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Nintendo Financial Update - Nintendo Switch beats lifetime sales of Game Boy and PS4, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet sell over 20 million copies combined

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  • Staff
Between all the sales worldwide for Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas, Boxing Day, and New Year's, the October-December quarter is a big one for any business dealing with consumer products, and Nintendo is once again no exception to that. While Nintendo's latest quarterly investor report has revealed the company has generated significantly less profit in 2022 compared to the performance of the previous year, the report also highlights several significant milestones set during this last quarter for the Nintendo Switch, and for the Pokémon Franchise.

As of the end of December 2022, the Nintendo Switch has now sold a total of 122.55 million consoles (combined between the original, revised, Lite, and OLED models), bringing it over the lifetime sales of both the Game Boy (including all variants up to the Game Boy Color), and Sony's Playstation 4. Only this time last year, we were reporting how the console had outsold the Wii, becoming Nintendo's highest selling home console. Though the console's sales over the past year were lower than estimates, the reports specifically note this was due to a shortage of semiconductors and other component supplies that impacted production until late in the northern hemisphere summer. Nintendo has further reduced their sales forecasts for Nintendo Switch consoles down for the coming year to 18 million units, however if the Switch can maintain this level of momentum, then the console is still in with a shot to outsell the Nintendo DS's 154.02 million units by the time a successsor console is announced.

In software sales news, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet have sold a combined 20.61 million units worldwide, with 18.2 million of those coming in the 6 weeks between their release on November 18th and the end of December. When they first released, these titles set records as the fastest selling titles for a Nintendo console of all time, with more than 10 million sales within the first three days on the market. The titles apparently also performed quite strongly in terms of digital downloads, however the exact breakdown of physical vs. digital sales was not given.

The financial reports sadly do not elaborate on the current sales totals for Pokémon Sword and Shield, however considering that this time last year Pokémon Sword and Shield had only just reached 23.9 million sales, it seems quite likely that Pokémon Scarlet and Violet could outstrip both them and Pokémon Gold and Silver (which sold approximately 23.7 million copies) in lifetime sales by the end of 2023, particularly if and when Game Freak release patches for various bugs and graphical issues that have plagued the game since launch. Only time will tell if these games can topple the original Pokémon Red, Blue, and Green, which sold roughly 31.05 million copies in the original Game Boy release, from their position at the top selling Pokémon titles of all time.

The investor report also provides us with an update on sales totals for Pokémon Legends: Arceus. According to the brief sales summary, Pokémon Legends: Arceus sold 2.4 million copies between April 2022 and the end of December, bringing it up to a total of 14.63 million copies sold. Considering how little promotion this game has received since launch, in favour of the big promotional push for Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, this is quite a respectable result, though it does leave us personally wishing that more Pokémon fans had given the game a shot, particularly those lapsed fans who may have only returned to the franchise with the latest generation.


Within the span of a month, SV has already outsold practically 90% of the other games in the series (only exceptions are RB, GS and SWSH) in their lifetimes.

Absolutely insane
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