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Nintendo software and hardware sales data from 1983 to present

Oct 29, 2017
1,622
WA, australia
The update of the thread is going to be delayed because *reasons*.

However here a new chart I intend to keep updated from now on regarding Nintendo digital sales.
This is Nintendo digital sales from the very beginning with the Virtual Console on Wii back in 2006 to present.
I expect Nintendo digital sales to grow consistently in the coming fiscal years.

firstly, thank you SO much for all this information!!

I wonder if there is any way we can get a rough estimate of the percentage digital software accounted for last year. How much on average does a game cost in yen???
 
OP
OP
Celine
Oct 26, 2017
2,280
I've updated OP with data as March 2018.
As I said previously I've also added a chart for Nintendo yearly Digital Sales.
 
Mar 20, 2018
2,590
Switzerland
So software wise their consoles have 5 tiers to them:

The failure tier:
WiiU at 102 million units.

The meh tier:
GC at 208 million units
N64 at 225 million units

The ok tier:
SNES at 379 million units
3DS at 365 million units
GBA at 377 million units

The Good tier:
Nes at 500 million units
GB at 501 million units

The God tier:
DS at 948 million units
Wii at 920 million units

Looking at it, just Wow how much games they sold in the DS/Wii era, and kinda suprising how much non FP sold on DS.

So its pretty much a given that 3DS outdoes GBA as far as Software goes right ?
 

MrCarter

Banned
Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,152
Wii U lol. Also how dense are Nintendo not developing a Wii sport game for the Switch? It would sell very well due to the portability.
 
Oct 28, 2017
6,172
God tier is right for the DS and Wii. The Wii is surprisingly close to the DS IMO considering the difference in install base. Attach rate on the Wii was indeed very good, which is contrary to the urban myth that millions upon millions only bought one for the 1 included game.
 

v_iHuGi

Banned
Member
Oct 28, 2017
5,155
So software wise their consoles have 5 tiers to them:

The failure tier:
WiiU at 102 million units.

The meh tier:
GC at 208 million units
N64 at 225 million units

The ok tier:
SNES at 379 million units
3DS at 365 million units
GBA at 377 million units

The Good tier:
Nes at 500 million units
GB at 501 million units

The God tier:
DS at 948 million units
Wii at 920 million units

Looking at it, just Wow how much games they sold in the DS/Wii era, and kinda suprising how much non FP sold on DS.

So its pretty much a given that 3DS outdoes GBA as far as Software goes right ?
WAIT DS and Wii didn't move a billion software? Wow I though they had.

Did 360 or PS3 moved a billion?

Which Console moved a billion software sales btw? Ps2, Ps4 (locked) &?
 
Oct 26, 2017
9,272
WAIT DS and Wii didn't move a billion software? Wow I though they had.

Did 360 or PS3 moved a billion?

Which Console moved a billion software sales btw? Ps2, Ps4 (locked) &?
I’d imagine both DS and Wii probably did move 1b games if you include DSiWare and WiiWare/Virtual Console.
 
Mar 20, 2018
2,590
Switzerland
So that's only physical?
Nintendo does not report digital only sales in their software totals for their consoles.
If it has a physical release then they report combined sales, but digital only sales only get reported by revenue.

That means VC in general is not counted, nor are Eshop only indies on Switch.

It also has the kinda funny effect that if there is a digital only million seller, they would not count it, but if said game later gets a physical release, all the sales(digital and phyisical) get counted together and added to the software total.
One example of that will probably be Minecraft, once that releases physically.
 

v_iHuGi

Banned
Member
Oct 28, 2017
5,155
Nintendo does not report digital only sales in their software totals for their consoles.
If it has a physical release then they report combined sales, but digital only sales only get reported by revenue.

That means VC in general is not counted, nor are Eshop only indies on Switch.

It also has the kinda funny effect that if there is a digital only million seller, they would not count it, but if said game later gets a physical release, all the sales(digital and phyisical) get counted together and added to the software total.
One example of that will probably be Minecraft, once that releases physically.
This is very strange wtf
 
Oct 29, 2017
4,840
Looking at it, just Wow how much games they sold in the DS/Wii era, and kinda suprising how much non FP sold on DS.

