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Bottom line: Who could have predicted the Nintendo Switch, a hybrid console that was met with some derision when first revealed in 2016, would outsell the company’s popular 3DS family in just under three years?
Nintendo in its latest financial report revealed that 79.87 million Switch devices have now shipped worldwide. The figure leapfrogs the Switch above the 3DS family on the list of best-selling consoles of all time, and it could soon eclipse the Game Boy Advance series’ 81.5 million sales.
The Switch still has a long way to go before catching Nintendo’s DS family—the second best-selling console of all time sold 154 million units. It’s followed in third place by the Game Boy & Game Boy Color (118 million) and sixth-place Wii (101 million).
During the nine months ending December 31, 2020, there were 24.1 million Switch units shipped— an increase of 35.8 percent year-on-year and its most successful period so far. 16.7 million of these were the standard Switch, while the Switch Lite made up the remaining 7.3 million.
Switch software sales reached 176.10 million units, a 43 percent YoY jump. Digital sales made up 40.9 percent of these, up 12.3 percent YoY.
A massive 532.34 million Switch games have sold since it arrived in March 2017.
Looking closer at game sales, Animal Crossing: New Horizons has now sold 31.18 million copies since launching last March, pushing it ever closer to the Switch’s best-selling game, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (33.41 million). It was also a good nine months for Super Mario 3D All-Stars, which sold 8.32 million.
In its first year of launch, the Nintendo Switch sold more units than the Wii U managed across its lifespan. Nintendo Switch sales overtook the Nintendo 64 (34 million) in April 2019 and passed the SNES (52 million) in January 2020
The Switch could get another boost this year with the rumored launch of an upgraded variant of the console called the Super Switch—possibly a tribute to the original Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.