Nintendo Switch Vaults Past GameCube In Sales, But Nintendo Earnings Fall Short Of Analyst Estimates

Nintendo Switch
It's official, Nintendo has now sold more of its hybrid Switch consoles in just over a year and a half since it launched than GameCube consoles over its lifetime. That includes 5.07 million Switch consoles sold so far this year, 3.19 million of which were sold in the previous quarter. In total, Nintendo has sold 22.86 million Switch consoles to date.

That is enough to edge out the GameCube's 21.74 million unit sales over its lifetime, and is nearly twice as many as all Wii U consoles ever sold, which stands at 13.56 million. It's still well short of the original Wii, a wildly popular game system that saw more than 101 million unit sales over its lifetime. That said, it wouldn't surprise us if the Switch eventually overtook the Wii.

Just as the Wii was unique in that it brought motion controls to the mainstream gaming landscape, the Switch is proving popular by combining stationary and mobile gameplay in a single system. It also enjoys a strong and growing catalog of games, which was a weak point when it launched—one of our criticisms early on was the lack of compelling games, outside of the excellent The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Things have changed since then. Here's a snapshot of the top selling first-party games on the Switch:
  • Super Mario Odyssey: 12.17 million units
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe: 11.71 million units
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: 10.28 million units
  • Splatoon 2: 7.47 million units
  • 1-2-Switch: 2.64 million units
  • Mario Tennis Aces: 2.16 million units
  • ARMS: 2.1 million units
  • Kirby Star Allies: 2.1 million units
  • Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze: 1.67 million units
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2: 1.53 million units
Nintendo collected 221 billion yen (around $1.96 billion in US currency) during the previous quarter, resulting in an operating profit of 30.9 billion yen (~$274 million). Those are strong numbers, though lower than what analysts were expecting, according to Bloomberg, which called the slowdown "unnerving to investors."

Nevertheless, Nintendo did not adjust its full-year forecast. The company did, however, talk about the need for growth and being relentless in developing new titles and content for the Switch.

"We need continuous growth. We must keep releasing new software. That includes DLCs and other contents for big titles that are already out. And more focus on online play. Lastly, more genres and diverse games to draw in people who don't currently play on Switch," Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa said.

Nintendo just recently launched its paid online service priced at $19.99 per year. It also offers one- and three-month subscriptions priced at $3.99 and $7.99, respectively, plus a 12-month family membership for up to eight people for $34.99.