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Switch vs Wii – VGChartz Gap Charts – August 2018 Update

Switch vs Wii – VGChartz Gap Charts – August 2018 Update - Sales

by William D'Angelo , posted on 05 October 2018 / 4,747 Views

The VGChartz Gap charts are updated monthly and each article focuses on a different gap chart. The charts include comparisons between the 7th generation and 8th generation platforms, as well as comparisons within the 8th generation. All sales are worldwide, unless otherwise stated.


Switch Vs. Wii Global:

Gap change in latest month: 746,093 - Wii

Gap change over last 12 months: 4,130,360 - Wii

Total Lead: 5,431,135 - Wii

Switch Total Sales: 20,058,577

Wii Total Sales: 25,489,712

August 2018 is the 18th month that the Nintendo Switch has been available for. During the latest month the Wii has grown its lead over the Switch. The Wii outsold the Switch by 746,093 units in the last month and by 4.13 million units in the last 12 months. The Wii is currently ahead of the Switch by 5.43 million units.

The Wii launched in November 2006, while the Nintendo Switch launched in March 2017. The Switch has sold 20.06 million units, while the Wii sold 25.49 million units during the same timeframe.

 A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at or on Twitter @TrunksWD.

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RolStoppable (on 26 September 2018)

Outsold by ~750k units in just the last month... April 2008 saw the release of Mario Kart Wii. Anyway, the Wii was a beast, so the gap will continue to grow in favor of the white console. Still, Switch will take the win lifetime, because eventually the tides will begin to turn.

  • +5
DialgaMarine RolStoppable (on 26 September 2018)

That depends on Nintendo. Switch could potentially fall off in a few years as well.

  • -1
RolStoppable RolStoppable (on 26 September 2018)

The circumstances surrounding Switch already point to a very different outcome in comparison to Wii.

Wii really suffered from 2011 onwards because Nintendo had to get the 3DS off the ground (3DS launched in February/March 2011) while also supporting the DS and preparing for the Wii U launch in late 2012. Wii was one of four Nintendo consoles that required support, but Switch will be one of only two during the next transitional period, so first party releases won't be anywhere as sparse for Switch as they had been for Wii.

Wii was despised by third parties and by 2011 the amount of noteworthy third party releases was miniscule. On the other hand, Switch is already close to beating Wii in terms of total amount of quality third party games after only 18 months on the market, and the best is yet to come for Switch because Japan is going to get behind this console for sure.

The steady flow of good third party games makes the Switch similar to the DS which had a sustained peak despite Nintendo putting their best efforts on Wii during the time the DS sold like crazy with three consecutive 25m+ years.

Too many people believe that Wii sales dropped because the console was a fad, but an honest analysis makes it evident how dire the software release schedule was from 2011 onwards. The strength of its back catalogue still made the Wii sell more than 10m units in 2011 whereas every other console with such a barren release schedule couldn't even sell 5m.

In any case, Switch is not like Wii, so it's highly unlikely that Nintendo will deliberately cut its life short in favor of a braindead concept for a new console. And even if Nintendo did that, Switch's third party support is going to mitigate the damage that Nintendo can do to Switch.

  • +3
HylianSwordsman RolStoppable (on 26 September 2018)

Rol's probably right, but only if the release of PS5 and Xbox Scarlett don't make Nintendo feel rushed to release a successor. Signs point to Scarlett being holiday 2020, and PS5 probably won't be earlier but almost certainly won't be much later than that. If Switch 2 releases March 2021 or holiday 2021, Switch 1 only gets 4-4.5 years before its successor arrives, which would be around what Wii U got, but Switch deserves more than that, and will need more than that to surpass the original Wii in sales. If Switch 2.0 doesn't come until 2022 or 23, third parties will leave Switch 1.0 in the meantime for the PS5 and Scarlett unless the Switch gets a hardware update like PS4 Pro or XB1X. And if the Switch Pro wants to stay relevant during the 9th gen until its successor arrives, it would have to be one hell of an upgrade, pushing the system at the very least above the original PS4 and XBO, if not close to their upgrades.

If it does get such an upgrade, there's still the issue of price. People won't pay $300 or more for an upgrade, not in enough number to stay relevant, I don't think. What Nintendo should go for instead, if possible, is some kind of add on, like perhaps an upgraded dock, that would boost the console further than the current one when in docked mode. It'd lose the portability bonus, but might not need it since this boost would be expressly to allow it to stay relevant with home console experiences. Selling the upgraded dock both with and without system would allow new users to get in at the higher level and old users to upgrade on the cheap. Alternatively, they could make an upgraded tablet that fit into the old dock, so that only the tablet is upgraded, which would keep the portability bonus, but be more expensive than a dock upgrade. Or they could release an upgrade for both, but sell them separately, fitting in nicely with the Switch's multiple form factor theme. Can't upgrade both? Upgrade the form, portable or docked, that you use more! They'd have to make both upgrades boost about the same though, which might be hard.

