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Nintendo Switch sales surpass 50 million, nearly quadrupling those of the Wii U

Nintendo Switch My Way - The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Despite being nearly three years old, the Nintendo Switch continues its dominance in the video game realm. During its latest financial report, Nintendo revealed it has sold more than 50 million consoles, putting it ahead of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and almost quadrupling the lifetime sales of the Wii U.

Nintendo’s total Switch hardware sales now stand at approximately 52 million units, about 3 million more than the SNES.

The Wii U, which was available for nearly five years before the Switch launched, only managed to sell about 13.5 million units and a little over 100 million games. More than 310 million Switch games have been sold since the hybrid console was released in March 2017.

Nintendo attributed the strong numbers to the debut of the Nintendo Switch Lite and releases including Pokémon Sword and Shield, Luigi’s Mansion 3, and Super Mario Maker 2. The latter two have sold more than 5 million copies each, while the dual Pokémon titles eclipsed 16 million combined. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe remains the best-selling Switch game of all-time, which can be partially attributed to its inclusion in console bundles during holiday periods.

Switch sales will likely spike in the first quarter of 2020 when Animal Crossing: New Horizons comes out on March 20. It’s the first full game in the series since New Leaf from 2012, and the first on a home console since the Wii’s City Folk over a decade ago. The rest of 2020 is less certain as Nintendo has not confirmed release dates for upcoming games like Bayonetta 3 or its The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel. The Switch will also have to compete with Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5, which both launch later this year and are set to feature massive performance improvements.

Despite going all-in on Switch development and moving on from the 3DS, Nintendo has another major revenue source: Mobile games. Nintendo has generated more than $1 billion in lifetime revenue through its mobile games, according to Sensor Tower, with the majority coming from Fire Emblem Heroes. This game uses a free-to-play model, as does the newer Mario Kart Tour, which has made more than $86 million since its launch in late 2019.

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