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Nintendo Switch Outsells Game Boy Worldwide

Nintendo Switch Outsells Game Boy Worldwide - Sales

by William D'Angelo , posted on 03 January 2023 / 33,654 Views

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

The Switch sold an estimated 872,694 units for the week ending December 10, 2022 to bring its lifetime sales to 118.99 million units. This compares to the Game Boy with sales of 118.69 million units lifetime. The figure for the Switch includes the combined sales of the original Switch model, the Switch Lite, and Switch OLED.

Nintendo's hybrid console has now become the third best-selling video game platform of all time. Next up is the Nintendo DS with 154.02 million units sold lifetime. The Switch is 35.03 million units behind the Nintendo DS.

Nintendo Switch Outsells Game Boy Worldwide

Breaking down the sales of the Switch by region, it has sold an estimated 42.95 million units in North America, 30.15 million units in Europe, 27.44 million units in Japan, and 18.45 million units in the rest of the world.

This compares to the Game Boy, which sold 43.18 million units in North America, 40.05 million units in Europe, 32.47 million units in Japan, and 2.99 million units in the rest of the world.

Breaking down sales of the Switch in Europe even further, it has sold 5.93 million units in the UK, 6.90 million in France, and 6.00 million in Germany.

Shipment figures for the Nintendo Switch reached 114.33 million units as of September 30, 2022, while 917,59 million Switch games had been shipped lifetime.

Here is a list of the top 10 best-selling Nintendo Switch games, according to Nintendo's shipment figures through September 30, 2022:

  1. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – 48.41 million
  2. Animal Crossing: New Horizons – 40.17 million
  3. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate – 29.53 million
  4. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – 27.79 million
  5. Pokemon Sword / Pokemon Shield – 25.37 million
  6. Super Mario Odyssey – 24.40 million
  7. Super Mario Party – 18.35 million
  8. Pokemon Brilliant Diamond / Pokemon Shining Pearl – 14.92 million
  9. Ring Fit Adventure – 14.87 million
  10. Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! / Pokemon: Let’s Go, Eevee! – 14.81 million

The Switch launched worldwide on March 3, 2017, while the Game Boy released in Japan on April 21, 1989, in North America on July 31, 1989, and in Europe on September 28, 1990. The Game Boy was discontinued on March 23, 2003.


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 and taking over the hardware estimates in 2017. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel. You can contact the author on Twitter @TrunksWD.


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26 Comments
Blakeava1821 (on 03 January 2023)

Now can we have Gameboy/Gameboy Color Games for Nintendo Switch Online

  • +14
SanAndreasX Blakeava1821 (on 03 January 2023)

The Switch already has the Final Fantasy Legend games, FF Adventure, and a lot of Konami GB games on it. I'd love to be able to play Kid Icarus GB on it. Still hoping that the Oracle games get the Link's Awakening remake treatment.

  • +4
Jumpin SanAndreasX (on 03 January 2023)

And they’re great!
Well, some younger gamers might think they’re insane.

  • +7
Kakadu18 SanAndreasX (on 03 January 2023)

The first Shantae game, originally a Gameboy Color game is also on Switch.

  • +4
2zosteven (on 03 January 2023)

decades later and more competition, great job!

look at those top 10 game sales numbers, WOW

  • +13
Chicho 2zosteven (on 04 January 2023)
                              TOP 20


1 Mario Kart 8 Deluxe 48.41 
2 Animal Crossing: New Horizons 40.17 
3 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 29.53 
4 The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 27.79 
5 Pokémon Sword and Shield 25.37 
6 Super Mario Odyssey 24.40 
7 Super Mario Party 18.35 
8 Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl 14.92 
9 Ring Fit Adventure 14.87 
10 Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! 14.81 
11 Pokémon Legends: Arceus 13.91 
12 New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe
13 Splatoon 2 13.30 
14 Luigi's Mansion 3 11.43 
15 Pokémon Scarlet and Violet 10 
16 Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury 9.43 
17 Super Mario 3D All-Stars 9.07 
18 Mario Party Superstars 8.07 
19 Splatoon 3 7.90 
20 Super Mario Maker 2 7.89 

  • +5
2zosteven Chicho (on 05 January 2023)

And all 1st party!

