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Switch hardware sales decline, but console has now sold over 92 million units worldwide

Switch hardware sales dropped by 34 percent year-on-year to 8.28 million units.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

November 4, 2021

3 Min Read

The Nintendo Switch has sold 92.87 million units worldwide since launching in March 2017 , but sales have declined over the past six months.

According to Nintendo's fiscal report for the six months ended September 30, 2021, consolidated net sales fell by 18.9 percent to 624.2 billion yen ($5.48 billion) and profits decreased by 19.4 percent to 171.8 billion yen ($1.5 billion).

The company noted that Switch hardware sales dropped by 34 percent year-on-year to 8.28 million units (including 1.82 million sales of the Switch Lite), while software sales dipped by 6.3 percent to 93.89 million units over the same period.

That's despite Nintendo praising the "strong growth" of Nintendo Switch titles released this fiscal year, including The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD (3.6 million units sold), New Pokemon Snap (2.19 million units sold), and Mario Golf: Super Rush (1.94 million units sold).

Catalog titles also continued to shine, with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shifting 3.34 million units to become the best-selling Switch title of all time with 38.74 million lifetime sales. Animal Crossing: New Horizons is currently in second place with 34.85 million sales, having sold another 2.22 million units this fiscal year.

Nintendo contextualized the current state of Switch hardware and software by pointing out the launch of New Horizons sparked a "significant increase in hardware and software sales" last year, suggesting the current decline is at least partly due to that bumper performance.

"Unit sales for Nintendo Switch hardware in the first half of this fiscal year were 8.28 million units, a decrease from last fiscal year (FY21). In the first half of the last fiscal year, more than 40 percent of the consumers who began playing Nintendo Switch in Japan, the U.S., and Europe chose Animal Crossing: New Horizons as their first game, and as a result, the title drove hardware sales significantly," wrote the company.

"While there was not a single title like Animal Crossing: New Horizons driving hardware sales in the first half of this fiscal year, consumers purchased hardware alongside various titles, and the sales volume exceeded that of the fiscal year before last (FY20)."


Glancing at Nintendo's digital business, the company saw digital sales tumble by 15.9 percent year-on-year to 144.2 billion yen, although it noted "download-only software for Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Online memberships sold well."

The company's mobile business also suffered a marginal dip, with mobile and IP related income falling by 4.6 percent to 25.5 billion yen.

Looking ahead, Nintendo has modified its fiscal outlook due to the ongoing semiconductor shortage, and is now forecasting Switch hardware sales of 24 million units (down from 25.5 million units) by the end of the fiscal year on March 31, 2022.

Despite that, the company's net sales forecast remains unchanged at 1.6 trillion yen, while it has upwardly revised its profits forecast by 2.9 percent to 350 billion yen.


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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