It's shipments , so how many games were essentially manufactured.

There were over 1800 DS games released, only 130 of these were Published by Nintendo
 
Mar 20, 2018
2,590
Switzerland
This is very strange wtf
For a long time it did make sense, since digital was so small for Nintendo, so revenue was more important a metric than sales numbers.

But irc they do give a general digital ratio for their sales, so if you do some math you can usualy guesstimate total sales including digital.
 
Oct 28, 2017
253
Looking at the numbers for the Pokemon series on the Game Boy - is that the most that a series has sold on a single console in history? Any console in history I suppose.
 
Oct 28, 2017
562
10K is what I have (but it's not data sourced directly by Nintendo).

In the Hardware (with interchangeable software) section are listed only consoles, not add on like the Famicom Disk System or 64DD.
10,000 total for 64DD? Knew it was a total failure but super woof
 
Oct 28, 2017
6,172
Mario Kart is so huge... always TOP 5 in best selling from each console, usually #2 or #1
It's why I believe that 8D won't be the only Mario Kart on Switch. It's only entry in their biggest franchise won't be a port of the previous one a month after the system's launch. Surely not.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,983
WAIT DS and Wii didn't move a billion software? Wow I though they had.

Did 360 or PS3 moved a billion?

Which Console moved a billion software sales btw? Ps2, Ps4 (locked) &?
Estimates put PS3 over 1 billion for sw. Considering how closely X360 and PS3 followed each other in everything X360 is probably also over 1 billion. PS2 is only system that we have data for over 1 billion sw sales. PS2 moved 1.52 billion units of software as of 2011.
 
OP
OP
Celine
Oct 26, 2017
2,280
So its pretty much a given that 3DS outdoes GBA as far as Software goes right ?
If 3DS match Nintendo forecast for the fiscal year (16M SW sold for 3DS) then the surpass will happen in the current fiscal year.

Note that since Nintendo is a first-party driven console manufacturer (a dying breed, a relic of the past century) first-party software sold is also very very important when evaluating Nintendo consoles (and that's why I sorted the console for first-party sales in the first graph).
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
Celine
Oct 26, 2017
2,280
WAIT DS and Wii didn't move a billion software? Wow I though they had.

Did 360 or PS3 moved a billion?

Which Console moved a billion software sales btw? Ps2, Ps4 (locked) &?
PS3 total hardware sales were 80.0 million units as November 2013 (80.4M - PS2 HW FY (ending March 2013) as March 2013).
PSP total hardware sales were 76.3 million units as March 2012.
PS2 total hardware sales were 155.1 million units as March 2012.
PS1 total hardware sales were 102.49 million units as March 2007 (same as March 2005).

PS3 total software sales were around 745.0 million units as March 2013.
PSP total software sales were 330.2 million units as March 2012.
PS2 total software sales were 1530.0 million units as March 2012.
PS1 total software sales were about 959.0 million units as March 2005.
 
OP
OP
Celine
Oct 26, 2017
2,280
It always amused me when I read comments like "Nintendo would have died during the N64 period without Pokémon" which parrot a baseless perception caused by PS1 outselling handily N64 and the absolutely huge success of Pokémon.
However if we look at Nintendo financials and first-party software sales it's easy to conclude that Nintendo wasn't in danger to become unprofitable during that period of time.
In fact while Pokémon was absolutely huge, Nintendo kept selling a lot of other games.
A few years ago I was curious to somewhat quantify how much was Pokémon impact on Nintendo back in the '90s (at the peak of Pokémon craze) and since I had the complete million seller list, which as I previously stated can give a good approximation on Nintendo first-party sales, I decided to run the calculation to find how much Pokèmon games units sold represented of the total units sold by Nintendo games.
I only took the Nintendo published games (that sold more than 1 million) released between 1996 (when Pokémon was released in Japan, in US Pokémon would land only in 1998 while in Europe in 1999) and 2001 (year of demise of both N64 and GB/C) on N64 and GB/C.

