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Nintendo Crosses 700 Million Units of Hardware Sold

Oct 27, 2017
2,179
N64 was ridiculously popular in North America, even in the US, N64 vs PS1 was more like Genesis vs SNES than the total blowout it was in the rest of the world.
Yeah, the N64 was way more popular in my hometown than the PS1. I was really shocked when finding out years later that the PS1 outsold it 3:1.
 
Oct 27, 2017
4,752
Yeah, the N64 was way more popular in my hometown than the PS1. I was really shocked when finding out years later that the PS1 outsold it 3:1.
Now that I think about it, the hype around the N64 was off the charts. I think it had to do with Mario 64.

The PS1 just seemed to crush everything quietly. Like I had a Sega Saturn too. One day I look up and Sega is no more for consoles.

It's like Sony took Sega place and no one batted an eye.
 

McScroggz

The Fallen
Jan 11, 2018
1,897
I'm curious why Game and Watch was not included since it was hardware (going by the title). This would add another 43.4 million.
I suppose because those aren't platforms, but individual games tied to hardware. I don't know if there is a technical reason its not included tied to software attach rate or something along those lines. Seems reasonable not to include Game & Watch.
 
Oct 26, 2017
1,043
Panama
I know it's caused from bias based on my region (NA) and my age but my brain will never comprehend the NES being so much lower in sales than some other Nintendo systems. It was in like a third of homes here (according to books) and it seemed much more of a phenomenon than the 3DS.
the NES sold 34 million in America

in that regard the split was a lot more focused on one region which explains why there's so much nostalgia for it here. the only other Nintendo machines to beat this number in America are Wii and DS. none of the others came close in this region (mosta re just over 20 million like 3DS and N64).
 

GraveRobberX

Banned
Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,056
Still beating Sony by 202.35 million units...I wonder if that will ever change.
Yeah but how many year head start and different consoles...

I mean Sony has had roughly 6 total so far.
PS 1, 2, 3, 4. Then PSP, Vita (Vita TV included)

So not that much of a huge gap. That's still 5 consoles to match and Sony might over take, due to it selling roughly a good amount per console.

That Wii to Wii U is fucking jarring
 
Oct 27, 2017
103
Yeah but how many year head start and different consoles...

I mean Sony has had roughly 6 total so far.
PS 1, 2, 3, 4. Then PSP, Vita (Vita TV included)

So not that much of a huge gap. That's still 5 consoles to match and Sony might over take, due to it selling roughly a good amount per console.

That Wii to Wii U is fucking jarring
They had an 11 year head start, but Nintendo hardware has actually outsold Sony's since the latter entered the market.

A lot of that has to do with the very strong late-life sales of the Gameboy line, driven by Pokemon and the introduction of the new variants Gameboy Pocket, Light and Color, all of which released after the original PlayStation.

There's a great post on the old site showing a yearly breakdown of Nintendo's hardware shipments by platform and region, dating back to 1982, which illustrates this phenomenon. If you're interested Google "Nintendo historical shipment data" - it should be the first result. (Written, funnily enough, by the poster you were replying to)

And, yeah, Wii to Wii U is akin to the stock market crash of 1929.
 
Oct 28, 2017
1,003
I like how PlayStation announced a limited model to celebrate their 500 million sold console and the first reaction is: how much did my plastic sold? Better? Yes!! Let's make a thread and tell the people that my plastic is better.

Kinda weird.

Also Nintendo should focus on handhelds. The difference is enormous.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,094
Sydney
They had an 11 year head start, but Nintendo hardware has actually outsold Sony's since the latter entered the market.

A lot of that has to do with the very strong late-life sales of the Gameboy line, driven by Pokemon and the introduction of the new variants Gameboy Pocket, Light and Color, all of which released after the original PlayStation.
I remember reading an article in Edge or Next generation magazine in 1998 about how Nintendo had redirected almost all of their promotional effort away from the N64 and into re-launching the Game Boy and trying to make the Japanese hit Pocket Monsters into a hit worldwide. After Power Rangers and Tamagotchi success it seemed it could be the next big Japanese export to them. N64 was holding its own and it was seen as a huge risk by the commentators in the article.

Some similar stuff here:

Even so, there was initial skepticism on the part of many involved in the introduction of Pokemon, including Gail Tilden of Nintendo America: Even though everyone acknowledged that Pokemon was a "brilliant game design, we did not know how much of a mass market it would be." (Baylis, 1999 August 29). This doubt seems to be based on a general fear about cultural differences (Lee, 1998 August 28; Dominguez, 1999 March 10).). In respect to the television program, Grossfeld reportedly had some doubts given the failure of the Japanese show Sailor Moon (heavily edited) in the American market. (McFarland, April 11).

