Nintendo executives have another reason to celebrate this morning, as NPD Group has just delivered hardware sales rankings for the month of December. Continuing a trend that persisted throughout much of 2017, the Switch finished as the top selling console in the US, beating out the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. That is, of course, unsurprising, considering that the Switch is a new console while the Xbox One and PS4 have been around for a while, but the amount of Switch units Nintendo moved in December might come surprise even those who expected it to do well.
In all, NPD says that 1.5 million Switch consoles were sold during the five weeks that make up the December reporting period. December is a pretty critical time for the games industry, as the holiday rush means there’s a lot of money to be made on both hardware and software. While this is to be expected for the Switch since it has a lot of hype behind it, this performance is still impressive because there weren’t really any holiday deals on the Switch to stimulate sales.
Nintendo’s other platforms had a solid month as well. According to NPD’s metrics, the 3DS family experienced its best sales month since December 2014, with 750,000 units sold between all of the different 3DS models available. That represents a 21% increase in sales over the same period a year ago, and means that the 3DS has now topped 21 million units sold in the US alone.
It seems safe to assume that the SNES Classic Edition had a good month too, though Nintendo doesn’t share precise numbers. We learn that between the Switch, 3DS, and SNES Classic, Nintendo’s hardware sales hit 2.6 million units in the US, which means that the SNES Classic sold somewhere in the area of 400,000 units. Not bad for a console no one can find.
Nintendo had a good month on the software front too, with games like Super Mario Odyssey, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild all ranking within NPD’s top 10 chart. It’ll be interesting to see how the Switch performs now that we’ve moved beyond the holiday shopping season. Though we can likely expect the Switch to remain popular for some time to come, we’re entering a period that has traditionally been slow for the games industry, so its momentum could certainly slow down. Stay tuned.