It seems that Nintendo has really come back into the mainstream since the launch of the wildly successful handheld-console-hybrid gaming system the Nintendo Switch, and the revenue flow directly to Nintendo’s pockets doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon.
To put this into perspective, in terms of cumulative console shipments for the first three years of a system’s lifespan, the last high-grossing gaming console Nintendo released was the Nintendo Wii back in 2006, with the most recent highest-grossing gaming handheld Nintendo released was the Nintendo DS just two years prior. While the Nintendo 3DS, a successor the the DSi and DS line of handhelds, has seen success, it didn’t ship nearly as many units in the first three years as the DS.
This information is thanks to Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX on Twitter), Senior Analyst at Niko Partners, and his constant coverage of the global video game markets.
Additionally, while there were many successes for Nintendo since the release of the DS, one console that has left a stain on many financial records is the rather disastrous launch of the Nintendo Wii U. While many of those who did indeed purchase the system fell in love with it, others left it on the shelf to collect dust or resold it to recoup some of the money they spent on it. The poor marketing and poor name choice for the system caused extremely low sales numbers, and thus taking it nearly three years to reach the amount of units shipped that the DS, 3DS, Wii, and Switch all managed to do within a year or less. In fact, in that same time frame of 36 months, the Nintendo Switch has actually managed to sell nearly four times as many units as the Wii U, at a grandiose total of 52.48 MILLION units shipped worldwide.
It seems that with the success of the Switch comes the death of the 3DS with a drop of roughly 70-73% sales, despite Nintendo constantly claiming that the Switch is “not a replacement” for the 3DS, which is a similar tactic that was used with the Nintendo DS “not being a replacement” for the then-current-generation handheld, the Gameboy Advance.