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Switch vs 3DS and Wii U Sales Comparison - March 2021

Switch vs 3DS and Wii U Sales Comparison - March 2021 - Sales

by William D'Angelo , posted on 01 May 2021 / 2,463 Views

The VGChartz sales comparison series of articles are updated monthly and each one focuses on a different sales comparison using our estimated video game hardware figures. The charts include comparisons between the 7th generation and 8th generation platforms, as well as comparisons within the 8th generation. There are articles based on our worldwide estimates, as well as the US, Europe, and Japan.

This monthly series compares the aligned worldwide Nintendo Switch sales with the combined Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo Wii U sales.

Switch vs 3DS and Wii U Sales Comparison - March 2021

Switch vs 3DS and Wii U Sales Comparison - March 2021

Switch vs 3DS and Wii U Sales Comparison - March 2021

Switch Vs. 3DS and Wii U Global:

Gap change in latest month: 1,858,005 - Switch

Gap change over last 12 months: 17,546,212 - Switch

Total Lead: 19,098,145 - Switch

Switch Total Sales: 83,002,448

3DS and Wii U Total Sales: 63,904,303

March 2021 is the 49th month that the Nintendo Switch has been available for. During the latest month, the gap grew in favor of the Switch by 1.86 million units when compared to the combined sales of the 3DS and Wii U during the same timeframe. In the last 12 months, the gap has grown in favor of the Switch by 17.55 million units. The Switch leads by 19.10 million units.

The 3DS launched in February 2011 (however, 3DS sales have been aligned to March 2011, since it only launched at the end of February in Japan), the Wii U launched in November 2012, and the Nintendo Switch launched worldwide in March 2017. The holiday periods between the Switch and 3DS lineup, however, the Wii U holiday is offset from the Switch.

The 49th month for the Nintendo Switch is March 2021, for the Nintendo 3DS it is March 2015 and for the Wii U it is September 2016. The Switch has sold 83.00 million units, while the 3DS and Wii U have sold 63.91 million units during the same timeframe. The 3DS and Wii U did not reach current Switch sales until month 82.

The 3DS and Wii U have sold 89.49 million units lifetime. The Switch is 6.49 million units behind the 3DS and Wii U.


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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20 Comments
trunkswd (on 28 April 2021)

Switch will be passing the 3DS + Wii U, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in a relatively short span of time. After that is the Wii and PS1 at just over 100m each.

  • +15
eddy7eddy trunkswd (on 28 April 2021)

How do you know trunks?
You came from the future right!?

  • +5
I like Bacon trunkswd (on 29 April 2021)

lol You put Switch + Wii U instead of 3DS. How can Switch beat itself and Wii U combined? XP

  • 0
dmillos (on 28 April 2021)

I think the switch might be ready for a Switch vs (Wii + 3DS). Those two consoles sold 54M from year 5 onward. So the switch should be able to gain a lot of ground on them, it might even sell those 54M in 2 years. From then it needs to get over a 40M lead the two consoles have right now.

  • +8
SvenTheTurkey dmillos (on 28 April 2021)

Wii + 3ds might be a bit high. That's almost 180 million. I don't know of it would make for a very interesting comparison. I'd be floored if the switch sells that high. 160 million at the absolute most. The switch vs ds comparisons seems to fit the bill.

  • +4
trunkswd SvenTheTurkey (on 28 April 2021)

If Switch outsells the DS and is still selling a decent amount a Switch vs Wii + 3DS could happen. But no point in doing that yet when the Switch is tracking behind the DS slightly.

  • +7
SvenTheTurkey trunkswd (on 29 April 2021)

Right. I guess none of us really know what the switch will reach lifetime. But yes, no point in raising the bar until the bar is cleared.

  • 0
eddy7eddy dmillos (on 28 April 2021)

I would go with Switch VS PS3+XBox360.

