The runaway success that is the Nintendo Switch sold more units in nine months than the Wii U was able to in more than four years, and Switch owners don’t seem content to allow their shiny new consoles to sit unplayed collecting dust. Led by Super Mario Odyssey, Nintendo Switch software sales have already surpassed more than half of the Wii U’s lifetime game sales.
In a financial report released today, Nintendo revealed that it had sold more than 52 million Switch games as of December 31, 2017. Between the Wii U’s November 2012 launch and January 2017 discontinuation, Nintendo sold over 101 million pieces of software for the console.
The Nintendo Switch launched in March 2017 and reached this milestone so quickly by doing something Nintendo was never able to do with the Wii U: consistently releasing new, high-quality first-party games. While the Wii U was home to a number of excellent Nintendo games, their releases were few and far between, with little third-party support of note available to fill in the gaps. And while the Switch is still lagging behind contemporaries Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in third-party support, the console is certainly outperforming Wii U in this field with games like Doom, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and Rocket League leading the way.
If the current sales pace continues, Switch game sales would surpass Wii U game sales sometime around November. Considering that as the install base continues to grow every month the rate at which new games are purchased should also quicken, it may happen even sooner than that. On the other hand, Nintendo may have a difficult time equaling its impressive 2017 game release calendar in 2018. While Kirby and Yoshi are getting new games this year, those titles are unlikely to garner the kind of sales that Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild have.
Still, the future looks bright for Switch, which seems poised to continue surpassing sales milestones reached by less-popular Nintendo forebears like Wii U, GameCube, and Nintendo 64. In fact, the console may even be able to eclipse the Wii’s sales successes when all is said and done.