The Nintendo Switch has just broken the Nintendo DS sales record in Japan, with more than 33 million copies. But Nintendo’s hybrid console is starting to lose ground, facing competition and the wait for a new generation.
The Nintendo Switch continues to break sales records, particularly in Japan where it has just overtaken the Nintendo DS. But Nintendo’s hybrid console is starting to show signs of weakness, in the face of competition and the wait for a new generation.
An unprecedented success
The Nintendo Switch was released in March 2017, with the aim of revolutionizing the video game market. By offering a console that is both portable and home, Nintendo has managed to attract a large audience, attracted by the possibility of playing anywhere, anytime. The console also benefited from a catalog of quality games, with flagship licenses such as Mario, Zelda, Pokémon or Animal Crossing.
Seven years after its release, the Nintendo Switch is posting impressive numbers. According to Nintendo’s latest financial report, the console sold for more than 139 million copies in the world, which places it in fifth position of the best-selling consoles in historybehind the PS2, PS4, Nintendo DS and Game Boy.
In Japan, the Nintendo Switch has even just broken the Nintendo DS record, with 33.34 million sales, compared to 32.98 million for the two-screen console. These results take into account the different versions of the console: the classic Switch, the Switch Lite and the Switch OLED.
An inevitable shortness of breath
But despite this success, the Nintendo Switch is starting to show signs of fatigue. In the last quarter of 2023, the console recorded a 16% drop in sales compared to the previous year, with 6.9 million units sold. This is the worst result for the console during this period of the year.
Several factors can explain this slowdown. First of all, console competition from Sony and Microsoft, the PS5 and the Xbox Series X, which offer significantly superior performance to the Switch, particularly in terms of graphics and fluidity. Afterwards, player wearinesswho are waiting for a new generation of more innovative and powerful consoles.
Nintendo is aware of these issues and is already preparing for the future. According to several rumors, the Japanese firm is working on a new console, called Switch 2 or Switch Pro, which has been in development for more than three years.
This console would supposedly be capable of reaching the performance of the PS4 or Xbox One, and exceeding 60 FPS on most of its games. It would also be compatible with 4K and ray tracing, two technologies that improve the visual quality of games. The Switch 2 could be announced in 2024, but nothing is certain.
- The Nintendo Switch is a worldwide success, with more than 139 million sales, including 33 million in Japan, where it beats the Nintendo DS record.
- But Nintendo’s hybrid console is showing signs of weakness, with a 16% drop in sales last quarter.