It is routine for video games first developed and introduced in the Japanese and Asian markets to eventually enter the American market. Because Pokemon was not merely a video game but a “cultural phenomenon,” its introduction needed to be planned extremely carefully. Major decisions about the phenomenon’s introduction were made as early as 1997. Concrete plans developed in the early months of 1998. For example, the vice editor and head of the Character Planning Department of Koro Koro Comics visited the U.S. several times to arrange the broadcast of Pokemon and to ensure that the terms of the contract with the American producers were being adhered to. He made sure, for example, that the translation and interpretation of the scenario correctly conveyed the Pokemon worldview. He also dealt with the issues of: how to translate the names of the 151 different pokemon types into English, choosing the voice actors, and the promotion of game-related products.

There are several issues that emerged that influenced the decision to adapt Pokemon to the American market.

  1. Video game genres. Sports games and action oriented games more popular than role-playing games. Baylis (1999 August 29).
  2. Game boy quality. "In a category driven by speed and lifelike graphics, Pokemon, a black and white game for the technologically obsolete Game Boy system didnít measure up." (Gellene, December 10
 

jts

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,548
It’s surprising but consoles are a business that have no clear pace leader that just runs away with it. Sony has a slight edge that wouldn’t even have if Wii U wasn’t a disaster, and even with it, at the rates we can observe, Sony wouldn’t be able to overtake Nintendo in our lifetimes or even in the lifetimes of most of our children. And 100+ year predictions just aren’t reliable because both the industry and society will suffer several transformations in that timeframe, and so will the selling rates. It would be an achievement in itself if either of these companies are still around or the console business as we know it.
 
Last edited:
Oct 27, 2017
1,161
Today it's revered, but back in the day it was frequently mocked and misunderstood for being "kiddie"...and PS2 + Xbox completely overshadowed it. Now that people have had 17 years to reflect, if Nintendo re-released the GameCube today as a GameCube Mini they could make a veritable fortune.
The First Party games alone would be enough to warrant a $99.99 purchase, just like in the good old days...
 
Oct 30, 2017
577
Look like someone can’t stand Sony 500 million celebration. Can’t we just be happy for both? And I mean Sony enter the market a lot later with less machine. Why someone even want to compare. It is ridiculous.
 

jts

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,548
Look like someone can’t stand Sony 500 million celebration. Can’t we just be happy for both? And I mean Sony enter the market a lot later with less machine. Why someone even want to compare. It is ridiculous.
Not anyone’s fault that they happen rather simultaneously. 700 million is a very significant milestone to achieve and celebrate. People can’t stand Sony’s 500m or is it Nintendo’s 700m?
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,094
Sydney
Not anyone’s fault that they happen rather simultaneously. 700 million is a very significant milestone to achieve and celebrate. People can’t stand Sony’s 500m or is it Nintendo’s 700m?
They didn't happen simultaneously. 700 million actually happened before the Switch was released. The article from the OP was way late on the milestone.

Look like someone can’t stand Sony 500 million celebration. Can’t we just be happy for both? And I mean Sony enter the market a lot later with less machine. Why someone even want to compare. It is ridiculous.
Read the thread before commenting. Nintendo has outsold Sony since Sony joined the market.
 
Jan 19, 2018
376
I like how PlayStation announced a limited model to celebrate their 500 million sold console and the first reaction is: how much did my plastic sold? Better? Yes!! Let's make a thread and tell the people that my plastic is better.

Kinda weird.

Also Nintendo should focus on handhelds. The difference is enormous.
The whole 500 million plastic sold celebration is meant to appeal to brand loyalists, so it's not weird to see a reaction like this. Did people not realize that console wars are basically marketing ploys? It's always "look at how superior our platform is" in the ads. It's not like Sony celebrated their numbers for no reason -- it's a calculated business move. People who say "you can't handle Sony's 500m" are falling for that trap hard. It's more weird to see people call out console warring, but do the exact same thing unknowingly. Both companies reached their achievements around the same time. That's all. Move on.
 
Oct 28, 2017
1,003
The whole 500 million plastic sold celebration is meant to appeal to brand loyalists, so it's not weird to see a reaction like this. Did people not realize that console wars are basically marketing ploys? It's always "look at how superior our platform is" in the ads. It's not like Sony celebrated their numbers for no reason -- it's a calculated business move. People who say "you can't handle Sony's 500m" are falling for that trap hard. It's more weird to see people call out console warring, but do the exact same thing unknowingly. Both companies reached their achievements around the same time. That's all. Move on.
One did it by marketing by the company themselves, the other is done by a fan who wanted to respond and show that his plastic is better somehow.

I think both are not the same. But I do think both are targeting fans getting a hard one when their plastic is getting spotlight moments.

Plus: the Nintendo numbers are at 730 million. That's a weird number to celebrate, which add to the idea that this is only done to react to the 500 million. It's not a round number and 700 million was at least a year ago. So same time is not correct.
 
Oct 27, 2017
4,752
One did it by marketing by the company themselves, the other is done by a fan who wanted to respond and show that his plastic is better somehow.

I think both are not the same. But I do think both are targeting fans getting a hard one when their plastic is getting spotlight moments.

