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Nintendo Switch Outsells Game Boy Advance

Nintendo Switch Outsells Game Boy Advance - Sales

by William D'Angelo , posted on 02 July 2021 / 4,883 Views

The Nintendo Switch has outsold the lifetime sales of the Nintendo Game Boy Advance (GBA), according to VGChartz estimates. 

The Switch sold 474,488 units for the week ending March 20, 2021 to bring its lifetime sales to 81.69 million units. This compares to the GBA with sales of 81.51 million units. The figure for the Switch includes the combined sales of the original Switch model and the Switch Lite.

Nintendo's hybrid console has now become the ninth best-selling video game platform of all time. Next up is the Xbox 360 at 85.80 million units, the PlayStation 3 at 87.4 million units, and the Nintendo Wii at 101.63 million units.

The Switch is 4.11 million units away from outselling the Xbox 360, 5.71 million units from the PlayStation 3, and 19.94 million units away from the Nintendo Wii.

Nintendo Switch Outsells Game Boy Advance

Breaking down the sales of the Switch, it has sold 27.85 million units in the US, 21.37 million units in Europe, and 18.88 million units in Japan.

The Switch launched worldwide on March 3, 2017, while the PSP launched in Japan on December 12, 2004, in North America on March 24, 2005, and in Europe on September 1, 2005. 


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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23 Comments
SanAndreasX (on 03 April 2021)

Next up: the 360.

  • +9
curl-6 (on 02 April 2021)

Outsells the 9th highest selling of all time in barely over 4 years on the market. Switch takes no prisoners.

  • +9
INCITATUSBR (on 02 April 2021)

top 3 is guaranteed.

  • +8
SvenTheTurkey INCITATUSBR (on 02 April 2021)

Only like 120 million to make top 3 right? So yeah. By the end of 2022 it will be that high.

  • +2
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Jumpin INCITATUSBR (on 04 April 2021)

I'd say it'll almost certainly get ahead of the Wii, I'm hesitant to say it'll become the best selling of all time because we have no idea when Switch 2 will come out. Nintendo could drop the announcement this year and release it in the autumn 2021 or winter 2022. For Nintendo, their priority is not going to necessarily be Switch 1 highest selling system in history, but expanding their userbase as much as possible every year - especially if Switch 2 is an iterative expansion in the Switch family instead of the usual burn the old platform down and bring in something different.

  • +1
javi741 (on 03 April 2021)

Whats crazy is that the Switch outsold the GBA pretty much on the same week as its 20th year anniversary on March 21st 2001.

  • +6
SvenTheTurkey javi741 (on 03 April 2021)

Oh yeah. Poor GBA. The switch had to crash its birthday party.

  • +5
JWeinCom (on 02 April 2021)

Wonder what launch aligned sales were. GBA was kind of cut down in it's prime. Nintendo claimed the DS was a "third pillar" but they dropped support for the GBA pretty much right after. Honestly a bit strange in retrospect since the GBA sold really well. Wonder what numbers it could have put up if they kept supporting it till 2006 or so.

  • +5
SvenTheTurkey JWeinCom (on 02 April 2021)

I think minish cap came out after the ds. But yeah, not a lot of support. Once the ds caught on, the gba was being phased out.

  • +1
Kakadu18 JWeinCom (on 02 April 2021)

The GBA still sold pretty good before the DS Lite released, but then it was dead for good.
That short life makes it's sales even more impressive. Had Nintendo not released the DS in 2004 but instead 2006, the GBA would have guaranteed sold over 100mil.

  • +2
badskywalker JWeinCom (on 03 April 2021)

From what I've been able to find online, the fiscal year ending march 2005 (so roughly 4 years after the GBA had lanched in japan) The GBA had sold 15.55 million in Japan, 33.38 million in the Americas, and 17.87 in the others region. This bring us to a total of 66.8 million. Note I could be wrong about this as I found this in a forum, though their end numbers match that of nintendo, and these numbers were readily available on nintendo's website for a long time, though I can't find them anymore to double check them.

  • +4
badskywalker badskywalker (on 03 April 2021)

I found the sales numbers on a nintendo annual report (not the same as consildated unit sales reports) that had the GBA sales at 51.4 million as of March of 2004, so I feel like the 66.8 million estimate is correct, even if not having been stated in the 2005 annual report

  • +3
HigHurtenflurst badskywalker (on 03 April 2021)

I have found GBA WW figures by quarter catalogued here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1_ktRB2qmldCTsto2HFhGCK9V9W6D07RfaWlnfGYypCk/edit#gid=0
The yearly totals correspond to Nintendos historical data from here: https://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/en/finance/historical_data/index.html

So to compare with Switch, LTD at the end of Dec each year was:
GBA 2001 = 18,160 > 14,860 = NS 2017
GBA 2002 = 33,810 > 32,270 = NS 2018
GBA 2003 = 49,420 < 52,480 = NS 2019
GBA 2004 = 65,740 < 79,870 = NS 2020

GBA had an explosive start. (it got to 18m with less than 7 months on WW market, 10 months for Japan)

  • +4
Cerebralbore101 (on 03 April 2021)

120 million lifetime is an easy goal for them now!

  • +4
xMetroid Cerebralbore101 (on 03 April 2021)

Yea i mean it can easily do more than that. It is crushing the PS4 now and this one will end around 117 millions. With no price cut and a revision coming, the floor is probably 130 millions for it.

  • +1
LivncA_Dis3 (on 03 April 2021)

congrats ninty for doing an amazing accomplishment!

  • +4
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