Some Numbers That Illustrate Nintendo Switch's Massive Success

Illustration for article titled Some Numbers That Illustrate Nintendo Switch's Massive Success

Nintendo today reported its earnings for the 2017 fiscal year, which means a whole bunch of interesting new sales numbers to look at. They’re all impressive, and they all show the massive appeal of Nintendo Switch.


Here are a few numbers that, taken together, make for some good perspective on just how successful Nintendo’s latest console has been throughout its first year on the market.

  • First, there’s the system itself. Switch has now sold 17.79 million units, which is four million more than the Wii U (13.56m) has sold in its lifetime. For context, Nintendo had forecast 15 million and analysts had estimated 16 million. Reality was closer to 18 million.
  • Super Mario Odyssey is the best-selling Switch game at 10.41 million copies, which means that 58% of Switches have a plumber with them. (Worth noting: Many of these sales likely came with the bundle.)
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has sold 9.22 million copies, outselling the Wii U’s Mario Kart 8, which is at 8.42 million. Mario Kart 8 came out in May of 2014, while Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has now been out for less than a year.
  • Breath of the Wild is now the best-selling Zelda game of all time, with 8.48 million copies sold on Switch and more than a million on Wii U. The previous best-selling Zelda was Twilight Princess, which launched simultaneously on Wii and GameCube in 2006.
  • Kotaku editor-in-chief Stephen Totilo was extremely excited in January when Nintendo announced that Splatoon and Splatoon 2 had sold the same number of copies, 4.91 million. But Splatoon 2 has skyrocketed since then, now hitting 6.02 million copies on the Switch.
  • Even Kirby is benefiting from the Switch’s dominance, with the mediocre new Kirby Star Allies selling 1.26 million copies, the best debut in the pink fluffball’s history, according to the NPD group.

In conclusion, the Switch is a beast and should never be underestimated.



I’d be curious to know how much owners are using it in handheld mode, since it’s the only major difference with the U (other than performances being more up to date). I don’t know if the OS keeps track of such metrics?

This will be the #1 reason behind the purchase of my future Switch, being a new father makes this idea very interesting, and probably the only possible gaming tool if I don’t want to sacrifice sleep time.

So yeah, a simple idea done well finally, even though the screen size is on the limit of being decent. Smaller than that and it was too small, I’d pay a premium for an additional inch on the screen.