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Nintendo Switch nears 140 million lifetime sales, tops 122 million annual playing users

The Switch is entering its golden years, but Nintendo still thinks there's room for one in every home.

Chris Kerr

February 6, 2024

3 Min Read
The Switch OLED Model on a stylised background
Image via Nintendo

At a Glance

  • Hardware sales declined by 7.8 percent but Nintendo said the Switch is meeting expectations.
  • FY24/Q1-Q3 net sales increased by 7.7% to 1.4 trillion yen and operating profit rose by 13.1 percent to 464.4 billion yen.
  • The Switch family delivered a record 122 million annual playing users throughout 2023.

Nintendo has given its hardware sales forecast a shot in the arm with the Switch closing on 140 million lifetime sales.

The company has increased its Switch hardware forecast by 500,000 units to 15.5 million units for the fiscal year. That might seem like a minor bump given the Switch has sold 139.36 million units to date, but its indicative of the console's enduring popularity seven years post launch.

As noted in Nintendo's fiscal report for the nine months ended December 31, 2023, hardware sales across the entire Nintendo Switch family declined by 7.8 percent year-on-year to 13.74 million units, but Nintendo said those results were in line with expectations with the console entering its golden years.

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"This breaks down to 3.40 million units of Nintendo Switch, 8.17 million units of Nintendo Switch–OLED Model, and 2.18 million units of Nintendo Switch Lite," said Nintendo. "Although unit sales decreased year-on-year, sales have been stable given the fact that the platform is in its seventh year."

If the Switch can surpass 154 million sales it will become the best-selling Nintendo console of all time, beating the record set by the Nintendo DS–which amassed 154.02 million lifetime sales.

Nintendo also pointed out that Switch owners continue to engage with the console and said the total number of annual playing users surpassed 122 million from January to December 2023. According to Nintendo, that's a record total.

Switch hardware "stable," but how is software performing?

Looking at the bigger picture, software sales declined by 4.7 percent year-on-year to 163.95 million units, with Super Mario Bros. Wonder (11.96 million units sold), The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (20.28 million units sold), and Pikmin 4 (3.33 million units sold) contributing to that total.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which launched way back in April 2017, sold 6.79 million units over the past nine months, driven partly by the success of The Super Mario Bros. Movie. The kart racer has now sold 60.58 million copies worldwide.

Digital sales rose by 11.7 percent year-on-year reached 346.4 billion yen ($2.33 billion), with Nintendo citing the positive impact of add-on content and an increase in purchases "related to Nintendo Switch Online."

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The company's mobile and IP related business delivered sales of 75.2 billion yen ($505.6 million), an increase of 93.4 percent year-on-year, "bolstered mainly by the generation of revenue related to The Super Mario Bros Movie."

Overall, Nintendo recorded sales of 1.4 trillion yen ($9.4 billion) and operating profit of 464.4 billion yen ($3.1 billion), up 7.7 percent and 13.1 percent year-on-year, respectively. Looking ahead, the company has revised its fiscal forecast and now expects to deliver full-year sales of 1.63 trillion yen and operating profit of 620 billion yen.

"For hardware, by continuing to convey the appeal of Nintendo Switch, we try not only to put one system in every home, but several in every home, or even one for every person," said Nintendo. "Another objective is to continually release new offerings so more consumers keep playing Nintendo Switch even longer and we can maximize hardware sales."

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About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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