Nintendo Switch has Wii in its sights as total sales surpass PS3

Nintendo has delivered the financial results for the first quarter of its 2021 fiscal year, and those results give us a look at how well the Switch is doing. Nintendo reported that the Switch managed to sell 4.45 million units during the quarter, which was actually a decrease of about 1.2 million units from the same quarter a year ago. Nevertheless, the Switch now sits at 89.04 million lifetime sales, putting it above the PlayStation 3 in terms of total sales.

Of course, it isn't a huge shock that Switch sales dropped from the same quarter a year ago. During Q1 of Nintendo's 2020 fiscal year, many people were entering isolation because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which combined with the release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons saw Switch sales surge. It was a unique situation for the Nintendo Switch, and when you consider that the consumer electronics industry has been grappling with a semiconductor shortage, it's no wonder that Switch sales dipped in the most recent current quarter.

In any case, those 89.04 million lifetime sales put the Switch above the PlayStation 3 and very close to 100 million lifetime sales – a milestone only a few home consoles have achieved. Ahead of the Switch is the Wii, which sold 101.63 million units lifetime. The Wii is the best-selling Nintendo home console of all time, and unless Switch sales drop off a cliff, it looks like the Switch is going to beat it by the time everything is said and done.

Nintendo reports [PDF] that New Pokemon Snap sold 2.07 million units during the quarter after releasing in April, while Miitopia sold 1.04 million units following its release in May and Mario Golf: Super Rush sold 1.34 after launching in June. Some of Nintendo's evergreen titles still racked up some healthy sales during the quarter as well, with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe selling 1.26 million copies for a cumulative total of 37.08 million and Animal Crossing: New Horizons selling 1.26 million for a new total of 33.89 million units. For now, it seems that Mario Kart 8 Deluxe will hold onto the crown as Nintendo Switch's best-selling game.

Nintendo expects to sell 25.5 million Switch units during its 2021 fiscal year, and the Switch OLED may help Nintendo reach that goal after it releases in October. We'll have to wait and see what Nintendo's financials look like later in the year before we make a call about whether or not Nintendo can reach its goal, especially since the pandemic and the ongoing semiconductor shortage mean there's still plenty of uncertainty when it comes to immediate future of the games industry.