It has been passing underneath everybody’s radar currently, as each Microsoft and Sony ready to launch their next-generation consoles, however Nintendo has moved a lot of Switches this 12 months. In response to new numbers from the NPD Group, the Swap broke data in October by promoting nearly three-quarters of 1,000,000 models.
This determine, which mixes the gross sales of each the usual Swap and the strictly transportable Swap Lite, marks a full 136% enhance in Swap gross sales over October of 2019. That is additionally the second highest total gross sales, at 735,000 models, for any online game console in October, after the 807,000 Wiis Nintendo bought in October of 2008.
It continues a 23-month streak wherein the Swap has been the highest-selling console within the American market. Whereas that streak is prone to be damaged in November due to the launches of the Xbox Collection X and PlayStation 5, it’s the longest any console has topped NPD’s charts.
The Swap has bought greater than 22.5 million models in the US, in response to NPD, and Nintendo says it’s bought greater than 68 million Switches worldwide. At this level, it has comfortably exceeded the lifetime gross sales of the NES, at slightly below 62 million, and is getting ready to interrupt into the all-time high 10 for console gross sales.
“Seeing encouraging gross sales development like this within the fourth October of Nintendo Swap proves to us that the system has many extra years and nice video games but to come back.” Doug Bowser, president of Nintendo of America, mentioned in a press release.
It’s all of the extra outstanding as a result of the final six months have been a comparatively quiet interval for Nintendo. Most different corporations might need saved a number of large releases for the top of this 12 months, to be able to shore up the Swap’s gross sales towards the Xbox Collection X and PlayStation 5, however Nintendo barely appears to be paying consideration.
Its large gun for this 12 months’s vacation season isn’t a brand new Mario or Zelda. If something, it’s Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light. It is a limited-time launch to have fun the 30th anniversary of the Fireplace Emblem franchise, and marks the primary time that Shadow Dragon, the primary sport within the collection, has ever been formally translated for launch exterior of Japan. It’s an enormous deal for lovers, who’ve already reserved a lot of the bodily copies of its collector’s version, and for precisely no person else.
Nintendo is coming to the top of a very good 12 months, although. Whereas 2019 featured a constant lineup of hits for the Swap, with unique releases like Pokémon Sword and Protect, Tremendous Mario Maker 2, Luigi’s Mansion three, Astral Chain, and Fireplace Emblem: Three Homes, Nintendo ran the tables on 2020 with the discharge of its “life simulator,” Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
Whereas a brand new Animal Crossing sport was at all times going to be an enormous hit — the collection is understood for sucking gamers in for a whole bunch of hours, and New Horizons was some of the hotly-anticipated Swap titles — it occurred to launch at simply the suitable time to function a much-needed distraction for a world that had simply began socially distancing.
The consequence was a real blockbuster. As per Nintendo’s public sales charts, New Horizons has bought simply over 26 million copies this 12 months as of September. That makes it the second best-selling sport within the Swap library, behind Mario Kart eight; simply one of many best-selling video video games of all time; and the second best-selling sport in 2020 to date, after Name of Responsibility: Fashionable Warfare. New Horizons hasn’t left the NPD’s month-to-month best-seller charts since.
(It’s additionally value noting right here that 26 million models bought would make New Horizons primary with a bullet in every other fashionable console’s library, however it’s #2 on the Swap. In reality, the highest 4 best-selling video games on the Swap are all at or close to 20 million. Just one sport ever matched that gross sales charge on the PlayStation four or Xbox One: the PlayStation four port of Grand Theft Auto V. Nintendo’s first-party video games on Swap all have insane connect charges in comparison with each different system’s exclusives.)
That’s sufficient to clarify the Swap’s 23-month scorching streak. Nintendo launched Tremendous Smash Bros. Final in December of 2018, which was an prompt success, and adopted up on it with a litany of hits in 2019 and early 2020. Now, regardless that the discharge calendar has slowed down as soon as once more, the Swap continues to be promoting like loopy for ever and ever.
It’s actually a testomony to the work Nintendo has been doing. It has spent a lot of the previous couple of years constructing out its library of unique first-party titles, to the purpose the place Metroid is now its solely tentpole franchise that hasn’t but had a brand new launch on Swap.
In consequence, the Swap has what may be the strongest video games library of any Nintendo platform because the SNES, and nearly all of its high sellers are printed or co-published by Nintendo itself. Whereas each Sony and Microsoft are going into the ninth console era with a genuinely overwhelming technical benefit, Nintendo is at the moment driving what may be an all-time excessive.
NPD Group, primarily based in Port Washington, New York, is a market analysis firm that measures shoppers’ purchasing behaviors in a number of industries, together with books, toys, workplace provides, and kitchen home equipment. It started monitoring the video video games trade in 1995, and since many online game corporations are notoriously reluctant about sharing their inner information with the general public, rapidly grew to become the most effective (and solely) obtainable sources for gross sales data.