TechSpot means tech analysis and advice you can trust. Read our ethics statement.
In a nutshell: Nintendo released earnings numbers and they look good with the Switch and first-party titles selling strong in the quarter ending March 30, 2020. The hybrid console has now outsold the SNES and has moved more units than the Gamecube and N64 combined.
We reported last week that despite shortages, Nintendo Switch sales more than doubled in March compared to 2019's numbers, according to research from NPD. On Thursday, Nintendo published its official earnings revealing that the Switch has now outsold the combined lifetime sales of the Nintendo 64 and the GameCube.
Nintendo 64 sold 32.93 million units in the six or so years it was on the market. GameCube sold 21.74 million during its run. Combined, that's 54.76 million consoles sold over the span of more than 12 years. In just a quarter of that time, the Nintendo Switch has already moved 55.77 million, with 3.29 million sold in the first three months of 2020 alone.
It is nowhere close to the company's top lifetime seller, the Nintendo DS (154.02 million), but the Switch is still early in its lifespan, considering that handhelds tend to have a longer manufacturing cycle than full-size consoles.
Since it's release, the Switch has been breaking Nintendo sales records left and right. It most recently surpassed the Super Nintendo's total sales, as projected, and is now creeping up to the NES, which sits at 61.91 million lifetime units. The company's projections have it passing the NES within the next two quarters.
Nintendo credited some of the growth to the release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons back in March even though that game released only 10 days before the end of the quarter.
"Animal Crossing: New Horizons, released in March, sold 11.77 million units, which is now the best start ever for a Nintendo Switch title," the company said in its report.
Luigi's Mansion 3, Super Mario Maker 2, and Pokémon Sword and Shield were also touted as top sellers. In total, Nintendo has had 27 first-party software titles top one million sales during this fiscal year.
The coronavirus lockdown has no doubt positively affected the demand for the Switch despite it being a portable game machine, and its momentum looks good through the end of the year. Demand for games across all platforms has remains high, but the pandemic has also created delays in manufacturing and shipping, causing some to build their own alternatives.
Image credit: Wachiwit