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Nintendo Switch outsells the Wii, Nintendo’s previously bestselling console

Switch is ‘in the middle of its lifecycle,’ Nintendo says

A Nintendo Switch and the new Nintendo Switch lite, side by side Photo: Michael McWhertor/Polygon
Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Nintendo Switch is now, officially, Nintendo’s bestselling console of all time. Nintendo announced Thursday that, as of Dec. 31, 2021, the company has sold 103.54 million units, surpassing the Wii’s lifetime sales of 101.63 million units. Switch reached 100 million sales faster than any other console to date, including competitors from Sony and Microsoft.

Nintendo seems confident that the Switch will continue its impressive sales pace, despite its age. According to a report from Bloomberg, Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa said on a call Thursday, “Switch is just in the middle of its lifecycle and the momentum going into this year is good. The Switch is ready to break a pattern of our past consoles that saw momentum weakening in their sixth year on the market and grow further.”

The company lowered its forecast for Switch sales, however, due to chip shortages and supply chain issues, and expects to sell another 23 million consoles (down from a projected 24 million) in the coming quarter.

The Switch launched in March 2017 for $299.99, and will celebrate its fifth birthday next month, still holding steady at that price. Nintendo has released multiple models of the handheld-console hybrid system since then, including an updated version of the original Switch, the $199.99 Switch Lite, and the $349.99 Switch OLED Model, which launched in October.

Switch still has a long way to go before it succeeds Nintendo’s bestselling dedicated handheld devices, however. According to Nintendo’s publicly shared sales data, the Nintendo DS is still its all-time best seller, with more than 154 million units. The original Game Boy line (which includes the Game Boy Color), sold more than 118 million units.

Nintendo has an impressive lineup booked for 2022. A new entry in the Pokémon series, Pokémon Legends: Arceus, launched at the end of January, while Kirby and the Forgotten Land, Splatoon 3, Bayonetta 3, and the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild are due later this year.

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