Nintendo Switch witnessed an influx of new fans in 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues fuelling the growth of the entire console gaming market.
With millions of people spending more time playing video games amid lockdown, the popular gaming console hit a new record in the number of sold units.
According to data presented by Safe Betting Sites, Nintendo shipped 21.1 million Switch consoles since the beginning of 2020, double than PlayStation 4 and Xbox One combined.
Nintendo Switch Lifetime Unit Sales Hit 70.9 Million in November
In its first year, the hybrid handheld and stationary console sold 13.1 million units worldwide, revealed VGChartz data. Sales continued booming in the following years, with Nintendo selling almost 40 million Switch units in 2018 and 2019. By the end of last year, the Nintendo Switch had sold 49.8 million units across its lifetime, surpassing the sales of its close rival, Microsoft’s Xbox One.
However, statistics show Nintendo Switch sales boomed in 2020, with almost 4 million units sold in the first quarter, a 60% jump in a year.
The impressive sales growth continued in the second quarter of 2020, as Nintendo sold another 5.6 million of its Switch consoles, 160% more than the same period a year ago. The VGChartz data revealed another 11.6 million units were sold since June, with the lifetime sales reaching 70.9 million in November.
Cumulative unit sales of Sony PlayStation 4 consoles worldwide from August 2014 to November 2020 (in million units)
Lifetime unit sales of the Nintendo Switch console worldwide from March 2017 to November 2020 (in millions)
PlayStation 4 ranked as the second most popular gaming console in 2020 with 8.3 million sold units between January and November, 2.5 times less than Nintendo Switch. Statistics also show that PS4 annual sales dropped 37% year-over-year, down from 13.3 million sold units in 2019.
However, Sony’s gaming console still dominates in terms of lifetime unit sales. In the first three years after its launch in 2013, Sony sold 35.9 million PlayStation 4 units. By December 2017, this figure surged to 73.6 million. Statistics show another 40.6 million consoles were sold worldwide in the last three years, with the cumulative sales of Sony’s gaming console rising to 114.2 million in November.
Xbox One sold 2.7 million units in 2020, with its lifetime sales reaching 48.7 million last month. Almost 65% of that number, or 31.5 million consoles, were sold in North America as the leading market. Europe ranked as the second-largest Xbox One market with almost 12.2 million sold units.
Mario Kart 8 Delux hit 26.8 Million Sold Units
One of the key reasons for the Switch’s success is the popularity of Nintendo’s first-party titles. Blockbuster series like Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and Pokémon are exclusive to Nintendo, meaning that fans can only play them on Nintendo consoles.
With almost 26.8 million sold units, Mario Kart 8 Delux ranked as the top-selling Nintendo Switch game. Animal Crossing: New Horizons ranked second with 22.4 million in total sales. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Pokémon Sword/Pokémon Shield follows with 19.9 million, 18.6 million, and 18.2 million in unit sales, respectively.