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Putting 8.2 million sales Toggle Switch from the Nintendo Switch in context



This morning, Nintendo sent one of the tough business press releases, which this time focused on a strong start to the US holiday shopping season. In addition to lifelong US sales updates for the 3DS system family (22 million), and the latest Classic Edition system (2.5 million for the Classic SNES, 2 million for the NES Classic), this release highlights more than 8.2 million lifetime US sales for Nintendo Switch (through November 26).

It sounds very impressive for a system that has just reached a 20-month anniversary on a retail shelf, even without two full holiday seasons under its belt. But we want to find out how the sales went up to the competition. So we tracked some numbers for the previous console for comparison. As you can see, the speed of Switch AS sales places it in quite a few elite companies:

  • 971,000: US sales from Saturn within the first 20 months of sales
  • 1.8 million: US sales from PlayStation Vita in the first ~ 23 months sold
  • 2.56 million: Original US sales PlayStation in the first ~ 16 months sold
  • 2.8 million: US sales from Dreamcast in the first ~ 16 months sold
  • 3.08 million: North American shipping from Wii U within the first 20 months of sales
  • 4.3 million: US sales from GameCube within the first 20 months of sales
  • 4.84 million: US sales from Playstation 3 within the first 20 months of sales
  • 5.55 million: Original US sales Xbox within the first 20 months of sales
  • 5.92 million: US sales from Xbox 360 within the first 20 months of sales
  • 6.26 million: US sales from Nintendo 64 within the first 15 months of sales
  • 6.5 million: US sales from Nintendo 3DS in the first ~ 21 months sold
  • 6.7 million: US sales from PlayStation Portable in the first ~ 21 months sold
  • 8.2 million: US sales from Nintendo Switch in its first sale of ~ 20 months, it was announced today
  • 8.6 million: US sales from PlayStation 2 within the first 20 months of sales
  • 9.22 million: US sales from Nintendo DS in the first ~ 26 months sold
  • 10.85 million: US sales from Wii within the first 20 months of sales
  • 11.95 million: US sales from Game Boy Advance within the first 20 months of sales

(Unless otherwise stated, all data comes from the estimated sales of US NPDs, drawn from the following online sources: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6).)

Note that release dates that stagger on a calendar year can mean some consoles enjoy a busier sales period during their first month of sale. Also note that inconsistencies in publicly reported NPD numbers mean the closest time period is slightly different for some of these consoles. We cannot find special US or North American numbers for PS4 or Xbox One; if you know where they can be found, please submit and we will renew.

If you like these numbers, you might also be interested in last year's inspection of the first nine months of sales worldwide, which consisted of 10 million units.

Also, while we are here, this is how the Switch currently piles up against lifetime shipping some other Nintendo hardware throughout North America (as reported in this useful Nintendo spreadsheet).

  • 6.49 million: Wii U
  • 12.94 million: GameCube
  • 20.63 million: Nintendo 64
  • 22 million: 3DS line (so far, only US)
  • 23.35 million: Super Sarang
  • 34 million: NES
  • 44.06 million: Game Boy / Color (combined)
  • 48.64 million: Wii
  • 59.93 million: Line of Nintendo DS

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