Then when Switch's successor released, it should be backward compatible, and development could continue for games for the Switch Pro that would also give the Switch 2 more games to play. Since 3rd parties release cross gen games a few years after the start of a gen, Switch Pro should get most of the last gen versions that the PS4 Pro and XB1X get. They aren't very justified now, but when 9th gen releases, the Pro upgrade systems will probably get lots of games that the original systems can't play, which will give gamers on a budget plenty of reason to buy them. With a Switch Pro, Switch's later years could then help push it past Wii with its dud years after 2011.

  • -4
RolStoppable RolStoppable (on 26 September 2018)

HylianSwordsman, that's the biggest hogwash I've read all day. You are arguing under the premise that Switch sells because of AAA third party games, so third party support for Switch would be in peril once more powerful PS and Xbox consoles arrive.

Newsflash: Switch is not selling because of AAA third party games. The vast majority of AAA third party games are already not coming to Switch now, so what difference will it make when the vast majority of them will not come to Switch later?

You are engaging in hypotheticals that have no basis in reality, so sleep a day over it and sober up.

  • +4
HylianSwordsman RolStoppable (on 26 September 2018)

First, you said yourself that Wii was hated by third parties and that Switch has already nearly outpaced Wii's third party support lifetime by year 2. So clearly you acknowledged that it is helping. Second, Nintendo wants to build third party support and to sell Switch to both consumers and developers as a console for more than just Nintendo games, so they would feel pressure to keep up. Third, no need to be so hostile, because as I said, I agree with you, I just think momentum will shift a bit in 2020ish when the next consoles release and that to keep momentum on their side for a few more years to give Switch owners a console lifespan they deserve, a mid-gen hardware upgrade would really help Switch. I'm not saying Switch is going to do terrible, I just think Nintendo should consider these things.

Do you really think that if Nintendo releases a successor in 2020 alongside Xbox and PS5, thus giving Switch only 3.5 years, that it will sell 100+million? Or even 2021 for that matter? It needs to last until 2023 to give it a fair number of years to rack up that level of sales. It obviously doesn't need every 3rd party AAA release, hell it doesn't even get that now, but an upgrade would help it get some. Without an upgrade, it'll only get indies. Switch's success isn't all BotW and Odyssey. Do you actively want Nintendo to lose AAA 3rd party support? Like I don't care if we lose CoD or EA games, but we finally got Bethesda, and that's pretty nice IMO. Plenty of people want to be able to play home console sorts of experiences on the go, that's the magic of the Switch. They want pretty much every game to come to Switch, not just Nintendo games. If Nintendo games were all that mattered, Wii U should have done at least a little better. It's failure wasn't all marketing and non-portability.

  • -3
Bofferbrauer2 RolStoppable (on 27 September 2018)

Why would Nintendo release a successor in 2021? That really makes no sense whatsoever. I could see them bringing an upgrade (similar to the New 3DS line) somewhere in between 2019-2021, but no successor anytime soon.

While 3rd party support certainly helps the Switch, what you and Rol seem to disagree with is how important the AAA publisher support really is. And here I'm on Rol's side; it helps but isn't crucial for the Switch' success.

Plus, an hardware upgrade could bring the Switch to around XBO S power. Since both this Gen and next gen of Sony and Microsoft will build on X86 architecture, I'm also sure that the current gen will be supported by third party devs for quite some time - and the Switch along with it.

A successor to the Switch I wouldn't expect before 2023-2025, by then the 100M mark is most possibly passed

  • -3
The_Liquid_Laser RolStoppable (on 27 September 2018)

Finally someone who will tell it like it is. RolStoppable is right. The Switch and the Wii are on two very different trajectories. The Switch's best years are still in the future, because third parties are going to support it so much better than the Wii.

I mean, the Wii actually did have a lot of third party games, but even the developers that embraced the concept were very much making "trial and error" games. They were trying to sell to a new type of gamer that didn't buy traditional games for the core gamer. The Wii launched with both Wii Sports and Twilight Princess, but Wii Sports was really the defining game for the whole console, and Twilight Princess style games were an afterthought.

On the other hand, the Switch launched with both Breath of the Wild and 1-2 Switch. Zelda was the defining game this time around. The Switch is meant for core gamers this time. Third party developers are going to have an easier time selling to these gamers, because they are core gamers who want the same type of games that developers are already making.

Already we have third party games like Skyrim, FIFA, and Octopath Traveler that have passed the million mark. Developers have a lot of confidence about bringing their games to the Switch, while with the Wii they had hesitation and confusion.

  • -1
RolStoppable RolStoppable (on 27 September 2018)

HylianSwordsman, there's a significant difference between overall third party support and AAA third party games. The latter aren't more than an afterthought, so they don't play an important role in the Switch's success; whether they are there or not has very little relevance. Furthermore, if you look beyond AAA third party games, there aren't only indie titles left. Much of Japan's developer and publisher scene sits inbetween AAA and indies, and their support for Switch isn't going to change with new PS and Xbox consoles coming up, because those consoles can't compete with Switch in the Japanese market.

The reason for my hostility towards you is that treating your arguments with respect could make you believe that you have decent points when you really don't with your equivalent of 2+2=7.

