Nintendo Switch Outsells SNES Worldwide

Nintendo Switch Outsells SNES Worldwide - Sales

by William D'Angelo , posted on 02 February 2020 / 11,858 Views

The Nintendo Switch has outsold the lifetime worldwide sales of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), according to our estimates.

The Nintendo Switch sold 961,543 units for the week ending December 28, 2019 to bring its lifetime sales to 49.79 million units worldwide. This compares to the SNES with lifetime sales of 49.10 million units. 

Breaking down the Switch sales by region, it has sold 17.33 million units in the US, 13.22 million units in Europe, and 11.62 million units in Japan. Breaking down sales in Europe, the Switch has sold 2.48 million units in the UK, 2.53 million units in Germany, and 3.33 million units in France.

Nintendo Switch Outsells SNES Worldwide

Up next for the Nintendo Switch to surpass is the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) with lifetime sales of 61.91 million units. The Switch is a little over 12 million units behind the lifetime sales of the NES.

Here is a list of the top 10 best-selling Nintendo Switch games, according to Nintendo's shipment figures through September 30, 2019:

  1. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – 19.01 million
  2. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate – 15.71 million
  3. Super Mario Odyssey – 15.38 million
  4. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – 14.54 million
  5. Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! / Pokemon: Let’s Go, Eevee! – 11.28 million
  6. Splatoon 2 – 9.28 million
  7. Super Mario Party – 7.59 million
  8. Pokemon Sword / Shield - 6 million*
  9. New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe – 4.59 million
  10. Super Mario Maker 2 – 3.93 million
*Figure from Nintendo for the launch week of Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield (NS).

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 wdangelo@vgchartz.com or on Twitter @TrunksWD.


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16 Comments

icykai (on 02 January 2020)

What's the fastest console/handheld to 50mil, is there a list?


Gemmol31 (on 02 January 2020)

Most likely the Switch, it's ahead of ps4 if you align the data and with the sales it did this holiday but gave itself a bigger lead for ps4 to catch up

Switch a console well Nintendo call it hybrid console So when they compare it sales they compare it against with only other consoles Just like NPD, media create, Famitsu and the people who compare sales outside of America

If you want to compare it with handheld You will have to wait for VGChartz but I will throw out a guess I think Nintendo DS that handheld system sold 150 million systems and it did not slow down as fast as Wii


  • +3
S.Peelman (on 02 January 2020)

For consoles probably Wii, handheld either DS or GBA.


  • +2
icykai (on 02 January 2020)

I thought it's better to make a list of fastest gaming platforms to 50 mil instead of comparing it to either handheld or consoles.

I also think that Wii and DS are the fastest in their categories.


  • +3
HylianSwordsman (on 01 January 2020)

I can't wait to see the updated software sales. We should be adding at least 2, if not 3 new 10+ million sellers, and at least 1 if not more 20 million sellers. And I'm quite interested to see how Mario Maker 2 fared, that's a bit of a wild card. I also just want to see how Fire Emblem did, since it probably past Fates and might end up as the series' first 5+ million seller. Then there's Ring Fit, which is another wild card.


ireadtabloids (on 01 January 2020)

Mario Kart and Smash Bros will both crack 20 million. Splatoon 2 should crack 10 million, with strong sales in Japan getting it over the line. Sword/Shield will obviously end up outselling Lets Go very soon. Super Mario Party and Mario Maker 2 won't crack 10 million, but have done well. Ring Fit has been successful, but not mega successful. I can't see it cracking 5 million copies unless they find a way to give it a price cut.


  • 0
ireadtabloids (on 01 January 2020)

I'm expecting Animal Crossing to outsell Lets Go in the long run. It's a good chance to sell 4 million copies in Japan alone.


  • +1
Gemmol31 (on 02 January 2020)

It's insane Nintendo about to have two 20 million sellers how much do Sony have ?


  • +2
trunkswd (on 01 January 2020)

When do you all think the Switch will outsell the NES? It is currently a little over 12 million behind.


yo33331 (on 01 January 2020)

with switch just reaching barely 10M in around october of last year, and with some higher sales this year maybe not before again september or october.


  • +4
alan95 (on 01 January 2020)

By black friday for sure. It could do it sooner if the switch has a good Q1-3. Animal Crossing will help as a system seller but nintendo will need more to crack 12 mil before the holiday sales boost. Hopefully there will be a nintendo direct soon with release dates for more 2020 games, so of which can help promote hardware sales.


  • +5
HylianSwordsman (on 01 January 2020)

Depends if Switch peaked this past year or not. If it did, it'll pass during the holiday season. If the peak is this year or later, Switch will manage it in October probably, maybe September if Animal Crossing does really well and a few other good titles pop up in Nintendo Directs to release before then.


  • +4
ireadtabloids (on 01 January 2020)

November seems likely. Animal Crossing will be a big hardware mover, especially in Japan. However Switch hardware doesn't seem to move massive units until the November-December period.


  • 0
Slownenberg (on 01 January 2020)

I'd guess between Oct 15 and Nov 15th


  • 0
S.Peelman (on 02 January 2020)

I'm thinking at Black Friday


  • 0
Nu-13 (on 02 January 2020)

September 2020.


  • +2