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I think the ongoing Software Lineup has a lot to do with this.

The following table includes games that have either sold 5+ million copies and/or were among the Top 10 best-selling games on their respective platforms (becaause we need to show some Wii U games). I'm also bolding best-sellers for each system.

DSWii3DSWii USwitch
Year 1

Big Brain Academy

Brain Age

Mario Kart DS


Super Mario 64 DS

Legend of Zelda: TP

LEGO Star Wars: Complete Saga

Mario Party 8

Super Mario Galaxy

Wii Play

Wii Sports

Legend of Zelda: OoT 3D

Mario Kart 7

Super Mario 3D Land

Legend of Zelda: WW HD

New Super Luigi U

New Super Mario Bros U

Nintendo Land

Legend of Zelda: BotW

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Splatoon 2

Super Mario Odyssey

Year 2

Animal Crossing: Wild World

Brain Age 2

Cooking Mama

New Super Mario Bros

Pokemon Diamond/Pearl

Link's Crossbow Training

Mario Kart Wii

Super Smash Bros Brawl

Wii Fit

Animal Crossing: New Leaf

New Super Mario Bros 2

Mario Kart 8

Super Mario 3D World

Super Smash Bros Wii U

New Super Mario Bros U DX

Pokemon: Let's Go

Super Mario Party

Super Smash Bros Ultimate

Year 3

Mario & Sonic 2008

Mario Party DS

Pokemon Platinum

New Super Mario Bros Wii

Wii Fit Plus

Wii Sports Resort

Luigi's Mansion 2

Pokemon X/Y

Tomodachi Life

Mario Party 10


Super Mario Maker

Luigi's Mansion 3

Pokemon SS

Ring Fit Adventure

Super Mario Maker 2

Year 4

Dragon Quest IX

Pokemon HGSS

Donkey Kong Country Returns

Just Dance 2

Super Mario Galaxy 2

Wii Party

Pokemon ORAS

Super Smash Bros 3DS

Animal Crossing: NH

Super Mario 3D All-Stars

Hyrule Warriors: AoC (Tentative)

Year 1 is "the year following launch day" and so on, which I chose because otherwise the 3DS and Switch with their Q1 launches would look strange next to the other systems and their Q4 launches.

Note that the DS peaked circa years 3/4, the Wii circa Year 2/3, the 3DS year 2, and the Wii U in Year 2. The Switch seems to have peaked in Year 4. Also note that some games were delayed in some regions.

A few things I notice from this

  • The DS's peaking in its third and fourth years makes sense when you realize that many of the games listed in Year 2 were released later than that in the West, including Pokemon DP and Brain Age 2.
  • The Wii peaked in the years where three of its five big games came out, with only the launch window titles of Wii Sports and Wii Play not coming out in this timespan.
  • The 3DS peaked in 2012, by the end of which all its biggest titles besides Pokemon were out.
  • The Wii U peaked the year it got its three big non-bundled games.
  • The Switch has both its best-selling titles and its 5+ million sellers in general fairly evenly spread across its entire life so far. The main exceptions are the DS, which doesn't introduce any of its top sellers after Year 2, and the 3DS, which relies on Pokemon games for Years 3, 4, and 6, likely not attracting new audiences.

Love and tolerate.