First the Switch overtook the Wii U. That wasn’t a big deal, given Nintendo only ever managed to sell 13.56 million. Then it leapfrogged the GameCube’s 21.74 million, which again wasn’t a huge deal, given the criminally underrated nature of the console. Now it’s getting serious though, as Nintendo’s brilliant convertible has just outsold the venerable N64.
Nintendo has revealed that it sold 2.47 million Switches in the first three months of 2019, pushing it to 34.74 million sold worldwide. That eclipses the 32.93 million N64s sold between 1996 and 2002. The next stop is the SNES on 49.1 million. That’s a tall order, but for a couple of reasons that may be possible, despite the Switch’s slowing growth.
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While it’s true that the first three months of 2019 were weaker sales-wise than the previous year (2.93 million were sold between January 2018 and the end of March), this year could be a big one for Nintendo. Firstly, the company revealed that it has reached an agreement with Tencent to sell Switches in China: opening up a seventh of the world’s population in one swoop is a pretty big deal for obvious reasons.
Secondly, it looks like new hardware is on the way. The much-rumoured Switch Lite – a cheaper, smaller version of the Switch – will reportedly be with us in a couple of months’ time, which should give Nintendo an effective shot in the arm.
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Nintendo is forecasting 18 million Switch sales for the financial year ahead. If it manages that, the SNES will be well and truly beaten, and Nintendo can set its sights on the 61.91 million-selling NES. The Wii, with its 101.63 million sales, remains a very distant goal, for now, though.
Will the Switch catch the SNES this year? Place your bets now, and let us know your view on Twitter: @TrustedReviews.