- Nintendo Switch is the first console in the US history to top sales charts 5 years running.
- Since NPD began tracking data in 1995, the Switch is the first console to achieve this.
- It is possible the NES has done this before in the 80s, but with no data to back it up, Nintendo Switch remains at top.
When the Nintendo Switch first came out in 2017, the hype surrounding the was through the roof. After the disappointment that the Wii U was, everyone expected Nintendo to bounce back in a big way. But, no one could have imagined that the portable console would be as successful as it is today, leaving even eight-generation giants behind.
Since 2017, the Nintendo Switch has shown no sign of stopping and continues to sell like hotcakes. It has broken records in France and the UK and launched games that have become icons of pop culture. Now, the Switch has topped console sales charts 5 years in a row in the US, breaking a three-decade-old record.
Recently, the NPD Group reported its year-end numbers for the gaming market in the United States. Nintendo Switch came out on top in console sales throughout the year in 2022. In doing so, the portable device has achieved a milestone never seen before in NPD history.
2022 spending totaled $56.6B, 5% below 2021 levels despite growth in hardware and subscription content spend. Factors impacting 2022 spending included continued supply constraints of console hardware, a relatively light slate of new premium releases, and macroeconomic conditions. pic.twitter.com/rqXH4Yf7VR
— Mat Piscatella (@MatPiscatella) January 17, 2023
The Nintendo Switch has become the first console since 1995 to top sales charts 5 years running. It has never happened before, as 1995 is the year NPD began tracking data in the US. Hence, it is the first console in the country’s history to achieve this feat, at least according to the present numbers.
Pierre485, who also aggregated this info, thinks another Nintendo console may have done this before. If you are from the 80s or know anything from that era, Nintendo Entertainment System will be a familiar term. The NES, as it is called shortly, was the start of devices we call home consoles all around the world.
Every parent, every kid, and every living person knew about it and wanted to own it. So, the Nintendo Entertainment System was the quintessential console for people around the world, at least till 1990. Hence, it won’t be wrong to assume that in this almost decade-long run, it had a longer consecutive run at the top than Nintendo Switch.
The Nintendo Switch also broke a three-decade record:
No console has ever topped the chart for five consecutive years in the history of NPD tracking (which began in 1995). https://t.co/0YIkcRy5hd
— Pierre485 (@pierre485_) January 17, 2023
However, the NPD didn’t track video game industry data in the 80s when the NES was at its peak. As a result, we have no numbers to prove that the console was the top-selling console for more than 5 years non-stop. It is highly likely, but with no proof, Nintendo Switch remains the only console to achieve this.
You might also say that the domination of Nintendo Switch in this era is a bigger achievement than if the NES did this. The gaming industry is highly competitive, with multiple gaming giants like Sony and Microsoft vying for the top spot. Hence, being the best-selling console in this generation is much more difficult than before.
The NES did not have any major system to compete with as the Nintendo Switch does. With 6 games in the top 20 of video game sales in the US, the console backs its domination up in the software department. In a time when there are dozens of major first-party and third-party releases from several major companies, this is a big deal.
All of these numbers are only retail sales for Nintendo products, as the company doesn’t release digital data. Hence, it won’t be wrong to assume games like Pokemon Scarlet and Violet would be much higher up the list. No matter what the hurdles are, the Nintendo Switch and its games are succeeding.
2023 will be interesting, with the PlayStation 5 shortage ending around the world. It is already the console that brought in the most revenue for any console in 2022. So, we can’t wait to see who wins the battle of these giants this year.
Who do you think will come out on top in console wars in 2023? Do let us know in the comments ahead.
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