It is now official; the Nintendo Switch has surpassed the Game Boy in overall sales numbers becoming the third highest selling video game console of all time!
Yes, it is a sad day for Game Boy fans. Or perhaps a great day for Switch fans. Heck, we all win anyways.
The Game Boy, Game Boy Pocket and Game Boy Color have sat on their shared bronze colored throne for over 15 years now.
Let’s take a look at how the Switch hardware sales have grown over the last few years, and how they will likely continue until the Switch becomes number one.
At one point, the Nintendo Game Boy sat happy at the number one spot with its 118.69 million units.
(The original DMG, Game Boy Pocket and Game Boy Color shared sales numbers.)
But in came the Nintendo DS line at about 154 million.
And the king… the Playstation 2 at over 155 million units in total sales.
It was difficult to imagine any console taking that spot, especially since the PS2 enjoyed a thirteen year lifespan. The Game Boy and DS saw similar lifespans too.
But then, one magical day in October of 2016, the world was introduced to the Nintendo Switch.
The introduction certainly peaked a lot of interest, and the Switch seemed to have something very unique going on.
Nintendo created a hybrid device that wasn’t quite a home console, not quite a legit portable handheld either.
And it was less powerful than the home console competition. But it didn’t need the power of the PS4 or the Xbox One. This thing had character.
In true Nintendo fashion, they focused on what they do best; provide a device that perfectly fulfills player needs while being just innovative enough.
And it does exactly what it is supposed to do… be fun.
Pair that with some of the most enjoyable first-party exclusive games, and you’ve got a device that will surely sell.
The evidence of the Nintendo Switch’s success could easily be measured in consumer excitement. And, of course, in sales.
The Switch had sold a cool 13 million in its first year on the market. And things only ramped up from there. Nearly 17 million in 2019, 21 million in 2020, and 29 million in 2021.
By September of 2022, Nintendo had reported 114.33 million units total.
Now, in January of 2023, the unofficial projected sales numbers for the Nintendo Switch sit at 118.99 million units. Making it the number three highest selling video game console of all time.
Nintendo hasn’t updated their official numbers on their website yet. But surely the update is coming (looks like they usually update in March and September). And by then, it will absolutely read over 120 million units.
At the current rate of sales, we can expect that the Switch will come dangerously close to the sales numbers of the Nintendo DS and the Sony Playstation 2 by 2024.
With the incoming release of the highly anticipated The Legend Of Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom as well as a possible Tears of the Kingdom Switch OLED Console, I wouldn’t count that out of the realm of possibilities.
Also keep in mind that whatever the next Switch model is, it would likely be grouped in the Switch family sales numbers.
So I don’t see them not being number one by their March 2024 sales update.
However you look at it, things are looking pretty good for Nintendo right now.
They currently hold three of the top four highest selling game consoles of all time.
Two Switch exclusives, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Animal Crossing: New Horizons, are also some of the highest selling game titles of all time.
I think it’s safe to say Nintendo are the undisputed kings of video game entertainment.
I mean, I never doubted that. But I’m saying it now. Cause… like… I gotta end this article strong.
Nintendo is the king!
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Anthony has been a video game lover ever since he can remember. He became a fulltime nomad in 2018, living throughout most of Asia. He focused his passion in retro gaming and began creating a game for the Game Boy Color while living in Nara, Japan during the 2020 pandemic. He is now in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where he spends most of his time gaming, going on long walks and meeting as many stray dogs as possible.