Nintendo Switch Sales Cross Record 84 Million Units But Can It Rival PlayStation and Xbox After March 2022?

Published 05/06/2021, 12:45 PM EDT


Nintendo recorded one of its best years of profit in 2020. The company earned its best-ever recorded operating profit figure of $6bn. It was also its second-best year of revenue, taking the stakes up to $16.6bn.

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Nintendo Switch had a tremendous year with 84.59m consoles units and 587.1m games sold. Only Wii still keeps the top spot with 101m consoles units sold to date. However, the Japanese video game giant is skeptical of the success. They believe these pandemic-induced sales will be hard to repeat after the current fiscal year comes to a close on March 31, 2022. The entire video game industry was severely affected by the pandemic. Since December 2019, when entire countries started going into lockdown, it displaced people all around the world.

Many titles that looked forward to a 2020 release were delayed. Some even indefinitely like Halo Infinite which was supposed to release with the Xbox Series X/S. However, if any company could cope and use the pandemic to its advantage, it is Nintendo. The boom in Nintendo sales also due to the overwhelming success of Animal Crossing New Horizons. An all-time best-seller game, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has recorded 35.4m sales to date. Compared to that, Animal Crossing New Horizons has 32.6m recorded sales after a year of release.

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However, this good run might come to an end after the current fiscal year comes to a close.

Over 36 games crossed the one million sales mark for Switch in 2020.

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Will Nintendo continue this good run?

Xbox and PlayStation are pushing the boundaries at every milestone, but both console giants crashed face-first with losses in 2020. In the recent Apple vs Epic Games hearing, Microsoft revealed a startling bit of fact.

It turns out Microsoft has never profited from the hardware sales. Both PlayStation and Microsoft look towards software and services sales to fill their pockets. They sell the consoles at a loss and expect that after a certain passage of time the cost will recover.

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Living room with a Microsoft Xbox Series X home video game console alongside a television and soundbar, taken on October 9, 2020. (Photo by Phil Barker/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

Apart from Nintendo, only PlayStation 4 has achieved a profit with console sales.

However, will Nintendo’s post-pandemic sales drop leave it in a position to compete with the other two console giant? Animal Crossings might have pulled the Japanese conglomerate out of the muck for a year, and it might continue with the excellent work considering how popular it has become as a title. There also might be new title releases that will surprise the devs. Pokémon Legends: Arceus, Miitopia, and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD are the major upcoming releases.

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Avhinandan Chakraborty

616 articles

Avhinandan Chakraborty is an eSports author at EssentiallySports since August 2020. He is currently pursuing his Master's degree in English Literature from Calcutta University, and has been professionally writing since 2020. Ever since he was a child, he has been extremely passionate about online gaming and eSports, having played titles like GTA Vice City, FIFA, and IGI, among many others.

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