Move over Xbox One and PlayStation 4: the Nintendo Switch is officially the fastest-selling video game system of this generation. The hybrid system, which allows for both home and portable gameplay, got a mixed reaction when Nintendo first announced it in 2016, mainly due to the company's failure in moving units of its previous console, the Wii U.
Although many considered the Switch a massive gamble for Nintendo, it released in March 2017. The system immediately grabbed players' attention with its potential, although many criticized it due to the limited number of games available for it. By early 2018, the Nintendo Switch had already outsold the Wii U, with 14.86 million units purchased worldwide since its release, compared to the total lifetime global sales of the Wii U, which only reached 12.5 million units. The console also became the fastest-selling video game system in the U.S. Thanks to titles such as Super Mario Odyssey and Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, both rated highly by critics and fans and often bundled with Switch purchases, Nintendo continued to move units of the system.
Considering its success, it should come as no surprise then that The NPD Group, which tracks game sales in the U.S., has announced that the Nintendo Switch has become the fastest-selling video game system of this generation of consoles. From its March 2017 launch through November 2018, the Switch has sold more than 8.7 million units in the U.S., outpacing sales of both the Xbox One and PS4 in their first 21-month life cycles.
Nintendo is also the top-selling publisher of video games in the U.S. for the year 2018. The company broke records with its release of Pokemon Let's Go Eevee and Pikachu, which sold three million copies worldwide within its first week. Nintendo will continue to dominate the game publishing market, thanks to another strong showing with its most recent release, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, which has received nothing but praise from both industry professionals and fans. That title has gone over so well that when members of the St. Paul Police Department responded to a noise complaint, the officers ended up joining some Super Smash Bros. Ultimate players in some good old-fashioned gameplay.
Although the Nintendo Switch often gets overshadowed by its competitors, it has become apparent that no one can count out the console just yet. As the system grows into its life cycle and gets more exclusive titles, its sales will continue to remain strong, making it as much of a contender on the console market as the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.