Nintendo Switch Outsells SNES & 4 Other Facts From 2020's First Financial Report

Nintendo released its latest financial report, and the gaming company continues to grow with regard to Switch hardware and software.

The latest report, which encompasses the time between April and December 2019, suggests Nintendo has posted its highest quarterly profit in 10 years thanks to the high demand of its hybrid console, the Switch.

With the successful holiday season behind it, Nintendo raised its forecast for the year ending March 31, to 19.5 million from 18 million units.

However, the complete financial report reveals a lot more about how Nintendo did in 2019 and what it hopes to achieve in 2020.

snes nintendo switch online


The Nintendo Switch continues to sell very well into its third year. The release of the Nintendo Switch Lite in September, along with Pokémon Sword and Shield in November, helped the company dominate the holiday season and pushed the hybrid console toward a new milestone.

The Nintendo Switch has now sold 52.48 million units since its release in March 2017 pushing it past the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), which sold 49.1 million units in its lifetime.

These new numbers put the Switch third all-time in Nintendo home console sales behind the Famicom/NES and Nintendo Wii. If you take Nintendo's handheld systems into account, the Switch is still seventh but is quickly catching up to the Nintendo 3DS family of devices.

Here are the current listings of Nintendo's hardware sales according to the report:

  1. Nintendo DS - 154.02 million
  2. Game Boy - 118.69 million
  3. Nintendo Wii - 101.63 million
  4. Game Boy Advance - 81.51 million
  5. Nintendo 3DS - 75.71 million
  6. Famicom/NES - 61.91 million
  7. Nintendo Switch - 52.48 million
  8. Super Nintendo - 49.1 million
  9. Nintendo 64 - 32.93 million
  10. Nintendo GameCube - 21.74 million
  11. Nintendo Wii U - 13.56 million


Pokémon Sword and Shield became the fastest-selling games in franchise history in the U.S. when they sold more than 2 million units in their first two days on the market. Worldwide, Sword and Shield sold more than 6 million units in its launch weekend and, just under two months since launch, that figure has more than doubled.

The financial report states the Gen 8 titles sold 16.06 million units as of December 31. Comparing Sword and Shield to other Pokémon games released worldwide on the same day, it beats the competition soundly.

  • X/Y: 11.61 million
  • Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire: 9.35 million
  • Sun/Moon: 14.69 million
  • Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon: 7.17 million
  • Let's Go Pikachu/Eevee: 10 million

Considering Sword and Shield are on home (more expensive) consoles, Sword and Shield's performance is impressive. Only Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee were released on the Switch prior to the latest entries.


The best-selling Nintendo Switch title continues to be Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. The port of the great Wii U offering still has new life on the flagship console.

As of December 31, 2019, the game has sold 22.96 million units. In the nine-month period of the latest financial report, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe sold 6.27 million units alone, beaten only by Pokémon Sword and Shield.

The kart-racing game is the most bundled title with the Nintendo Switch, which likely accounts for its continued large numbers that are impressive nonetheless.


With February around the corner, the release slate for the Nintendo Switch in 2020 largely remains a mystery.

Sometimes financial reports give shareholders and fans a sneak peek at upcoming releases. However, this year continues to leave a lot up to the imagination. According to the 2020 schedule, the recently released Tokyo Mirage Session #FE Encore, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons are the only first-party games with release dates.

Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition and Bravely Default II simply have 2020 release windows, while Bayonetta 3, Metroid Prime 4 and the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild have TBA listed next to their arrival projections.

Considering Sony and Microsoft are preparing for the release of their next-gen consoles later this year, it'll be interesting to see if Nintendo will try to match the competition with its own big software releases or save those for 2021.


Nintendo is finally making headway in China, releasing the Switch in conjunction with Chinese gaming giant, Tencent in December. However, the current coronavirus crisis in China has impacted hardware production in the country.

CEO Shuntaro Furukawa confirmed in a news briefing - via Reuters - that production in China is seeing some impact from the epidemic.

It's too early to tell how much the coronavirus has affected production, but it's something to keep an eye on as the virus continues to spread. The coronavirus has affected thousands of citizens in China, with the death toll currently at 170. There are six confirmed cases in the U.S.