  • +7
UnderwaterFunktown dmillos (on 29 April 2021)

Wii and 3DS are both pretty front loaded so I don't think that would be too interesting at this point. Maybe PS3+PSP if we want a home console + handheld combo.

  • +2
dmillos UnderwaterFunktown (on 29 April 2021)

Yes, both consoles are really front loaded, one idea I had for this was if the comparison is done starting from the launch of the wii in 2006 and then in year 6 (2011) you start adding the 3DS. this way the years will be nicely distributed.
To give an idea, the yearly of the combine consoles would be around:
(3M , 17M, 24M, 21M, 17M, 24M, 18M, 16M, 10M, 8M, 7M, 7M, 4M, 2M),
and this compares to the Switch:
( 13M, 16M, 19M, 28M.....)

This year the switch would be against the 17M, I think it will easily beat it, then next year it would be against the combined 24M, that would be a really nice race. After that, I do see the switch being able to battle the 18M,16M.....

  • 0
SKMBlake (on 28 April 2021)

Switch be like "Excuse-me, who even are you ?"

  • +2
Eagle367 (on 29 April 2021)

Can someone do a head to head of software sales of PS4 vs switch? Switch has sold 532mil+ till December and for PS4, that would be the equivalent of September 2017 but I can't find the numbers for that quarter. Since PS4 is the best selling console software wise, I think it would be cool to see how the switch is doing against that.

  • +1
Eagle367 Eagle367 (on 29 April 2021)

https://www.google.com/amp/s/blog.playstation.com/2018/08/09/introducing-the-500-million-limited-edition-ps4-pro-commemorating-500-million-systems-sold/amp/

Found this. Is the switch really a year ahead of the PS4 even in software sales? That is insane to think about. Switch might very well end up beating the PS4 on that front as well

  • 0
Kakadu18 Eagle367 (on 29 April 2021)

That article doesn't have anything to do with software. It's about PS having sold 500mil consoles since the PS1. Also Nintendo only reports packaged software sales numbers, that is software with a physical release. Digital only games are not included in that 532mil number. Sony does include digital only software in their numbers.

  • 0
Eagle367 Kakadu18 (on 29 April 2021)

Yeah I was tired when I posted that. Thanks for the clarification. But still that means I still wanna know how much of a fight it is between PS4 and switch. And damn if that's only packaged software. Even if only 30% is digital (it has to be closer to 40-50% right?), that's gonna make it more than 680mil. I wanna see this battle of software sales because they are way more important to a console's success from a profit standpoint. Can switch really get to more than 1.5billon?

  • 0
Kakadu18 Eagle367 (on 29 April 2021)

I think it can get to 1.5 billion, but it won't be easy. 1 billion is guaranteed though.

  • 0
Eagle367 Kakadu18 (on 29 April 2021)

Yup no question of a billion.

  • 0
RolStoppable Eagle367 (on 29 April 2021)

Sony didn't report PS4 software shipments right out of the gate, so any LTD figure won't be an exact value because it has to include an estimate for the early going. By September 2017 the PS4 had shipped ~590 million units of software. Back then Sony used to report in the same way as Nintendo, so only sales for games that were available in physical format; this means physical sales plus the respective digital versions of these games. Or in other words, it excludes sales of games that were only available in digital form. Since April 2019 Sony includes digital-only games in their software figures.

If you are curious about profits from software sales, Switch handily beats the PS4 despite lower software unit sales. The reasons for that are much higher first party software sales, first party software being sold at a higher average price over time, and a lot less moneyhats going to third parties for marketing rights and exclusivity in any form.

  • +2
Sogreblute Eagle367 (on 29 April 2021)

The problem with that is Nintendo doesn't include digital-only software in their total, while Sony does. So unless Nintendo starts including digital-only game sales it won't be a fair comparison.

  • 0
Eagle367 Sogreblute (on 29 April 2021)

Fair or not, we can extrapolate from what we get. Like of minty gets 1.4bil, it'll be safe to say it has beaten the PS4 overall.

  • +1