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The Nintendo Switch is selling way faster than the Wii U

by Eric Frederiksen | October 20, 2017October 20, 2017 8:00 am PDT

Console makers would love t if we didn’t pay attention to numbers. If we just bought systems and games and had fun (and spent lots of money on loot boxes). But it’s hard not to look and compare. While the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are just kind of “doing their thing” at this point, the Switch is still a new beast, and each of its sales milestones is still noteworthy. And the Switch is selling like crazy, especially in comparison to its direct predecessor, the Wii U.

Nintendo announced this week that the Switch has passed 2 million sales in the United States, and that it beat out the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 for hardware sales in the month of September. In combination with Nintendo handhelds and the SNES Classic mini-console, Nintendo devices accounted for two-thirds of all game hardware sales in the month of September.

Looking at the Switch in particular and comparing it to its older brothers is pretty revealing. Nintendo announced in July that the Switch had sold 4.7 million units worldwide, and at least one industry analyst says worldwide sales have topped 7 million. Nintendo has the system on track for 10 million units sold by the end of its first Fiscal Year, and that seems pretty realistic. By comparison, the Wii U took nearly 3 years to reach that point. The original Wii had sold 13 million units in its first year of life, and was up to 56 million sold after two years.

In America specifically, the difference is still there, though it’s not quite as dramatic. The Wii U took about 13 months to hit the 2-million mark, while the Wii took less than six months.

The Nintendo is tearing it up right now. It seems they released the Switch at just the right time. After years of lagging sales – the Wii U only ever sold about 13 million units total over five years – the Switch is making up for lost time and beating the bigger and much more powerful consoles in the process. We can sit and talk about Nintendo’s supply chain problems, and those are very real, but they’re making enough hardware to take home the trophy time and time again.

And what’s more, this all these positive numbers are despite not having a Mario game out. That changes in a week, and then we’ll see just what the system is capable of.


Eric Frederiksen

Eric Frederiksen has been a gamer since someone made the mistake of letting him play their Nintendo many years ago, pushing him to beg for his own,...

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