Technology

Nintendo Switch has now outsold 3DS

Switch Lite alone almost equals Wii U.

The latest Switch sales figures are in, and the momentum behind Nintendo’s hybrid console is clear.

Nintendo Switch is now on 79.87m consoles sold, enough to beat the lifetime total of the mighty and long-lived Nintendo 3DS, which recorded 75.94m over its years on sale.

In the three months covering the 2020 holiday sales season, October to December, Switch sales were up seven per cent year-on-year, with 27 per cent of those sales for Switch Lite.

Just on its own, Switch Lite is now only a few thousand sales away from beating Wii U’s lifetime figure of 13.56m consoles.

This graph, from video games analyst Daniel Ahmad, tracks the Switch’s sales performance versus recent Nintendo hardware – and shows the console is on track to overtake Wii by the end of 2021.

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Recent Nintendo game releases which sold well include Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity (3.5m), Pikmin 3 Deluxe (1.94m) and the AR-powered Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit (1.08m).

But, as ever, Nintendo’s back catalogue of evergreen hits continued to shine. At the front of the pack is Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which is now on an incredible 33.41m copies sold. Only just behind, however, is Animal Crossing: New Horizons, on 31.18m. Astonishingly, it has almost beaten Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’s lifetime sales in under a year, and nearly 40 per cent of all Switch owners have bought a copy.

In terms of Nintendo’s coffers, the company is having a hugely successful year. Operating profit is up 98 per cent year-on-year to 521bn yen (£3.6bn).

What will 2021 bring?