  • 0
Mnementh (on 03 January 2023)

Congratz for another milestone taken. Not many left by now.

  • +12
SanAndreasX Mnementh (on 03 January 2023)

It will be over 120 million by the time data for the remainder of the year become available.

  • +7
SanAndreasX (on 03 January 2023)

The Switch will be remembered as one of the GOATs. It's my favorite video game system of all time, that's for sure. And it's still going strong despite a challenging competitive environment.

  • +10
SvenTheTurkey SanAndreasX (on 04 January 2023)

Hopefully it won't stay your favorite. Backwards compatible switch 2? Yes please.

  • +7
Darwinianevolution (on 03 January 2023)

Only the DS and the PS2 left now. Let's see if it can pull it off.

  • +10

When the Switch came out, people seemed to think it would be lucky to make 3DS sales levels, and nobody thought it would beat the PS4. Now we're talking about it taking on the PS2.

  • +10
scrapking SanAndreasX (on 04 January 2023)

The Switch's success is particularly impressive because, unlike the GB, it didn't have a more powerful mid-gen refresh. The GBC significantly extended the GB's lifespan, IMO.

And it was so much better, and had enough GBC-only software support, that it honestly should be considered its own system IMO, but that's just me. :)

  • 0
Sogreblute scrapking (on 04 January 2023)

Pokemon is the main reason the GB life was so long. GBC played a part, but Pokemon was the main reason it lasted so long.

  • +7
javi741 Sogreblute (on 06 January 2023)

We can't completely underestimate how much of an impact the GBC had on extending the lifetime of the GB. The GBC was such a significant upgrade over the Gameboy with a color screen, better hardware, better design, and 70% of games released for the GBC were exclusive only to the GBC, forcing many people to upgrade as if the GBC was a successor. In my personal opinion the GBC was a successor to the OG GB even if Nintendo said its just a mid gen refresh, its difficult for me to call a console that had 70% of games released for it being exclusive to only the GBC as well as notocably better hardware with the color screen as just a mid-gen refresh. The GBC was a huge reason the GB and GBC lasted as long as it did, Pokemon of course was also big.

  • +2
scrapking javi741 (on 06 January 2023)

I feel exactly the same as you. The Game Boy Color was both a dramatically better handheld, and had significant software support (over 500 commercially licensed "Only for Game Boy Colour" games).

Ditto the Nintendo DSi which had 661 DSi-specific titles released on DSiWare, plus a handful at retail too.

The PS4 Pro and Xbox One X have absolutely no commercial software written exclusively for them, in contrast.

I can at least see the argument for the New 3DS being called a mid-gen refresh, though, as its software support was so limited (7 commercially released New 3DS-only games). But with the Game Boy Color and the DSi, I don't see that argument at all.

All counts of software releases above are from Wikipedia, FYI.

  • +1
SanAndreasX scrapking (on 05 January 2023)

Pokemon ignited Game Boy sales big-time. Its impact on the industry at the time cannot be overstated.

  • +3
Majora (on 03 January 2023)

Between the Switch and PS4 I’ve never been in love with gaming as much as I am now! Both incredible consoles with incredible games. Throughly well deserved of high sales and high praise, both.

  • +8
siebensus4 (on 03 January 2023)

So GameBoy needed about 14 years and Switch less than 6 years for the same sales.

  • +4
xMetroid (on 04 January 2023)

Zelda sitting higher than pokemon feels RIGHT. S/V might beat it but i think it will be frontloaded so we'll see. Think it will have a boost once ToTK gets out.
They just really got their software right this gen. A lot of variety in there.

  • +2
progstarmac (on 07 January 2023)

Switch: On its way to become the most sold console in history.

  • 0
CourageTCD (on 03 January 2023)

Why wasn't the PS2 mentioned in the article?

  • 0
Medisti CourageTCD (on 03 January 2023)

I believe that's because the PS2 is ahead of the DS. DS would be the next milestone, and then PS2 after.

  • +3
CourageTCD Medisti (on 04 January 2023)

But in every outselling article, the two next consoles ahead of the analyzed console are mentioned. For exemple, when the Switch outsold the PS1, the PS4 and the Gameboy was mentioned, and when the Switch outsold the PS4, the Gameboy and the DS was mentioned.

  • +1