Nintendo Switch Passes SNES and Estimated Xbox One Sales

The Nintendo Switch continues it's spree passing Nintendo's own SNES while proving that being a late-comer a console generation doesn't count you out.

By Josh Starr

January 30, 2020

Nintendo closed 2019 in excellent fashion, selling over 10 million Switch consoles. In total Nintendo Switch has now sold over 52 million units since it’s March 3, 2017 release date. These updated sales numbers put the Switch well over the SNES which boasts lifetime sales of 49 million units. It goes without mention that Switch has demolished it’s predecessor the Wii U which sold a mere 13.5 million units. The Switch has been a commercial success since it’s launch, prompting Nintendo to create the Switch Lite. A handheld-only version of the Switch which released in September 2019 for $199.99, lowering the entry cost to the Switch ecosystem.

When it comes to their competition, Nintendo has shown that they mean business with the Switch. The Xbox One, launched by Mircosoft on November 22, 2013, has estimated sales of 46 million units. Impressively, the Switch has managed to surpass that mark with less than half the time on the market. Xbox One’s 46 million units are no small feat, it’s quite the testament to the appeal of the Switch that sales have passed the 50 million mark so quickly. However, when it comes to this generation’s Console race Sony’s PlayStation 4 has a massive lead with over 106 million units sold.

Contributing to Nintendo’s success with the Switch is it’s high attach rate — the ratio of software sold per console. Nintendo Switch has sold 310 million software units. For reference, the Nintendo 3DS has sold 382 million software units with 75 million devices currently sold. This means that less than 3 years into the Switch’s lifecycle, the average Switch owner has 6 games higher than the 5 game average of the 3DS. This information shouldn’t be shocking as games like Mario Cart 8 Deluxe have already sold nearly 23 million units on the switch. However, it is important to note since massive games like Animal Crossing: New Horizons and the currently untitled Zelda Breath of the Wild 2 are yet to release on the platform.

Nintendo has done a fantastic job to outsell the SNES and Xbox One with the Switch, but they have a long way to go if they hope to surpass their other home and handheld consoles or catch PlayStation 4. The Wii sold 101 million units, while the DS sold over 154 million units in its lifetime. Statistics aside, it has been a great few years for the Switch, and with upcoming waves of highly-anticipated first-party games, alongside a rumored more powerful Switch model Nintendo is sure to see their hybrid console climb higher up the best-selling-console list.

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