Nintendo might not use the latest technology compared to Microsoft's Xbox Series X or Sony's PS5, but that hasn't stopped the Japanese video game company from performing incredibly well in 2020. Since Nintendo is doing so well this year, we can expect to see many great things from the company in 2021 and beyond.
So, how do we know Nintendo is doing well? On November 5, Nintendo released its latest financial earnings report, which, among other things, revealed that Nintendo was confident enough to increase its financial forecast midway through the fiscal year. According to Bloomberg, Nintendo is projecting 50% more profit than it initially expected and we haven't even hit the holiday 2020 season in earnest yet.
Nintendo's increased sales are largely due to the fact that many people are stuck at home during the pandemic and have turned to gaming for entertainment. In 2020, the Nintendo Switch has become Nintendo's second best-selling console of all time at 68.30 million units sold. This year's success was also helped immensly by the fact that Animal Crossing: New Horizons released at the start of the Coronavirus coming to North America and unexpectedly boomed into a phenomenon.
Nintendo's best-selling consoles
How Nintendo's consoles stack up next to each other as of September 30, 2020.
|Rank||Console||Hardware sales||Software sales||Release date|
|1.||Wii||101.63 million||921.85 million||November 19, 2006|
|2.||Nintendo Switch||68.30 million||459.49 million||March 3, 2017|
|3.||NES||61.91 million||500.01 million||October 18, 1985|
|4.||SNES||49.10 million||379.06 million||November 21, 1990|
|5.||Nintendo 64||32.93 million||224.97 million||September 29, 1996|
|6.||GameCube||21.74 million||207.57 million||November 18, 2001|
|7.||Wii U||13.56 million||103.27 million||November 18, 2012|
Animal Crossing has sold over 26.04 million copies since March 2020. This makes it the second best-selling Nintendo Switch game of all time, only beaten by Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which according to the latest report currently wears the crown at 28.99 million copies sold since 2017. And that's after competing with dozens of other popular Nintendo Switch titles like Pokémon Sword and Shield and the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild that have also sold in the millions through the years.
Top 10 best-selling Nintendo Switch games
How the best Nintendo Switch games stand as of September 30, 2020.
|Rank||Title||Copies sold||Release date|
|1.||Mario Kart 8 Deluxe||28.99 million||April 28, 2017|
|2.||Animal Crossing: New Horizons||26.04 million||March 20, 2020|
|3.||Super Smash Bros. Ultimate||21.10 million||December 7, 2018|
|4.||The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild||19.74 million||March 3, 2017|
|5.||Pokémon Sword and Shield||19.02 million||November 15, 2019|
|6.||Super Mario Odyssey||18.99 million||October 27, 2017|
|7.||Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!||12.49 million||November 16, 2018|
|8.||Super Mario Party||12.10 million||October 5, 2018|
|9.||Splatoon 2||11.27 million||July 21, 2017|
|10.||New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe||8.32 million||January 11, 2019|
It's surprising in some ways to see just how well Nintendo is doing considering how badly the company floundered with its flopped Wii U console from 2012 through early 2017. Unlike it's other gaming console competitors, Nintendo chose to focus on the playing experience rather than focusing on intense graphics or processing power. In that way, it's held it's own and has carved a path for itself that Sony and Microsoft cannot fully follow.
What this means for Nintendo's future
So what does the future hold in store for Nintendo and Nintendo fans? Well, due to the Nintendo Switch's success, Nintendo plans on extending the life-cycle of this hybrid gaming system rather then moving on to something else entirely. This gaming company has a history of releasing multiple versions of its most popular hardware as is evidence by the line of handhelds released from 2004 through 2015:
- DS Lite
- DSi XL
- 3DS / 2DS
- 3DS XL / 2DS XL
- New 3DS XL / New 2DS XL
I'm confident that this means we'll be getting newer versions of the Switch in the near future, like we did with the Switch Lite and Switch V2. It's already been rumored that a Nintendo Switch Pro console with potentialy more powerful graphics and processing power might be in the works. And some sources claim that Nintendo will release or at least announce an upgraded Switch console in Q1 2021.
At any rate, with this year's surge of profits I'm sure Nintendo will continue to do what it does best - explore both new gaming experiences and hardware while providing its fans with newer entries for its popular franchises. Afterall, we still have Bayonetta 3, the Breath of the Wild Sequel, and Metroid Prime 4 to look forward to. Not to mention, that Nintendo is in a cushy position to fund new gaming enterprises.
Nintendo's future looks bright
Nintendo has done really well for itself in 2020, thanks to everyone being stuck inside during the pandemic. The Nintendo Switch is now the second best-selling console Nintendo has produced and will continue to sell well as we dive into the holiday 2020 season and beyond.
With so much profit coming in, Nintendo is set up comfortably to continue experimenting and producing hardward and games with Nintendo's special brand of charm. One thing is for sure, we can expect more greatness from Nintendo in the coming years.
Gaming aficionado Rebecca Spear is iMore's dedicated gaming editor with a focus on Nintendo Switch and iOS gaming. You’ll never catch her without her Switch or her iPad Air handy. If you’ve got a question about Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, or just about any other Nintendo series check out her guides to help you out. Rebecca has written thousands of articles in the last six years including hundreds of extensive gaming guides, previews, and reviews for both Switch and Apple Arcade. She also loves checking out new gaming accessories like iPhone controllers and has her ear to the ground when it comes to covering the next big trend.