According to numbers released by The NPD Group, Nintendo has just beaten its biggest competitor: Nintendo. For its entire duration (2012-2017), Nintendo’s Wii U console sold a little less than 14 million units worldwide. Now, just two years into its life-cycle, the Nintendo Switch (and recently manufactured Nintendo Switch Lite) has already sold over 15 million units in North America alone. How would Mario word his reaction to this news? Ah, we’ve got it: “Woo-hoo!”
Nintendo’s Switch consoles, enjoying a 20% increase in sales from 2018, have captured the video game-playing public’s imaginations (and monies) in part because of their adaptability. For those who don’t know, the Switch’s schtick is that you can dock it to a television and play a video game wherever you keep your TV, or you can grab it and play the exact same game handheld, wherever the heck you please. Nintendo seized this particular itch (“I can play Breath of the Wild on the damn subway?”) and released the Nintendo Switch Lite, a smaller, less expensive, handheld-only version of the console, adding impressively to their sales totals.
But, also, the Switch has, like, genuinely incredible games. If you want the latest and greatest entries in franchises like Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong, and Pokemon — aka some of the most influential, joyful, and fun video game franchises ever created — you gotta get a Switch. Four of their flagship titles (Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate) have sold over six million copies, with the Kart and Super Smash Bros. titles being the fastest-selling in their respective franchises. All of this is true even without factoring in Nintendo’s two final high-profile 2019 releases: October 31’s Luigi’s Mansion 3, and November 15’s Pokemon Sword and Shield. Sony and Microsoft continue to bolster their technical prowesses and adult narratives. But as long as Nintendo keeps making such accessibly fun software — and keeps their hardware as similarly accessible — they’ll be the number one players in the game for awhile.
For more on Nintendo, check out our ranked list of the greatest Nintendo 64 games ever made.