Between 1996 and 2001 Pokèmon games represented about 12% of the entire Nintendo software sold on N64, the rest of the first-party software sales (about 88%) was composed by other Nintendo games.
Between 1996 and 2001 Pokèmon games represented about 75% of the entire Nintendo software sold on GB/C, the rest of the first-party software sales (about 25%) was composed by other Nintendo games.
Combining both the Nintendo software sales (only million sellers) on N64 and GB/C between 1996 and 2001 Pokémon games represented about 43% of the entire Nintendo software sales, the rest of the first-party software sales (about 57%) was composed by other Nintendo games.

These statistics show that Pokèmon was indeed huge for Nintendo but at the same time Nintendo was already selling big quantities of other games.
Of course these statistics based on "unit sold" can't highlight parameters like profitability, revenue, earning from merchandising and other collateral effects but I thought it was still interesting and worth to share with the community.
 
Last edited:
Nov 2, 2017
1,290
Just wanted to thank you once more for the incredible data and thread.

Interesting to think Nintendo might have 5 games with 10m+ sales by the end of year two.

Absolutely understand the thread has mainly focused on Hardware and Software so far but are you consideting also tracking the performance of the mobile IPs ?
 
Nov 13, 2017
692
Just wanted to thank you once more for the incredible data and thread.

Interesting to think Nintendo might have 5 games with 10m+ sales by the end of year two.

Absolutely understand the thread has mainly focused on Hardware and Software so far but are you consideting also tracking the performance of the mobile IPs ?
By next year, they're pretty much guaranteed 8 right?

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Super Mario Odyssey
Pokemon 2019
Pokemon Let's Go
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Splatoon 2
Breath of the Wild
Animal Crossing

Probably NSMBU too?
 
Nov 2, 2017
1,290
By next year, they're pretty much guaranteed 8 right?

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Super Mario Odyssey
Pokemon 2019
Pokemon Let's Go
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Splatoon 2
Breath of the Wild
Animal Crossing

Probably NSMBU too?
I was referring exclusively to 2 years from Launch, so end of 2018 Q4. Unsure whether Splatoon will have reached 10m by then, think the last result we got was 7,5m.

But by the end of 2019 it' surely possible we will be looking at 10. Trying to think if Nintendo has any other potential 10m seller franchise, but don't think so.
 
OP
OP
Celine
Oct 26, 2017
2,280
Absolutely understand the thread has mainly focused on Hardware and Software so far but are you consideting also tracking the performance of the mobile IPs ?
To include the mobile games I would need to get their revenue sales for each quarter/year which I don't think I can consistently.
 

Axass

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
1,208
Just wanted to say I'm always looking forward to this thread's updates and the awesome data you post. Thank you.
 
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Oct 25, 2017
1,533
Super Metroid only selling 1.4m copies on the SNES is the biggest travesty in video game history.
You have to keep in mind that we are retroactively looking back at the 16-bit market through a very different lens than the market sensibilities of the period. There were plenty of games that essentially became sleeper hits in no small parts thanks to the rise of emulation in the late 90's, which created an ever growing schism between the cultural and financial impact of the games. Chrono Trigger sold around 200-250k copies in the US but judging by the pedigree it carries today you'd think it would have been among the system's top all time sellers.

Though in the case of Super Metroid, 1.4 million is way way above average for the time period.
 
Nov 2, 2017
1,290
To include the mobile games I would need to get their revenue sales for each quarter/year which I don't think I can consistently.
Yes, I did some research on it. Nintendo rarely officially publicises this information divided by game. The closest thing available is the 'Smart-Device, IP related income' available in every Quarter Financial Report, but it combines all mobile games as well as other merchandising & IP related endeavours. They currently represent around 5% of Nintendo Net Revenue.





Additionally, there is Sensor Tower, which tracks Mobile Data and provides estimates of Revenue and Downloads for each game. I don't know how reliable accurate they are but I have read some people questioning their Pokemon GO numbers.

