While others have already addressed each "exhibit" already, I wanted to address Exhibit A in more detail.
First off, I don't agree with the whole idea that the Switch needs to sell as much or more than the Wii U and 3DS combined. Home consoles and handhelds are different beasts. Handhelds are typically much cheaper than home consoles. They are also limited to one user, as opposed to home consoles where a single device can support local multiplayer. Because of there, there are likely to be many 3DS-owning households that own more than one 3DS (and don't forget about special editions that people might also buy). Furthermore, there was almost certainly some overlap between Wii U owners and 3DS owners. The Switch is a hybrid, a home console with limited handheld capabilities, combining aspects of both. Its home console aspects allow a single unit to be used by multiple players, unlike a pure handheld. It is affordable for a home console, though expensive for a handheld. The 3DS, though it had a high launch price of $250/¥25,000, it was reduced to $170/¥15,000 just a few months after launch. The 3DS therefore had a massive price advantage over the still $300/¥30,000 Switch.
Now that we have that out of the way, let's take a look at the sales data.
In the U.S., the Switch is handily outpacing the 3DS,. In fact, it's already starting to outpace combined Wii U + 3DS sales, so here in the States it actually is passing that arbitrary goalpost for "success." It is already one of the more successful consoles in the history of the U.S. market. While it hasn't hit the "god-tier" sales of the PS2, Wii, or GBA (the latter of which over-performed mightily in the U.S. compared to Japan and Europe), it has done quite well by any other measure:
In Japan, the Switch clearly benefits from having handheld capability. Compared to most other home consoles of the past 20 years, the Switch had an outstanding first year, and is doing great in its second. It's not doing quite as well as the PS2 did, but the PS2 is the best-selling console ever, so again, not a huge strike against it, especially considering the state of the home console market in Japan post-Gen 6. It also didn't start off quite as well as the Wii, but the Wii was extremely front-loaded in Japan, and the Switch is now closing the gap, with sales this quarter exceeding what the Wii did in Q3 2008 by a fairly wide margin, and the Wii was all downhill from here at this point in its life in Japan. The Wii pulled less than 2.9M units in Japan in 2008, a total that the Switch will almost certainly surpass by a few hundred thousand this year.
Compared to other handhelds in the noticeably handheld-friendly Japanese market, the Switch has spent the past year averaging better than the GBA, though isn't doing as well as the 3DS. However, we need to keep in mind that the 3DS was posting massive numbers for the 2011-2013 period, some of the best in the history of the Japanese market (the 3DS's 2012 performance in particular was the third-best year for any single system, after the DS's showings in 2006 & 2007), and it's the #3 best-selling system ever there after the DS and Game Boy. It's also worth pointing out that the 3DS was also a lot cheaper than the Switch. The 3DS started off at ¥25,000, receiving a drop to ¥15,000 a few months later (with the 3DS XL launching at ¥19,000 in 2012), and that was the point where the 3DS kicked into high gear. The Switch at ¥30k was actually doing better than the 3DS was at ¥25k. The Switch is doing quite well considering its price and the lack of games that are massive system-sellers for Nintendo handhelds. Once it gets a price drop, Gen VII Pokemon, and maybe a hardware revision (pure handheld with longer battery life, maybe?), it should do even better.
As for Europe, the Switch is, like in the U.S., not posting PS2/Wii/PS4 monster-sized sales, but if VGC numbers are any indication it is still handily outpacing the 3DS and PSP, and is even coming pretty damn close to combined 3DS+Wii U sales. Shipment data also indicates the Switch is outpacing the GBA by a fair margin. Overall, it will likely end up one of the best-selling non-PlayStation consoles ever in the region.
In conclusion, I think it's safe to say that the Switch is a success so far.
Last edited by Shadow1980 - on 30 September 2018