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Nintendo Switch eclipses SNES sales – NES now in sight

If, back in 2017, you’d told Nintendo the forthcoming Switch console would surpass the iconic SNES within three years, the Japanese giants would have double jumped through the roof.

As unlikely as that seemed in the aftermath of the Wii U flop, today is the day Mario and co. will be leaping a little higher than usual. Nintendo has revealed the Switch has now eclipsed the lifetime sales of the 16-bit Super Nintendo Entertainment System, following a bumper holiday sales period.

Nintendo sold 10.81 million witch consoles during the last three months of 2019 (a record for the system), five million of which were the new handheld-only Switch Lite.

That takes the grand total to 52.48 million and above the 49 million units shifted by the SNES during the 1990s. That makes the Switch the third best-selling home console in Nintendo’s history, trailing only the Nintendo NES and the original Wii console.

Related: Best Nintendo Switch games

If the current performance continues, it’ll be a matter of months before the 8-bit NES console is surpassed too. The original Nintendo Entertainment System managed just shy of 62 million consoles during its equally iconic run.

It’s probably a long shot the Switch will ever take the top spot from the Nintendo Wii, which surpassed 100 million units following its release in 2006. However, if the current momentum is kept up, we may have to revisit that prediction this time next year.

Given the system’s best-selling games, The Legend of Zelda: The Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Pokemon Sword and Shield are still selling by the bucketload, with a stellar array of titles lined up for 2020, it would be foolish to rule anything out.

If you’re missing the best of the NES and SNES, don’t forget you can play a selection of the best games via the Nintendo Switch Online service on your Switch console.

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