Nintendo Flexes As Switch Sales Soared During 2020, Execs Comment On Rumored New Model
It is pretty remarkable to think that Nintendo took a chance on releasing a hybrid game console nearly four years ago and it continues to pay dividends, in a big way. In fact, lifetime sales of the Switch have now surpassed the 3DS, with 79.87 million units having been sold to date, compared to 75.94 million units of the 3DS. And by this time next year, it might pass the Wii (101.63 million units).
Catching up to and surpassing the legendary 3DS happened because of a monster run during Q1 through Q3 for Nintendo's fiscal year ending March 2021, during which time Nintendo sold 16.77 million Switch systems. That amounts to a massive 33.5 percent gain over the same period from a year prior. Likewise, Nintendo sold 7.33 million Switch Lite consoles, which amounts to a 41.4 percent year-over-year increase.
Gaming and other forms of in-home entertainment (like streaming) saw a big surge over the past year, due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Same goes for global PC sales, as working and educating from home became the new norm, in ongoing efforts to stop the spread of the deadly virus. Nintendo had been on an upward trajectory anyway, though, as the Switch continues to be a popular console.
According to Nintendo, this was the "largest showing since launch" for combined Switch hardware sales (Switch and Switch Lite).
On the software side, Animal Crossing: New Horizons saw 19.41 million units sold during Nintendo's past three quarters. This is followed by Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (8.64 million units), Super Mario 3D All-Stars (8.32 million units), and Ring Fit Adventure (5.95 million units). In all, total first-party sell-through for Japan, North America, and Europe tallied 72.94 million units, up 28 percent from same period a year ago.
What about the Switch Pro that has been rumored? The folks at Bloomberg asked Nintendo if it plans to launch a new model this year, and the company said it does not plan to make an announcement soon. Instead, it has themed models arriving in the coming weeks, including a Mario-themed Switch this month and a Monster Hunter theme releasing in March.
The response is interesting because when posed with the same question last year, Nintendo flatly said it would not be releasing a new model in 2020. This time around, the company said "not anytime soon," which hints that a Switch Pro or some other follow-up is in the cards.