Nintendo Switch sales decrease again, digital sales on the rise

Kirby Amiibo Nintendo Switch
Kirby Amiibo Nintendo Switch (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Nintendo Switch hardware sales declined by about 20% compared to the last fiscal year.
  • While hardware sales went down, software sales increased by 1.8%.
  • Of the total units of software sold, digital software sales grew by 4.5%.

Nintendo's latest financial reports are out, allowing us a look into how the company has been faring over the last fiscal year. Nintendo's fiscal years last from April 1 to March 31 of the following year, meaning that "FY22" refers to the time between April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022.

Here are some data highlights from the latest financial report:

Sales and profit

  • Net sales — 1,695 billion JPY, down 3.6% compared to FY21.
    • From dedicated video game platforms — 1,639.2 billion JPY, down 10.3% compared to FY21.
    • From mobile and IP-related income — 53.3 billion JPY, down 6.5% compared to FY21.
    • From playing cards, etc. — 2.7 billion JPY, up 55.9% compared to FY21.
  • Net profit — 477.6 billion JPY, down 0.6% compared to FY21.
  • Digital sales — 359.6 billion JPY, up 4.5% compared to FY21.

Regional sales

  • The Americas — 43.5% of global sales
  • Europe — 25% of global sales
  • Japan — 21.2% of global sales
  • Other — 10.3% of global sales

Nintendo Switch hardware and software

  • Hardware — 23.06 million units, down 20% compared to FY21.
    • Nintendo Switch — 13.56 million units, down 33.3% compared to FY21.
    • This includes the OLED model, which sold 5.8 million units.
    • Nintendo Switch Lite — 3.7 million units, down 56.5% compared to FY21.
  • Software — 235.07 million units, up 1.8% compared to FY21.
    • Digital software — 42.6% of total software sales, down 0.2 points compared to FY21.

Total lifetime sales

  • Nintendo Switch hardware — 107.65 million units
  • Nintendo Switch software — 822.18 million units

Overall, FY22 was not as profitable a fiscal year as FY21 was, presumably due to the fact that in many countries, lockdown measures implemented in the wake of the pandemic have been lifted. The significant hardware release this fiscal year was the Nintendo Switch OLED model, which released in October of 2021 and accounted for around 42% of Nintendo Switch sales. The Nintendo Switch Lite seems to be waning in popularity, selling 56% less than it did in the previous fiscal year. The decrease in hardware sales can be presumably attributed to a combination of the pandemic boom waning and the increased availability of competing consoles like the Sony Playstation 5 and the Microsoft Xbox Series X|S.

As for software, titles like Pokémon Legends: Arceus and Kirby and the Forgotten Land made a big splash, with Pokémon selling over 11 million copies in 10 weeks and Kirby selling over 2 million copies in 2 weeks. Nintendo stated that 36 titles sold over one million units this fiscal year, with Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl taking the top spot at 14.65 million units. Metroid Dread, which released alongside the Nintendo Switch OLED model, became the best-selling Metroid game to date, at 2.9 million units sold. With the pandemic boom over, Animal Crossing: New Horizons sold less than a third of what it did in the previous fiscal year, at 6.01 million units.

Here are the top ten selling games on Switch in FY22:

  1. Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl — 14.65 million units
  2. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe — 12.64 million units
  3. Mario Party Superstars — 6.88 million units
  4. Animal Crossing: New Horizons — 6.01 million units
  5. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate — 4.33 million units
  6. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild — 4.28 million units
  7. Ring Fit Adventure — 3.98 million units
  8. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD — 3.91 million units
  9. Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury — 3.84 million units
  10. Pokémon Sword and Shield — 3.18 million units

Of course, it's not all doom and gloom. Nintendo reported that FY22 saw the second-highest sell-through of hardware since the launch of the system in 2017, with the OLED model contributing significantly to sales. Online users are also growing year by year, with over 102 million online users recorded.

Nintendo Switch Hardware Sell Through Fy

Nintendo Switch Hardware Sell Through Fy (Image credit: Nintendo)

The end of the report details their plans for the coming year, with titles like Splatoon 3, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, and Xenoblade Chronicles 3 being planned for a 2022 release. These are expected to join the ranks of the best Nintendo Switch games, and will hopefully contribute to increased sales in the coming fiscal year.

Nadine Dornieden

Nadine is a freelance writer for iMore with a specialty in all things Nintendo, often working on news, guides, reviews, and editorials. She's been a huge Nintendo fan ever since she got to pet her very own Nintendog, and enjoys looking at Nintendo's place in the video game industry. Writing is her passion, but she mostly does it so that she can pay off her ever-growing debt to Tom Nook. Her favorite genres are simulation games, rhythm games, visual novels, and platformers. You can find her at @stopthenadness on Twitter, where she'll more than likely be reposting cute Animal Crossing content.