The GameCube may have had Link and Mario, but the Switch has those, too — plus Doom, Skyrim, and a thriving indie gaming scene. Nintendo’s new embrace of third-party titles, plus the hybrid console’s go-anywhere versatility, has just helped the Switch surpass the GameCube in all-time sales — a feat it’s managed to accomplish in less than half the time.
Despite having been on the market for only 18 months, the Switch already has sold 22.86 million units, surging ahead of the 21.74 million units the GameCube managed to sell over the course of its entire six-year lifespan, according to new sales data from Nintendo.
After 1-upping the lifetime sales of its immediate predecessor, the Wii U, earlier this year, the Switch now has its sights set on the ultimate high score: eclipsing the phenomenal sales of the original Wii — by far Nintendo’s biggest console success story since the 16-bit days.
Even though the Wii became a pop culture sensation and struck a chord with casual, non-gaming fans, the Switch may just be poised to give it a run for its money. Lifetime sales numbers for the Switch are nipping close on the Wii’s heels: It’s only about 1.5 million units shy of the Wii’s same-period total of 24.45 million.
And with a strong roster of games on both the near and far horizon, the Switch may eventually find its way into a record-setting number of hands. Upcoming big Switch releases include Diablo 3 (Nov. 2), Pokémon Let's Go! Pikachu and Eevee (Nov. 16), Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Dec. 7), and, farther into the future, Bayonetta 3, Luigi's Mansion 3, and — perhaps the biggest of all — Metroid Prime 4.