Nintendo Switch overtakes Game Boy as third best-selling console ever

Supply chain shortages are the only thing stopping the Nintendo Switch from becoming the most popular console worldwide.

According to data released by VGChartz, the Nintendo Switch has outsold the lifetime sales worldwide of the Game Boy.

oled nintendo switch
The OLED version of the Nintendo Switch provides the best experience

With the Switch selling an estimated 872,694 units during the week ending on December 10, the total number of devices sold has reached 119 million. And we can only expect those numbers to keep climbing in the next report as the holiday season is breezing past us at the moment. While this figure includes the combined sales of the original Switch model, Switch Lite, and Switch OLED, as well as other Switch variants, it's still more than the Game Boy, which sits at 118.69 million total units sold worldwide.

Heading into this year, the Nintendo Switch will celebrate its sixth birthday. Despite rumors of what’s to follow, the newest Nintendo console refuses to slow down. Market interest and demand have always been here, as evidenced by the Nintendo Switch overtaking the PS4 as the fourth best-selling console a few months ago.

While the Switch has been overtaking consoles left and right, the main factor preventing it from soaring to the top spot isn’t in Nintendo’s control. Nearly half of its lifetime has been riddled with supply chain disruptions, with the Covid-19 pandemic hindering society for a third year. Even before that, the crypto market pushed chip and GPU production to its limits, raising prices alongside ‌demand.

game boy evolution
Game Boy evolution

With a small but smart marketing trick, the Switch has managed to become the best-selling console in the United Kingdom last year. Bundling the Nintendo Switch OLED with a game for £299.99 gave them just the boost they needed to overtake the PS5 in yearly sales. Being a hybrid console certainly helps but the Switch is still a long way before it can climb up even further.

The Nintendo DS family sits at 154.02 million lifetime sales as the second most-sold console of all time. The gap is even wider between the Switch and Sony’s PlayStation 2 masterpiece in lifetime sales. With more than 159 million units sold all time, it's a steep climb to the top, hampered by competition and supply chains.

It's believed we're still a few years removed from the next Nintendo console but the recent rumors suggest that Nintendo might have changed its original plans midway.

Regardless of what direction Nintendo chooses to move towards, the Switch will continue to sell out at a record-breaking pace, even if a new hardware announcement puts buyers in waiting mode.

Scott Kostov

A passion for writing and gaming has propelled Scott down the path of content creation. When he isn't scouring every known source on the internet for information, he's a track addict vibing to music in the countryside of sunny Macedonia. Link up with Scott on Twitter and Steam.