The Nintendo Switch’s sixth year on the console market has become a lucky one. The hybrid handheld console platform has just surpassed the Wii in total lifetime sales in the U.S.
The new data comes from Circana, formerly known as NPD (courtesy of GI.biz), showing the strong growth of the U.S. video game industry over the past year, especially in terms of hardware. According to Circana, the Switch not only exceeded the total U.S. sales of the Wii in July 2023, but it is also catching up to other popular previous-gen consoles. It’s trailing the Xbox 360 by less than a million units and the PS2 by fewer than five million.
Catching up with the Nintendo Wii is no small feat. It’s among the most successful consoles of all time, ultimately selling more than 100 million units worldwide. It was able to achieve crossover success as part of Nintendo’s “blue ocean strategy,” its motion controls appealing to players who didn’t identify as traditional gamers.
The data attributes the Switch’s strong performance this year to The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, which sold over 18 million units by the end of June 2023, thereby increasing console sales. Its performance can also be attributed to the fact that the supply of Nintendo’s hybrid platform and other consoles has become more readily available.
To wit, the PS5 has sold 5% more units than the PS4 did and 87% more than the PS3 in lifetime sales, while Xbox Series X|S sales are 6% ahead of the Xbox 360 but falling 10% behind the Xbox One.
Circana didn’t give an exact number of Switch hardware sold in the U.S., but Nintendo said that over 129.5 million units were sold globally, while only 49 million were sold in the Americas. Even so, it’s wild to see that the Switch sold more in its first 6 years than the Wii ever did in its first decade on the market.
Cristina Alexander is a freelance writer for IGN. To paraphrase Calvin Harris, she wears her love for Sonic the Hedgehog on her sleeve like a big deal. Follow her on Twitter @SonicPrincess15.