As one of the most popular consoles globally, Nintendo Switch has seen a surge in the number of new players since its release in 2017. And with millions of people spending more time playing video games during the coronavirus lockdown, 2020 brought an influx of new Nintendo fans.
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. These Nintendo exclusive games also dominate the list of top-selling Switch titles worldwide, with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe as the most popular game.
With 7.22 million units sold as of September, Play Station 4 represents the second most popular gaming console this year, revealed Statista and VGChartz data. Xbox One ranked third, with 2.17 million units sold in the nine months of 2020. During the same period, gamers bought 330,000 Nintendo 3DS consoles.
Statistics also show the annual sales of Nintendo Switch consoles has been increasing continuously in the last three years, while Play Station 4 and Xbox have witnessed a downward trend.
A year after its launch in March 2017, the Nintendo Switch hit 15.5 million units sold worldwide. The growing popularity of Nintendo’s gaming console continued in 2019, with the lifetime sales reaching 49.8 million units in December, a 55% jump year-on-year. Nintendo sold nearly 4 million Switch consoles in the first quarter of 2020, with its lifetime sales growing to 53.7 million. However, between March and August, another 9.6 million units were sold, with the cumulative sales surging to 63.4 million units.
In 2017, Sony sold almost 20 million Play Station 4 consoles all around the world. By the end of 2019, annual sales dropped to 14.2 million, a 30% plunge in two years. Statistics indicate the sales of the Xbox One, the third most popular gaming console globally, fell by 35% in this period, decreasing from 7.6 million units sold in 2017 to 4.9 million last year.
Although Nintendo Switch ranked as the world’s most popular gaming console in the last two years, statistics show Play Station 4 still dominates in terms of lifetime unit sales.
In the first three years after its launch in 2013, Sony sold 35.9 million Play Station 4 units. Between January 2016 and December 2017, the lifetime unites sales surged by 105% to 73.6 million. Since then, another 40 million units were sold worldwide, with the cumulative sales of Sony’s PlayStation 4 gaming console rising to almost 113 million as of August. Statistics show Xbox One hit 48.2 million units in lifetime sales as of August, a 22% increase in two years.