Nintendo Switch Beats Game Boy Advance with Almost 85 Million Sold; Animal Crossing: New Horizons Sales Near 33 Million

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Nintendo have announced the Nintendo Switch has sold almost 85 million, while Animal Crossing: New Horizons has sold almost 33 million.

The news comes via Nintendo’s recently announced end of financial year results [1, 2, 3, 4]. As of March 31st, Net sales have risen to ¥1,758.9 billion JPY, a year on year rise of 34.4%. Operating profit has also risen to ¥640.6 billion JPY, a rise of 81.8%. Game sales grew 35.6% to ¥1,700 bllion JPY, with mobile games and “IP related income” rising by 11.3% to ¥57 billion JPY.

The Nintendo Switch sold 20.32 million units this fiscal year, with the Nintendo Switch Lite selling 8.51 million units. This is a 37% or greater rise for both. Software sales rose by 36.8%, with 230.88 units.

The Investor Relations website was also updated; revealing the total number of Nintendo Switch systems sold as 84.59 million units. This beats out the Game Boy Advance by 3.08 million units (81.51 million). Software sales of 587.12 million units also beat out the Game Boy and NES software sales (over 500 million each).

Nintendo’s success is hardly surprising, given the explosive sales of the Nintendo Switch. Launched March 3rd, 2017, the Nintendo Switch became the fastest selling console in US history 10 months later.

Worldwide sales have ballooned since launch. From 32.27 million (February 2019), to 34.77 million (April 2019), 36.87 million (July 2019), 41.67 million (October 2019), 52.48 million (January 2020), 55.77 million (May 2020), 68.30 million (November 2020), to 79.87 million (February 2021). The latter beats the lifetime sales of the Nintendo 3DS by 3.93 million, and the Nintendo Switch also sold over 15 million units in Japan as of September 2020.

The console would go on to break the record for the best selling console in consecutive months; at 22 months. A market researcher of the NPD group also claimed it will be the best-selling console of Holiday 2020, in spite of the next-gen PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X launches.

Amid Nintendo having it’s best financial quarter since 2008, Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa has denied a new Nintendo Switch model will be announced in the near future. Despite this, a Nintendo Switch Pro was mentioned on a Polish retail website, and rumors persist it will utilize a new NVidia graphics chip for 4K graphics via Deep Learning Super Sampling.

While selling a new version of something that is already selling well would seem illogical (especially when a scarcity of parts has caused issues for PlayStation and Microsoft), Ace Research Institute analyst Hideki Yasuda claimed that new hardware would be key for Nintendo in 2021. For example, new hardware could tempt those who had not yet bought a Nintendo Switch.

He cited the success of the Game Boy, PlayStation 2, and Nintendo DS; while the Wii and PlayStation 4 had no or practically no variations, and experienced a sharp drops in sales in the latter half of their respective launch years. Yasuda also claimed Nintendo has an “oligopoly” in Japan, while PlayStation game sales have been practically “eradicated.


Once again, the Nintendo’s crown jewel is Animal Crossing: New Horizons, selling 20.85 million this fiscal year, and now 32.63 million in total. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe was the second best seller this year at 10.62 million units, but is still the best selling Nintendo Switch title overall at 35.39 million.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons 1.8 million physical units in its first three days on sale in Japan (making it the best opening week for a Nintendo Switch game), and analysts later claimed the game sold 5 million digital copies over March 2020 (more than any other console game in history).

Later it was revealed the game sold 11.77 million units in its first 11 days on sale, and 13.4 million in its first six weeks. In mid-May it had become the fastest selling Nintendo Switch game in Japan. It later became the best selling game in Japan’s first half of 2020, with over an estimated 5 million physical copies sold.

The game would later sell over 5.6 million units in Asia by August 2020, as well as outselling Pokemon Gold and Pokemon Silver in Japan. This made it the second best selling game in Japan of all time. It sold over 7 million units across Europe, making it the fastest-selling and best first-year Nintendo game for the region.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons would later sell over 22 million units worldwide in June 2020, 26.04 million in November 2020, and 31 million in February 2021.

Among titles released this fiscal year, Super Mario 3D All-Stars sold 9.01 million (and was Nintendo’s third best selling title), while Super
Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury sold 5.59 million. The latter is behind Ring Fit, Nintendo’s fourth best selling title this year with 7.38 million sold. Nintendo sold 22 titles that broke 1 million, with 14 third party titles on Nintendo Switch contributing to 33 “million-sellers.”

Image: Twitter



Taking his first steps onto Route 1 and never stopping, Ryan has had a love of RPGs since a young age. Now he's learning to appreciate a wider pallet of genres and challenges.