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Only Wii (101.6m), Game Boy (118.7m) and Nintendo DS (154m) have sold more units than Switch, according to the company’s latest financial results for the three months ending December 31, 2020.
During the first nine months of its current fiscal year, Switch shipped 24 million units (16.7m of which were the normal Switch console), according to Nintendo, which represents the console’s most successful ever period and an increase of more than a third year-on-year. 11.5m consoles were shipped during the three months ending December 31.
In Brief: Switch software sales
Nintendo has increased both its hardware sales target for the year from 24m consoles to 26.5m by the end of March, and its revenue forecast to $15bn.
The Q3 period (Oct – Dec 2020) was Nintendo’s second-best Q3 on record in terms of revenue and profit, with operating profit of $2.2bn . Only 2008’s Q3 was better due to the huge popularity of Wii and DS at the time.
Software sales reached 176 million units, which represents a 43% increases year-on-year. Super Mario 3D All-Stars was the standout new release with 8.32m copies shipped, followed by Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity (3.5m), Paper Mario: The Origami King with 3.05m and Pikmin 3 Deluxe with 1.94m.
In total, Nintendo said Switch now has 29 million-selling titles, including 20 Nintendo titles and 9 titles by other software publishers.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons continued its impressive sales run with 5.14m copies shipped in the three months to December 31 taking it to cumulative sales of 31.18m. Only Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has shipped more on Switch at 33.41m (an increase of 4.42m during the three-month period).
As noted by Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad, New Horizons’ figures mean the game actually outsold Nintendo Switch hardware in 2020. Up to 39% of Switch users own a copy of the game.
Other key game sales highlights Include (April-Dec / lifetime):
- Mario Kart 8 Deluxe 8.64m / 33.41m
- Super Mario Odyssey 2.82m / 20.23m
- Zelda: Breath of the Wild 4.04m / 21.45m
- Splatoon 2 1.77m / 11.9m
- Animal Crossing: New Horizons 19.41m / 31.18m
- Pokémon Sword & Shield 2.98m / 20.35m
- Pokémon Let’s Go 1.03m / 13.0m
- New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe 3.22m / 9.82m
- Super Mario Party 3.72m / 13.82m
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 4.01m / 22.85m
- Ring Fit Adventure 5.95m / 8.68m
Digital sales accounted for $806m during Q3 (and $2.4 billion for the fiscal year), which represents an increase of more than 50% year-on-year. These figures also cover DLC content, Switch Online subscriptions and download only software. Digital sales accounted for 32% of total software sales.
During a private Q&A session, Nintendo reportedly issued a tepid denial to reports that it’s planning to release an upgraded Nintendo Switch model this year.
The platform holder reportedly said in terms of hardware, it had “no new model plan beyond” the upcoming Super Mario and Monster Hunter edition consoles planned for February and March, according to Japan-based analyst David Gibson.
In comparison, during last year’s Q3 results Nintendo outright stated that it had no plans to launch a new Nintendo Switch model during 2020.