Will Nintendo Switch Outsell Nintendo Wii? Indicators Show It’s Possible

Nintendo Switch clocks record sales

The Nintendo Wii was undoubtedly the company’s best-selling console of all time. They tried a repeat performance with WiiU but that fell flat. Now, it’s being speculated that the Nintendo Switch will actually be the highest-selling Nintendo console ever.

There aren’t any hard numbers to support this assumption, mind you. Nintendo is keeping all numbers close to its chest, but there are other ways to come to this conclusion.

First of all, Nintendo did confirm that the hybrid game system broke Nintendo’s previous record for the fastest-selling console, per Reggie Fils-Aime, president of Nintendo America, in an interview to The New York Times’ Nick Wingfield that is yet to be published. It’s only been a few days since the launch, but Fils-Aime did confirm to Wingfield that the gaming system sold more in its first two days than the Wii.

What’s really amazing is that the Wii was launched on November 19, 2006, right in time for the holidays. Naturally, it became a gifting favorite, and eventually helped the Wii clock 100 million units in sales during its lifetime. But Nintendo Switch was launched on March 3, not during the holiday season, obviously. Yet, the Switch has beaten the two-day sales record that was formerly held by the Wii.

Nintendo has also confirmed that it will be shipping 2 million Nintendo Switch units into stores in March, according to tweets by Wingfield.



But the thing is, this is just an initial comparison of sales. The Wii actually peaked, in terms of sales, only in 2009 – three years after the official launch. Demand kept growing until then, and sort of tapered off after that. See the graph below from Statista:

Nintendo console sales history

As you can see, Nintendo Switch has some very large shoes to fill. The real clue to its success is not going to be its second-day sales record, of course. No, the Switch will need sustainable sales growth for several years to come anywhere near the popularity of the Wii.

More than the high demand for the Nintendo Switch, the excitement around upcoming games is what talks about the potential for the new gaming system. It brings the full gaming experience of a console, while reminding us of Nintendo’s roots in handheld video games and arcade games.

But it’s the new titles that will grab all the attention in the coming months. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was a nice touch, and the game is breaking records of its own as the fastest-selling title. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe should be making its appearance in April, and the highly anticipated Super Mario game is hitting the shelves ahead of the 2017 holiday season.

It’s very important that Nintendo Switch sales show sustained growth momentum now, rather than a spike at launch and then a not-so-impressive performance thereafter. And we believe that the launch schedule for new Switch games will play a huge role in creating and sustaining that momentum for several months.

Judging from the excitement around the product as well as the titles, it looks like the Switch will, at the very least, give the Nintendo Wii a run for its money.

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