Nintendo Switch has already outsold the Wii U

When the Nintendo Switch first arrived, it felt like a breath of fresh air for a company that had lost its way after the immense success of the Wii. Players were optimistic that Nintendo was heading in the right direction, but still a little bit apprehensive after the failure that was the Wii U. Then, as the Switch started to become more and more popular, that mentality shifted to one of excitement, as it began to look like Nintendo had something special on its hands.

Today, we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Switch is an entirely different beast for the company. Nintendo has shared its financial results for the quarter-ending December 31, and in it, we see that the Switch has sold 14.86 million units worldwide since launching in March. Perhaps most importantly, that means the Switch has already surpassed total lifetime sales of the Wii U.

The Wii U only managed to sell 13.56 million units worldwide in its short four year lifespan, which were disappointing results no matter which way you slice them. We can blame a number of things on those low sales, from consumer confusion over the name to Nintendo not supporting the console enough, but regardless of the reason, the Wii U was a let down when compared to its predecessor, the original Wii.

That the Switch has managed to beat the Wii U's lifetime sales in just nine months is both encouraging for Nintendo and indicative of how big of a failure the Wii U actually was. Attach rate for the Switch seems to be solid as well, with 52.57 million units sold to date. Super Mario Odyssey has proven to be a huge success for Nintendo, moving a whopping 9.07 million units since launching in October.

For the fiscal year as a whole, Nintendo is projecting hardware sales of 15 million for the Switch – a number it seems very likely to pass, but it's worth keeping in mind that we're entering a fairly slow period of the year for game sales in general. After its first fiscal year wraps up at the end of March, we'll move into what Nintendo calls a second "crucial" year for the Switch, which may determine if it will become a success on the same level as the original Wii.