Nintendo’s juggernaut year by the jaw-dropping numbers

Eric Abent - May 6, 2021, 9:18am CDT
Nintendo’s juggernaut year by the jaw-dropping numbers

Nintendo today shared its financial results for the fiscal year ended March 31st, 2021, and its safe to say that it was a very good year for the company. Fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic keeping everyone at home for the majority of the fiscal year and probably combined with the fact that next-gen consoles from Sony and Microsoft have been hard to find since launch, the Switch had a stellar year, finishing with life-to-date shipments of 84.59 million units.

It’s important to remember that the Switch just turned four years old back in March, which makes that life-to-date sales figure even more impressive. The Switch is currently the second best-selling home console Nintendo has ever released, and it now only needs to surpass the Wii to become the best-selling home console in the company’s history. The Wii sits at 101.63 million lifetime sales, so the Switch is now within 20 million units.

Nintendo did well [PDF] on the software side of things too. Animal Crossing: New Horizons sold a grand total of 20.85 million units throughout the fiscal year, bringing the cumulative total up to 32.63 million. Those are very strong sales for a game that’s only been out for around 14 months, but it isn’t quite enough for New Horizons to claim the all-time best-seller crown, as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe also had a good year with 10.62 million additional sales of its own. Cumulative sales for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe sit at 35.39 million.

Ring Fit Adventure is another game that seems to have benefitted from everyone staying at home, as it pulled in 7.38 million sales during the year for a lifetime total of 10.11 million. Super Mario 3D All-Stars and Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury managed to sell 9.01 million and 5.59 million units, respectively, and while Super Mario 3D World‘s cumulative total will keep growing in subsequent fiscal years, Super Mario 3D All-Stars will not for reasons we’ve already stated our objections to.

While Nintendo didn’t share sales figures for third-party Switch games, it did say that there was a total of 36 million-seller titles for the Switch throughout the year – a figure that counts third-party titles and Nintendo’s own first-party titles. As you might imagine, revenue was up year-over-year, settling at 1.76 trillion yen, while total profit landed at 480.4 billion yen.

It’ll be interesting to see what the next fiscal year holds for Nintendo. The company is hoping to sell a further 25.5 million Switch consoles throughout the year – a few million less than the 28.83 million units it sold in this fiscal year – and if rumors of an enhanced Switch pan out, it could reach that goal. However, the global semiconductor shortage could threaten that projection, and we still haven’t see how the Switch performs against the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X when those consoles are readily available.

Still, it seems likely that the Switch will not only enter the 100 million club at some point in the near future, but that it will also surpass the Wii to become Nintendo’s best-selling home console. We’ll see how everything works out, but for now at least, it really seems like the Switch isn’t slowing down.


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