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Switch sales overtake Game Boy but Nintendo did not have a good 2022

The Nintendo Switch has officially overtaken the Game Boy in lifetime sales, but that’s just about the only good news to emerge from Nintendo’s latest earnings report.

Nintendo’s Switch console had sold 122.55 million units as of the end of 2022, which sees the hybrid overtaking both the Sony PS4 and the might Nintendo Game Boy in the all-time console sales charts. Only the Nintendo DS and the Sony PS2 now stand in front of the Switch.

That’s just about all the positive spin that can be applied to Nintendo’s FY23 report, however. Switch sales for 2022 dropped to 14.91 million from 18.95 million in 2021. Nintendo blames the ongoing chip shortage for this major drop in hardware sales.

This would be a little easier to swallow if it weren’t for the fact that Sony’s far more advanced console, the PS5, had an absolutely sterling quarter towards the end of 2022. As a result of these poor results, Nintendo has lowered its forecast from 19 million to 18 million units.

Nintendo couldn’t rely on its traditionally strong software sales to shore things up either, with game sales dropping 4 percent. Even the mighty Pokemon Scarlet/Violet was unable to halt the slide, despite selling a commendable 20.61 million units. The company reckons that those dented hardware sales are to blame for its software slump.

All signs are pointing to an aging platform that didn’t receive the necessary mid-life jolt from properly refreshed hardware as many had predicted. And no, the Switch OLED didn’t count. Bring on the Switch 2, in other words.

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