UPDATE: July 30th, 2019
Switch - 36.87m (+2.13m this quarter)
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - 17.89m (+1.20m)
Super Mario Odyssey - 14.94m (+0.50m)
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - 14.73m (+0.92m)
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - 13.61m (+0.84m)
Pokémon: Let's Go, Eevee/Pikachu! - 10.98m (+0.35m)
Splatoon 2 - 9.02m (+0.32m)
Super Mario Party - 6.99m (+0.59m)
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe - 4.10m (+0.79m)
1-2-Switch - 3.01m (+0.04m)
Mario Tennis Aces - 2.75m (+0.11m)
Switch hardware shipments in quarter 1 of any given fiscal year so far remain underwhelming, but this is the best Q1 Switch has had so far. Sell-through rates have been notably better in comparison to one year ago, so the only marginally higher shipments are likely due to the original Switch SKU being phased out by August and September, depending on region. For the entire last fiscal year, Switch shipped 16.95m units. The current fiscal year is 0.25m ahead after Q1, so Nintendo's forecast of 18m remains unchanged. Q2 will see the launch of an improved standard SKU with better battery life, but more importantly, also the launch of the handheld-only Switch Lite, so last year's Q2 of 3.19m should be comfortably exceeded by 0.5m or more, keeping Switch on track to beat the SNES's lifetime sales of 49.10m by the end of calendar year 2019. For comparison, the 3DS needed one year more than Switch to beat the SNES.
On the software front, Super Mario Odyssey and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate are poised to crack the 15m barrier in the next update. Splatoon 2 will have to wait until the end of the calendar year to celebrate the 10m mark which will bring the total of 10m+ sellers to seven when Pokémon Sword/Shield is accounted for. Breath of the Wild will be the fourth 15m+ seller by the end of the calendar year and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe the first 20m+ seller.
UPDATE: October 31st, 2019
Switch family - 41.67m (+4.80m this quarter)
-Switch - 39.72m (+2.85m)
-Switch Lite - 1.95m (NEW)
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - 19.01m (+1.12m)
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - 15.71m (+0.98m)
Super Mario Odyssey - 15.38m (+0.44m)
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - 14.54m (+0.93m)
Pokémon: Let's Go, Eevee/Pikachu! - 11.28m (+0.30m)
Splatoon 2 - 9.28m (+0.26m)
Super Mario Party - 7.59m (+0.60m)
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe - 4.59m (+0.49m)
Super Mario Maker 2 - 3.93m (+1.51m)
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening - 3.13m (NEW)
The launch of the Switch Lite resulted in a very strong Q2 with 4.80m units shipped, allowing the Switch family as a whole to pass the 40m mark; LTD shipments are now at 41.67m. The forecast of 18m units for the fiscal year remains unchanged despite Switch being on a much better pace than during last fiscal year's 16.95m run; in a comparison through two quarters, 2019 is at 6.93m vs. 2018's 5.07m. Nintendo remains conservative this fiscal year and opts to wait until after the holiday season to revise their forecast.
The same holds true for the total software forecast where 2019's pace is considerably better, but no change has been made yet. As for individual software titles, the cutoff for the top 10 is now above 3m units and will raise to above 4m with the next update. Smaller multimillion sellers won't show up anymore, so I'll use the writeup to mention games that would otherwise get lost in the shuffle. This time it's Fire Emblem: Three Houses with its 2.29m debut which make it feasible to turn it into the best-selling Fire Emblem of all time eventually.
UPDATE: January 30th, 2020
Switch family - 52.49m (+10.82m this quarter)
-Switch - 47.30m (+7.58m)
-Switch Lite - 5.19m (+3.24m)
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - 22.96m (+3.95m)
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - 17.68m (+1.97m)
Super Mario Odyssey - 16.59m (1.21m)
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - 16.34m (+1.80m)
Pokémon Shield/Sword - 16.06m (NEW)
Pokémon: Let's Go, Eevee/Pikachu! - 11.76m (+0.48m)
Splatoon 2 - 9.81m (+0.53m)
Super Mario Party - 9.12m (+1.53m)
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe - 5.85m (+1.26m)
Luigi's Mansion 3 - 5.37m (NEW)
The Switch family exceeds 50m one quarter after it has passed the 40m mark. Nintendo has increased their forecast for this fiscal year from 18m to 19.5m. Both Pokémon Shield/Sword and Luigi's Mansion 3 had strong debuts, pushing the threshold to enter the top 10 above 5.3m units which in turn leaves out another 5m+ seller (Super Mario Maker 2). So after its first 12 fiscal quarters, Switch has already 11 5m sellers, 6 10m sellers, 5 15m sellers and 1 20m seller. A detailed listing of Switch hardware/software shipments, including individual first party titles, can be viewed in this Google spreadsheet.
A couple of interesting links this time. Two threads were created earlier this month, asking when Switch will pass the Wii and the PS4, respectively. While the vast majority expects Switch to sell more than 100m units lifetime, it's largely ruled out that Switch can pass the PS4.
