Nintendo announced through a press release earlier this week that the Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite have now sold over 15 million units in North America, an impressive milestone for a device that has only been available for two-and-a-half years. The Nintendo Switch has been a dominant presence within the current generation of consoles ever since its release, and has only strengthened its position over its life cycle, surpassing both the PS4 and Xbox One in sales in 2019 while continuing to offer an impressively deep library of exclusives.
While the Nintendo Switch hasn't had an entirely perfect shelf life - fans are still waiting on a fix for the Joy-Con drift problem that has plagued the system ever since it first released and has not yet been addressed - it has managed to generate positive discussion for most of its features. That, coupled with what seems like an endless march of game of the year contenders being made available on the platform, have made the Nintendo Switch a must-own for gaming fans, even if they're not directly interested in the portability the console offers. The Nintendo Switch has also breathed new life into several franchises simply by offering a port of them on the platform, as mobile access to games like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is an enticing prospect for many consumers.
That's translated into sales success, too, according to the Nintendo press release. The Switch and Switch Lite have passed a cumulative 15 million sales in North America alone, and hardware sales increased by 20% for Nintendo in 2019 as compared to its previous financial year. Nintendo also released a slew of exciting new software to complement the Switch, and a lot of its sales success can likely be tied to major launches like Fire Emblem: Three Houses and Astral Chain. Doug Bowser, Nintendo of America president, also looked forward to what he anticipates to be a busy holiday season for the console:
"This holiday, we are bringing Nintendo Switch owners even more fresh and unique entertainment experiences, like Ring Fit Adventure, Luigi's Mansion 3, Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield, and Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games; Tokyo 2020, adding to the system's large and diverse library of games."
Nintendo also indicated that it had recorded 14 individual games surpassing one million sold in North America, illustrating both the breadth of success the company has had in the region as well as the deep well of quality titles the Switch has to draw on. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and Super Mario Odyssey all hover at the top of the Switch game sales charts, showcasing how great exclusives have been performing on the platform.
It's been a dizzying 2019 for the Nintendo Switch, which saw the release of a new variant of the console alongside its many game of the year contenders. It is worth noting, however, that outselling the PS4 and Xbox One in 2019 specifically is less of an achievement than it would have been in the past - both Sony and Microsoft are gearing up for their next-gen console releases in 2020, and it would have been odd if the still-surging Nintendo Switch actually didn't manage to surpass them. The true test will come in 2020 and beyond, but for now, Nintendo is laying the groundwork for a long and healthy life cycle for the Switch.