Your whole line of processing power thinking creates one stupid point after another. Why would I expect a Switch successor in 2020 or 2021 when power has so little relevance? Besides, what would a more powerful Switch accomplish? Third parties who look at the current Switch as not powerful enough aren't going to look at a Switch upgrade - which starts with an installed base of 0 - as a platform they should include for multiplatform titles. All a mid-gen upgrade would accomplish is a split of the userbase while the games the mid-gen upgrade is supposed to attract won't be made.

It's your line of thinking that results in a console like Wii U, because you put AAA third party games on the pedestal of utmost importance despite all sales data proving otherwise. Browse through the sales data of Nintendo consoles on this website; you'll learn more that way than going with the conventional wisdom of gaming forums. It was that conventional wisdom that made it a safe prediction that Switch would be a failure because of the lack of AAA third party games. Back then I didn't treat those people's arguments with respect either, and today the benefit of hindsight allows everyone to conclude that yes, those people weren't deserving of respect because they didn't respect facts (the sales data).

User was banned for this post. ~ Pemalite.

  • +5
HylianSwordsman RolStoppable (on 27 September 2018)

Whatever man, I hope you're right. I'm rooting for you to be right. You don't have to act so nasty in making your points.

  • +4
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Jumpin RolStoppable (on 30 September 2018)

Hindsight is 20/20 - But Nintendo would have mitigated the financial woes of three disastrous years if they supported the Wii a couple of extra years with strong first party support, and didn’t hamstring their Wii Channels and programs starting 2011. I liked the Wii, they had a good thing going - but trying to repeat some of the Wii stuff with the Wii U was a big mistake. The Wii was quick, sleek, and sexy. Few people wanted to “upgrade” their experience to an uglier, slower, convoluted Wii U: which is why a dead Wii continued to crush it with back catalogue sales for years - despite near dead software support. The Wii’s consumer support seemed to finally die around the same time the Wii U did. As much as Wii seemed to fall off a cliff in 2011, the hardware sales from 2011 to present were still superior to the entire life of the Wii U - and software sales from 2011 onward were 350 million+ a full third of Wii’s software sales were in its dying period. Wii U crawled past the 90 million mark lifetime. With Nintendo skipping Wii U and pumping out some more Wii software instead, launching XCX on Switch instead, with 3D World and NSMB U being NSMB Wii 2 - Nintendo probably would have seen significantly more success.

  • 0
TheBraveGallade (on 26 September 2018)

That holiday gap is the main reason. Switch may come close this holiday...

  • +4
Ljink96 (on 26 September 2018)

Here's the thing about the Wii and Switch. While the Wii is sprinting, the Switch is ultimately going to run a marathon. The Wii eventually fell of a cliff, but I think the Switch will continue to sell strongly well after it is fully supported.

  • +2
Ganoncrotch Ljink96 (on 28 September 2018)

very good way to look at it, Wii came out the gate so fast it took everyone including Nintendo by surprise, I think scalpers made almost as much off Nintendo in the early months reselling the systems on ebay,.

  • +1
xMetroid (on 26 September 2018)

Holidays are coming for Switch, it wont catch up but the gap will close significantly for sure. But there is still possibilites of Switch beating the Wii in the end since it will most likely have longer legs from being handheld.

  • +2
Mnementh (on 26 September 2018)

Woah, Wii was such a monster. It's strange. Switch holds well up against 3DS, although 3DS has new model, price-cut, but fails to keep up with the Wii. Eventually Wii sales will dwindle, but how strong could that have been, if Nintendo hadn't abandon support for the Wii in the midst of it's life. How far could the Wii have gone?

  • +1
siebensus4 Mnementh (on 26 September 2018)

I think the Wii would have sold at least the lifetime sales of Wii U if it would have been supported one or two years longer. It's a tragedy.

  • 0
gemini_d@rk (on 26 September 2018)

Wii was such a huge paradigm break that it practically created a market for itself with a lot of innovation, with very low prices as well.
Switch is the successor to 3ds for portable games and heir to the fans of the late wii u, which were not many. It's a much smaller market.

  • +1
Marth (on 26 September 2018)

The Wii was such a monster.

  • +1
Ganoncrotch Marth (on 28 September 2018)

considering what its rivals were (ps3/x360) and it was pretty much an overclocked GC without any HD abilities it's amazing how well the system did.

  • 0
CaptainExplosion (on 26 September 2018)

I knew the Wii was hard to beat, but wow!!

  • +1
Kristof81 (on 27 September 2018)

Sorry guys, but Switch won't overtake Wii any time soon, if ever. Even if, all of the sudden, we start to see DS-like numbers, with the average of around 400,000 per normal week and over 1M/w throughout the holiday season, the Switch is still going to trail behind Wii for at another 1.5 - 2 years, and honestly, I don't see that coming.

  • 0
Bofferbrauer2 Kristof81 (on 27 September 2018)

Catching up with the Wii now is pretty much impossible. In 3 years however, I'd say the trend will start to Switch, similar to how the PS4 did

  • 0
S.Peelman (on 27 September 2018)

Gap change 4.1m, lol.

  • 0
siebensus4 (on 26 September 2018)

Wii sold around 300k every week the first years. Sure, holidays are coming for Switch, but I think Wii will still lead on month 24.

  • 0