UPDATE: May 7th, 2020
Switch family - 55.77m (+3.28m this quarter)
-Switch - 49.57m (+2.27m)
-Switch Lite - 6.19m (+1.00m)
Nintendo beat their revised forecast by ~1.5m, bringing the final tally for the fiscal year to 21.03m units. Their forecast for the fiscal year ending March 2021 is 19m, a conservative projection that is owed to the uncertainty that the coronavirus brings with it. Switch is set to pass the lifetime sales of the legendary Nintendo Entertainment System (61.91m) midway through the fiscal year and even has a chance to pass the 3DS (75.77m so far, will only add a miniscule amount more until the end of its life) by the end of it. The 3DS's software sales (383.11m LTD) will be beaten handily by Switch within the next few months (356.24m LTD).
This update and future ones forego to list shipments of major Nintendo games because the previously linked Google spreadsheet contains all the compiled data.
UPDATE: August 6th, 2020
Switch family - 61.44m (+5.67m this quarter)
-Switch - 52.63m (+3.05m)
-Switch Lite - 8.81m (+2.62m)
Nintendo did not revise their forecasts despite a stellar first quarter in the fiscal year ending March 2021. LTD software shipments have passed the 400m mark (406.67m). Switch hardware shipments are up 3.54m units year over year, but the upcoming quarter will pose a much more challenging comparison, because it saw the launch of Switch Lite last year (4.80m Switch consoles in total shipped during July to September 2019). Nevertheless, the current fiscal year will remain comfortably ahead through the first six months (6.93m in 2019).
The most crucial quarter is, like always, the one with Christmas in it. Nintendo still hasn't officially announced their fall lineup for 2020, so the strength or lack thereof remains unknown. This secrecy makes it very difficult, if not impossible, to predict how the current fiscal year as a whole will fare. It's looking very likely that last year's 21.03m will get beaten, but by how much is anybody's guess.
UPDATE: November 5th, 2020
Switch family - 68.30m (+6.86m this quarter)
-Switch - 57.93m (+5.30m)
-Switch Lite - 10.36m (+1.55m)
Momentum remains strong all around the world with significant year over year increases in Europe and Other. Nintendo revised their hardware and software forecasts upwards: Hardware is now at 24m (previously 19m), software is now at 170m (previously 140m). Despite significant increases, the forecasts maintain a conservative outlook for the second half of the fiscal year. Nintendo's first party holiday lineup is the weakest one Switch has had yet, but if there was any year where Nintendo could afford this, it's this one.
Switch will pass the 3DS's LTD sales (75.94m) within the holiday quarter, making the GBA (81.51m) the next target in sight. A feat that will very likely be accomplished within this fiscal year.
UPDATE: February 1st, 2021
Switch family - 79.87m (+11.58m this quarter)
-Switch - 66.35m (+8.42m)
-Switch Lite - 13.52m (+3.16m)
This constitutes the third-highest quarter for a video game console ever, only slightly behind the DS which occupies both rank 1 and 2. It brings the running total for the fiscal year to 24.10m, so Nintendo had to revise their forecast up again, now to 26.50m. Likewise, the previous software forecast was met with one quarter left to go (176.10m shipped by December 31st), so the new forecast is 205m.
With the 3DS officially in the rearview, the GBA (81.51m) as well as Sony's PSP (estimated to have sold slightly above 82m) are about to be passed during the following quarter.
IMPORTANT: The Google spreadsheet with compiled hardware and software shipments has found a new, more detailed, home at this link.
UPDATE: May 6th, 2021
Switch family - 84.59m (+4.72m this quarter)
-Switch - 69.89m (+3.54m)
-Switch Lite - 14.70m (+1.18m)
28.83m units of hardware and 230.88m games were shipped during the recently ended fiscal year. Nintendo forecasts 25.5m units of hardware and 190m games to be shipped during the fiscal year ending March 2022.
A good four years have passed since Switch has launched (49 months to be exact) and exceeding 100 million units lifetime is merely a formality at this point. In a similar way, beating PS4 sales is doubted by only a few people anymore, so the community has turned their eyes towards the next best targets, the DS and PS2.
The thread reads like so many before it, with Switch's lifespan being expected to end soon for no good reason among other flawed reasoning. What seems new is that it's contested whether or not a Switch revision should be counted towards Switch sales, but then again, the same thing occured on a smaller scale when the Switch Lite was announced about two years ago. But this matter remains as simple now as it was back then: It's a sure thing that Nintendo won't treat their upcoming revision as a different platform, so the only logical thing to do is count everything together just like it was with all other consoles and their respective revisions in the past.
As for the question if Switch will outsell the PS2, it's more a matter of when rather than if. Nintendo still has so many options left to maintain a high sales momentum, be it revisions, price cuts or the release of compelling first party software. All that is backed up by a healthy software pipeline from third party developers along with a monopoly in the portable console market and Switch's unique value proposition of being a home console and handheld console in a single device.
We are still years away from Switch passing the PS2, but this isn't really any different as with so many other milestones in the past. Switch is good to go.Last edited by RolStoppable - on 06 May 2021