Plus: the Nintendo numbers are at 730 million. That's a weird number to celebrate, which add to the idea that this is only done to react to the 500 million. It's not a round number and 700 million was at least a year ago. So same time is not correct.
Damn, I just noticed this., lol. That's why I said wasn't this already known in the Sony thread?
 
Oct 27, 2017
431
Seattle
Still beating Sony by 202.35 million units...I wonder if that will ever change.
Absolutely but with two more generations and 12 consoles compared to six. If Nintendo continues with their home and portable divisions combined like they've begun, it would likely be a matter of time before Sony overtook Nintendo in overall sales. But that would, of course, be assuming that consoles continue to live on for a long enough time.
 
OP
OP
Phantom Thief
Oct 25, 2017
25,362
One did it by marketing by the company themselves, the other is done by a fan who wanted to respond and show that his plastic is better somehow.

I think both are not the same. But I do think both are targeting fans getting a hard one when their plastic is getting spotlight moments.

Plus: the Nintendo numbers are at 730 million. That's a weird number to celebrate, which add to the idea that this is only done to react to the 500 million. It's not a round number and 700 million was at least a year ago. So same time is not correct.
Just a heads up, Sony’s number is 525.14 million. Is that a weird number to celebrate too?
 
Oct 25, 2017
8,950
I'm actually kind of shocked that the Wii U was a bigger flop than the Vita. I mean I knew it did bad, but not that bad.
I havent checked but the Vita should be at 12 mil, the vita also had Japan to carry it but now especially since the switch dropped it has floundered everywhere
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,786
I havent checked but the Vita should be at 12 mil, the vita also had Japan to carry it but now especially since the switch dropped it has floundered everywhere
In the Sony 500m thread someone in there worked out the Vita combined total at being just over 16m.
 
Oct 27, 2017
4,522
GameCube would probably fare better today, the late 90s/early 2000s was a bad time to release a system that cartoony/kid-friendly, people were too much into things like Eminem and "being cool" was all about "yeah I'm playing video games, but they're not dumb kids game, check out the violence here!" type thinking unfortunately.

Releasing a purple lunchbox style game console at that time and cell-shading Zelda into a Powerpuff Girls style was always gonna be red meat to the wolves who already thought the N64 was too "kiddie".

Nintendo also did not have the adult fan base that they have now 18 years later, their adult fanbase is probably 3-4x the size it was in 2001, possibly more. All those kids that were playing Pokemon then are adults now.
 
Oct 26, 2017
9,234
Six million in Japan, 10 million for the rest of the world..
It sold 2m in the US. Americas overall is going to be well under 3m, there’s no way Vita did enough in PAL/Asia to get to 10m outside Japan. Wii U barely made it to 10m outside Japan and it outperformed Vita in the west.
 
Oct 28, 2017
1,003
It sold 2m in the US. Americas overall is going to be well under 3m, there’s no way Vita did enough in PAL/Asia to get to 10m outside Japan. Wii U barely made it to 10m outside Japan and it outperformed Vita in the west.
How do you know it did only 2 million in the US?
 
Oct 26, 2017
2,275
It sold 2m in the US. Americas overall is going to be well under 3m, there’s no way Vita did enough in PAL/Asia to get to 10m outside Japan. Wii U barely made it to 10m outside Japan and it outperformed Vita in the west.
About WiiU and PSV:

WiiU US + WiiU JP > PSV US + PSV JP
 
Oct 26, 2017
2,275
Also Nintendo should focus on handhelds. The difference is enormous.
Hence the entire point and purpose of the Switch.
Nintendo shouldn't focus exclusively on handhelds, that would be a losing path.
Dedicated handhelds have historically lower tie ratios than home consoles and that's software (+ DLCs, online subscription, accessories and in short everything that's around a console) which generate the true profits.
With the increase in development costs and the weakened position of dedicated handhelds outside Japan it doesn't make sense to go all out on a dedicated handheld console.
Switch makes sense because Nintendo is selling the concept of a home console that can be enjoyed wherever and whenever you want and with who you want.
This mean that the tech that power on the Switch is obviously thought for mobile but the software price, hardware price, online subscription are inline with those of a home consoles.
Switch software tie ratio will also be higher than the ones typical of dedicated handheld consoles.
The added benefit is also that Nintendo is unifying the development environment which in turn will speed up development and freed up resources compared to having teams tackling wildly different consoles (from an architecture point of view) which are on the market at the same time.
These freed up resources can then be used to quickly create DLCs or other other profitable projects.
 
Oct 27, 2017
4,383
This is the figure that has always confuses me the most. Certainly not my favorite system, but it had a solid launch line-up, strong third party support most of its life, and a pretty competitive price-point despite not supporting DVD playback.

...maybe these positives are just a matter of opinion though? I understand the factors surrounding every other decline in console sales on this list, just not the GameCube's
Ganecubes exclusive library just wasn't there. Xbox and especially PS2 had way more quality games IMO.