As of September of 2018, Fire Emblem Heroes has been downloaded 14.1m times and generated revenue of $437million.

Dragalia Lost has grossed $16million in first two weeks.

Animal Crossing Pocket Camp at $50million in revenue since Launch

As this part of the business grows in importance I hope Nintendo will start providing a more detailed breakdown of each game. Unsure whether they haven't done so to discourage pressure from shareholders regarding their current mobile revenue models.

The next Financial Report will be the first one to include the income from Nintendo Online Subscription as well.
 
Oct 26, 2017
9,272
Super Metroid only selling 1.4m copies on the SNES is the biggest travesty in video game history.
It’s too bad we don’t have any Virtual Console figures. I always wonder how they might impact the totals for classic games, especially games that have achieved higher reputations or status retroactively over time like Earthbound, Gunstar Heroes or, hey, Super Metroid.

This goes to digital only figures on consoles generally too. Like it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Wii DS each went past 1b games sold when you add VC/WiiWare and DSiWare repectively but it seems like we’ll never know.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,959
Fantastic thread, OP!

Wii was a monster on so many levels, software sales was just nuts.
Switch has started well too so it'll be interesting to see a graph like this at the end of the generation. Can they keep the current momentum? Looking at Pokémon sales and knowing the next one comes to Switch tells me "Yes!"
 
Nov 2, 2017
283
It’s too bad we don’t have any Virtual Console figures. I always wonder how they might impact the totals for classic games, especially games that have achieved higher reputations or status retroactively over time like Earthbound, Gunstar Heroes or, hey, Super Metroid.

This goes to digital only figures on consoles generally too. Like it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Wii DS each went past 1b games sold when you add VC/WiiWare and DSiWare repectively but it seems like we’ll never know.
I agree that it would be really interesting to see actual sales numbers for Virtual Console games (as opposed to just rankings). Sin and Punishment must have sold enough on the Wii VC for Nintendo to greenlight S&P2, but I would love to know actually how many times it was downloaded

Also, earlier this year I did a last minute spending spree on the Wii VC and, understandably, I wasn't the only one purchasing otherwise hard to obtain games. Rondo of Blood was the most downloaded title, and I recall seeing games like DoReMi Fantasy, Pulseman, Phantasy Star, and Actraiser feature on the list too. I would be interested in seeing how much they each sold.
 
Oct 27, 2017
493
Strange that the wii has the highest attach rate. I figured it would be the DS because of the massive number of systems. But I know a good part of wii sales were just for wii Sports.
 
Oct 25, 2017
7,231
Strange that the wii has the highest attach rate. I figured it would be the DS because of the massive number of systems. But I know a good part of wii sales were just for wii Sports.
Revisions are hurting a lot handheld tie-ratios. Make no mistake, the DS was a juggernaut hardware wise and software wise.
 

TheMoon

|OT|
Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,341
Video Games
Revisions led to people who owned more than one console at a time (I had like, four DSes personally and eight in my house).
I don't wanna think of all the times I've seen people talk about being on their nth playstation or xbox. It's not an issue exclusive to systems with lots of revisions.
 
Oct 25, 2017
7,231
How so, they're all counted as one and extended the platform's life and sales cycle.
Of course, revisions are great.

However for this very particular metric (tie-ratio), it is hurting it. As soon as you are buying another device, your tie ratio is divided.

Tbh the metric we really want is Software/Unique users, but we don't have access to this data so we are using tie ratios instead.
 

TheMoon

|OT|
Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,341
Video Games
Of course, revisions are great.

However for this very particular metric (tie-ratio), it is hurting it. As soon as you are buying another device, your tie ratio is divided.

Tbh the metric we really want is Software/Unique users, but we don't have access to this data so we are using tie ratios instead.
you have this even without revisions, though. even just special editions lead to crazytown multi-unit owners. anything that isn't just a single SKU is gonna throw that off (and even then you have people buying multiples quite often).

side note: I remember a time when Sony was bragging about its PSN user number during the PS3 era. I kept thinking "okay, of those x million, I have like 5-6 accounts myself already." ^^