What’s blue, black, red, portable, and is giving the Sony Playstation 5 and the Xbox Series One a run for their money? It’s the Nintendo Switch.
The Nintendo Switch is Nintendo’s 9th generation (and is also their current generation) hybrid console. We say hybrid because it has a console mode and a handheld mode.
The console mode makes use of the Switch’s dock that allows you to connect the Switch to the TV via an HDMI cable, giving you better FPS and graphics. The Nintendo Switch Lite cannot be used on the Switch dock.
The handheld mode allows you to play games via its small screen and two detachable controllers. The console’s wireless controllers, or JoyCons, are standard. It comes with directional buttons, four letter buttons, and four trigger buttons.
As of this writing, there are three variants: The Nintendo Switch (original), the Nintendo Switch Lite, and Nintendo Switch OLED. The OLED variant works just like original Switch with a few upgrades.
For this article, we’ll be looking at some interesting Nintendo Switch stats to gain a better understanding on why this console has taken the video game industry by storm.
Key Nintendo Switch Statistics
- Between 2017 and 2021, lifetime sales for the Nintendo Switch is more than 85.27 million units. 28.3 million of those units were sold in 2020 alone, and 25 million units for 2021 .
- Between the Sony Playstation 5, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox Series X, the Nintendo Switch is the highest grossing current generation console in terms of units sold for 2020 and 2021 .
- Nintendo’s net revenue for all of their products was $15.9 billion in 2021 .
- Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the best selling game for Nintendo Switch in terms of lifetime sales. The game has sold more than 46 million units, with Animal Crossing: New Horizon coming in close second with 39.38 million units sold .
- Retail software revenue for the Nintendo Switch, Wii U, and Wii reached $4.89 billion in 2020, while consumer spending brought in $5.86 billion in revenue, covering Nintendo subscriptions, digital downloads, and microtransactions .
- Retail software revenue in 2021 decreased to $4.2 billion in 2021, but online revenue increased to $6.9 billion .
- By the end of 2022, Nintendo’s console gaming revenue and online revenue is estimated to hit $11.3 billion .
- The USA is the highest spending region for Nintendo, bringing in $6.6 billion in revenue for the company in 2021. Europe comes in second place with $3.03 billion .
- Animal Crossing: New Horizons already sold more than 38 million units as of March 2022 .
- Pokemon Sword/Shield for Nintendo Switch is the second highest-grossing Pokemon game in the franchise, selling 24 million units in lifetime sales as of December 2021 .
Nintendo Switch Sales Figures
At the end of the Fiscal Year of 2021, the Nintendo Switch generated 1.67 trillion Japanese Yen (around $11.6 billion as of this writing’s conversion). The Nintendo Switch was Nintendo’s biggest revenue generator, accounting for 95% of the entire revenue generated. 
Let’s take a closer look at the Nintendo Switch stats for sales in the following section:
How Many Nintendo Switches Have Been Sold?
- Between 2017 and 2021, the Nintendo Switch has sold more than 85.27 million units. In 2020, it reached record sales amounting to 28.3 million units sold. In 2021, there were only 25.02 million units sold for that period, which was a drastic decrease from the previous year. .
- In 2020 and 2021, the Nintendo Switch had the highest number for units sold at 28.3 million and 25.02 million respectively. Sony Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X followed with 4.39 million and 3.03 million units sold for 2020, and 12.59 million units and 8.75 million units sold for 2021 respectively .
- Nintendo’s net sales, covering the Nintendo Switch, Switch games, and other products under the corporation, amounted to $15.9 billion for 2021 .
- For the Fiscal year ending in March 2022, Nintendo Switch generated more than 235 million units sold for gaming software. Its lifetime unit sales for gaming software hovers at about 900 million, covering 2017 up to 2022 .
- As of March 2022, more than 107 million units of games hardware shipped out worldwide. Sony’s Playstation 4 and Playstation 2 are the only consoles that have outsold the Nintendo Switch with 116.6 million and 155 million units respectively .
- 25% of the Switch sales made this year were Nintendo Switch OLEDs, while the Standard unit accounted for 58% of the sales for the fiscal year .
- Mario Kart is the best selling Nintendo Switch game in terms of lifetime sales. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe had more than 46 million units sold as of June 2022, followed by Animal Crossing: New Horizon with 39.38 million units in lifetime sales. This is impressive given that Animal Crossing was only released in March 2020 .
What are the numbers telling us?
First, the spike in Nintendo Switch stats for sales and revenue for the year 2020 onwards is probably caused by the onset of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Big retailers like Amazon and Walmart suffered a shortage not just for the Nintendo Switch but for the other consoles as well.
With the Covid-19 Pandemic and the global lockdowns enforced, people were stuck at home with no way to entertain themselves outside of binge watching shows. Back then, people weren’t aware of just how much time would be spent locked inside their own houses. The immediate assumption was that these lockdowns would only be long enough to contain the illness, but obviously the lockdowns went on longer.
