Shiny new video game consoles from PlayStation and Xbox are flying off the shelves this week. But their competition, Nintendo, wants gamers to know it still has the best-selling video game console.
In the United States, Nintendo sold more than 735,000 Switch and Switch Lite consoles in October, the company confirmed Thursday, citing numbers from NPD Group. That’s up 136% compared to the same month last year, and the second highest October sales for any gaming console besides the Nintendo Wii, which sold 807,000 units in 2008.
Those numbers are just a slice of the success Nintendo has enjoyed, especially during an ongoing pandemic where many people are staying home in an abundance of caution. The Nintendo Switch has now sold more than 63 million systems worldwide and has been the best-selling game console – beating the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One – for 23 consecutive months.
The latest PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X could pose a challenge to Nintendo’s winning streak. But the Japanese gaming giant isn’t fazed.
“Certainly this is an exciting week for the video game category as other consoles launch,” Nick Chavez, Nintendo of America’s senior vice president of sales and marketing, told CNN Business. “But we think Nintendo Switch really occupies a unique position in the marketplace… It’s the only video game console that you can play at home or on the go.”
While the PS5 and Series X have nifty new features like faster loading speeds and better graphics, the Switch can be detached from the TV and played wirelessly.
Chavez noted that the Switch player base has grown in 2020 and diversified to include more women, children and older adults, who gravitate toward games like “Animal Crossing: New Horizons.” That’s notable for a console that has already been out for three years to start seeing its player base evolve now.
The company is gearing up for a relatively quiet holiday season, with titles like an upcoming “Legend of Zelda” prequel and a whole slate of “Super Mario” games already in stores. During major console release years, Nintendo usually holds off, and then puts out a new console on its own schedule.
For Black Friday, Nintendo is bundling Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and a three month subscription for gaming online with the Switch for $299.99.