Nintendo’s Switch breaks the record for longest best-selling streak ever
Consecutive months the Switch has outsold every other console.
Of every console on the market right now, Nintendo’s Switch has sold the most units for 22 consecutive months — beating a record previously set by the Xbox 360. NPD Games, a company focused on gaming industry data and insights, first reported the record-breaking sales figure.
The Switch has officially been the top-selling console since December 2018 (remember 2018?). That means it’s dethroned the Xbox 360’s record for the longest-running best-selling console; the 360 held its title for 21 months straight, from August 2011 to April 2013.
The Switch’s momentum has been fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic, with the console at times just as difficult to come by as hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies. That’s been incredible for Nintendo’s sales — the company saw a 541.3 percent increase in profits between April and June of this year.
It’s been a landmark year for Nintendo, which is really saying something, given the company’s already-impressive history. It’ll need to buck up with more exclusives to keep the streak going as both Sony and Microsoft release their own next-gen consoles.
A perfect storm — The vast majority of companies have been hit hard by the pandemic; the combination of stay-at-home orders and enormous unemployment rates has not been good for profits. Not for Nintendo, though — the gaming company laughed in the face of the virus and came out stronger than ever.
Switch sales had already seen a nice boost at the end of 2019 with the addition of the Switch Lite to the lineup. Then Animal Crossing: New Horizons was released on March 20 — just as the novel coronavirus took hold of the United States — and Switch sales skyrocketed. The game ended up selling more digital units in a single month than any other console game in history. Nintendo’s timing really couldn’t have been better.
Can they keep it up? — The Switch has undoubtedly been the console of 2020. Nintendo’s main competitors, Sony and Microsoft, have taken the year to refine and complete the rollouts of their own next-gen consoles, leaving Nintendo to dominate the charts.
But Nintendo’s reign could soon come to an end. Sony’s PlayStation 5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X are both launching just in time for the holiday season, and pre-orders for both have been selling out everywhere. With accessible pricing and truly impressive hardware, both consoles have a very good chance of overthrowing Nintendo’s long-held throne.
Nintendo is preparing for this likelihood by considering an upgraded 4K Switch next year. Whether or not the high-def version of the console will actually draw in new buyers remains to be seen, but it probably won’t do much.
Still: Nintendo is coasting high right now. This is an accomplishment to be proud of, even for a company that’s made history many times over.