How many games have people probably completed thanks to being locked down? Well, personal stats on the Nintendo Switch can only tell you so much, such as time played for a particular game. On my end, my wife probably spent close to 900+ hours on Animal Crossing: New Horizons during the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Nintendo Switch Revenue Statistics
- In 2020, retail software revenue, spanning Wii, Wii U, and the Nintendo Switch, was $4.89 billion. Consumer spending was heavy on digital downloads, Nintendo subscriptions, and other microtransactions, bringing online revenue to $5.86 billion .
- For 2021, retail software revenue decreased to $4.2 billion, but online revenue showed an increase with a revenue of $6.9 billion 
- It’s projected that Nintendo’s console gaming revenue (spanning Wii, Wii U, and Nintendo Switch) and online revenue will total to about $11.3 billion, a $300 million increase from the previous year’s revenue..
- Nintendo gaming hardware will bring in a revenue of $4.7 billion by the end of 2022 (projected). This is a slight decrease from the $5.6 billion revenue generated in 2021 .
- The USA generated the highest revenue in the region for Nintendo with $6.6 billion in 2021. Europe follows with $3.03 billion in revenue. .
- Animal Crossing: New Horizons was released on March 2020. Since its release, the game has sold more than 38 million units as of March 2022. The first game of the franchise was released in 2001 and only sold over 2.3 million copies globally .
- Nintendo Switch’s Pokemon Sword/Shield are the second highest-grossing Pokemon game in the franchise as of December 2021, selling close to 24 million units for that period. Pokemon Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl follow with 13.97 million units sold worldwide .
- Nintendo’s most profitable franchise is the Super Mario franchise, earning more than $600 million for all products under it. The Pokemon franchise follow in second place with $340 million in revenue generated .
Nintendo Switch User Statistics
Nintendo released demographics data for their Nintendo Switch users in a business presentation held last year. Here’s what we know , :
- The biggest age group that comprises majority of Nintendo Switch’s player base is the 20-25 age group, as seen in the graph above.
- A good number of people well over their 40’s owning a Nintendo Switch is also obvious, far outnumbering the number of players aged below 20.
- Young children only make up a small portion of their demographics, with children aged 10 to 12 years old comprising the majority amongst minors.
- Nintedo Switch Online Service recently hit 32 million subscribers in September 2021.
- 60% of Nintendo Switch owners bought Super Mario Odyssey. The game sold more than 9 million units two months after the game’s release .
- As of June 2022, Nintendo Switch user count has already surpassed the 100 million mark, with the company announcing the milestone for their 2023 fiscal year .
- Between July 2021 and June 2022, there were more than 104 million users reported who played their favorite game on the Nintendo Switch .
There you have it. A short glimpse of Nintendo Switch stats that let us know just how big the Nintendo Switch console is compared to other consoles, and we can understand why it appeals to a lot of people.
First, there’s the convenience of a handheld console with current generation gaming and hardware power. Excluding console exclusives for Nintendo and other brands, people find it easier to bring around the handheld console to kill time or when traveling. The Nintendo Switch Standard version boasts of an average of 2 to 3 hours battery life for games such as Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and The Witcher 3. With that being said, battery life is longer when the games aren’t graphically demanding.
Second, there’s the exclusive titles that only Nintendo has, namely Super Mario, Legend of Zelda, Pokemon, and the ever popular Super Smash Bros franchise. When the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was announced in conjunction with the preview of the Nintendo Switch, gamers were excited. This was the latest entry into the Legend of Zelda franchise, which was an impressive open world adventure.
Third, Nintendo Switch is reasonably priced in terms of the games available and the consoles themselves. A brand new Nintendo Switch OLED unit could cost you around $350 to $450 per, while the Nintendo Switch Lite is around the $150 to $200 mark. Games made available on Nintendo Switch aren’t that limited in terms of titles. Big publishers such as Ubisoft, 2K Entertainment, Blizzard Activision, and several indie publishers have ported over their games to the platform. Games are priced between $45 to $60 for the AAA games, and anywhere between $20 to $35 for recently released titles.
But with convenience comes compromise. Storage space for Nintendo Switch consoles is severely limited, which is why you need to take advantage of the expanded storage space with SD cards. In terms of graphics, you’re more or less settling with 30FPS on average for handheld and up to 60 FPS when docked. The Nintendo Switch Lite can’t be docked so you’ll be dealing with 30FPS period. It’s not exactly a deal breaker given that the Nintendo Switch is going up against Xbox Series X and Playstation 5 for the current generation console lineup, and these two consoles are beasts in terms of hardware.
The bottom line is this: Nintendo Switch is here to stay and it’s going to continue its dominance within the next few years. With millions of units sold the previous years, and with millions more projected for the next few years, Nintendo Switch might take the top spot for hardware sales too.