Switch Sales Push Nintendo’s Total Handheld Sales Over 500 Million
Nintendo doesn’t have much competition in the gaming market when it comes to handheld consoles.
The company did play a little bit of tug-of-war with Sony when the PlayStation Portable (PSP) and its iterations were released, but Nintendo undoubtedly still reigns supreme when it comes to gaming on-the-go. Just look at the numbers!
Nintendo Has Sold Half a Billion Handhelds
As of March 21, 2021, Nintendo has sold 514.75 million handheld consoles. Here’s a breakdown of the sales figures (via Nintendo):
- Game Boy, Game Boy Pocket, Game Boy Color – 118.69 million units
- Game Boy Advance, Game Boy Micro – 81.51 million units
- Nintendo DS, DSi – 154.02 million units
- Nintendo 3DS, New 3DS – 75.94 million units
- Nintendo Switch, Switch Lite – 84.59 million units
The COVID-19 pandemic seems to have helped Nintendo more than it hurt it. When several countries around the world started to lock down in March 2020, people looked for something to keep them entertained indoors. Switch sales went way up as a result.
Even though Nintendo predicts that it’ll see soon see a drop in sales due to the global chip shortage, we should probably expect to see the game giant boast even bigger numbers. It’s possible that a new Switch will be announced at E3 2021—and if it is, then surely the company will be selling millions more units.
Handheld Consoles: Nintendo vs. Other Companies
Nintendo released the original Game Boy in 1989. It was simple, fun, and powered timeless game titles like Tetris and Pokemon Red/Blue. The monochrome display helped its battery last much longer than contemporaries with otherwise more powerful hardware, such as the Atari Lynx and Sega Game Gear.
In later years, Nintendo’s newer Game Boy handhelds would almost completely overshadow the SNK Neo Geo Pocket and Bandai Wonderswan. It wasn’t until the PSP hit the market in late 2005 that people thought Nintendo may see some real competition.
To some extent, it did. The PSP was a huge commercial success, and Sony ended up selling 82 million units (according to Statista). The Nintendo DS and DSi, however, would go on to almost double those sales.
Sony would try and follow up the success of the with the PSP Vita, but the device’s hefty price tag and limited library caused it to come up short. Nintendo has more or less had a monopoly on mainstream handhelds ever since.
The Game Giant Continues to Grow
Perhaps you aren’t surprised by Nintendo’s sales, given that the company has been around for decades now, but half a billion units is not something to scoff at. Compare that number to the company’s home console sales: only 365 million units (including the Switch).
It’s difficult to win every battle in the war, though. When it comes to home consoles, Sony has the crown with almost 461 million units sold since launching the first PlayStation in the 90s.
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May 7, 2021 at 03:55PM