Nintendo Switch surpasses N64 lifetime sales

Console has now shifted some 35 million units since its 2017 launch

Switch has surpassed lifetime N64 sales, according to the latest market data from platform holder Nintendo.

The company sold 16.95 million Switch units in the business year ended in March 2019, up 12.7% on the 15.05 million units sold during the previous year.

2.47 million of those sales came in Nintendo’s fourth quarter (compared to 2.92 million in Q4 a year earlier), taking lifetime Switch sales to 34.74 million units, which exceeds Nintendo 64 lifetime sales of 32.93 million units.

The company hopes to sell 18 million Switch units the current financial year ending in March 2020. Should it achieve its target, the system would overtake Nintendo’s next bestselling home console, the SNES, which sits on 49.1 million lifetime sales.

It’ll be a while yet before Switch, which launched in March 2017, can potentially match lifetime NES (61.9 million) or Wii (101.63 million) sales.

On the handheld front, sales of the eight-year-old 3DS continued to decline, totalling 2.55 million units, down 60.2% compared to the 6.4 million units sold during the previous 12 months.

For the current year, Nintendo expects to sell just one million 3DS units. Lifetime 3DS hardware sales currently stand at 75.08 million.

Nintendo said 23 Switch games sold over one million copies in its last fiscal year, compared to just one 3DS title.

The company also said that combined sales of its miniature NES and SNES consoles came in at 5.95 million units during the fiscal year.

Switch’s performance helped Nintendo generate ¥1.2 trillion ($10.7 billion/£8.3 billion) in net sales, up 13.7% year-on-year, while its annual profit totalled ¥194 billion ($1.7 billion/£1.35 billion), up 39% year-on-year.

For the current fiscal year, it expects net sales to increase by 4.1% to ¥1.25 trillion yen ($11.2 billion/£8.7 billion), but profit to decline by 7.2% to 180 billion yen ($1.6 billion/£1.25 billion).

Speaking after the earnings release, Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa said the company has no plans to announce new Switch hardware at this year’s E3 in June.