After six impressive years bookended by two of the best Zelda games ever made, the Nintendo Switch has finally outdone the Wii's lifetime sales in the US.
"The US lifetime sales of Switch hardware finally surpassed those of Wii in the US market during July 2023," according to a report from US market analyst group Circana (formerly NPD) published on GamesIndustry.biz. It seems like the Switch might soon become the best-selling console in US history, too. Circana reports that "Switch lifetime sales now trail Xbox 360 by less than one million units, and PlayStation 2 by fewer than five million."
If news of the Switch outselling the Wii sounds familiar, it's because the handheld/console hybrid had already outsold the motion control platform back in February 2022 - at least in global sales. While the Switch has long since surpassed the Wii worldwide, it's only now that the console has come out on top in US sales, specifically.
It's tough to look at this milestone without thinking about the recent, wildly successful release of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. The Switch likely would've hit this sales milestone even without a blockbuster to buoy it, but no doubt the game's immensely positive word-of-mouth appeal helped contribute some momentum to the console's US sales, not unlike Breath of the Wild around the Switch launch.
That said, how long that momentum lasts remains to be seen. Circana notes that higher-income households are currently contributing more to video game hardware sales than they had in recent years, which connects with current sales trends toward more expensive consoles than the Switch.
Nintendo itself has finally started to acknowledge plans for the transition to its next console, though the company has yet to make any official announcements regarding new hardware. Reports of a Switch 2 launch in 2024 are starting to sound believable, but Nintendo's going to have a big mountain to climb if it aims to surpass the success of its latest console.
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