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Forums - Sales Discussion - The evolution of the console market over time

Great thread. Interesting how you separate the 2nd, 3rd and 4th generations different than the typical listings but I would definitely include Intellivision with Gen 2 not Gen 3. It actually released in 1979 (two years after the 2600, three years before your other Gen 3 consoles) and its tech, while better than the 2600, was noticeably eclipsed by the 5200 and Colecovision.



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The_Liquid_Laser said:

There is no mega seller on the Switch that is as simple as Wii Sports.  The Switch is selling to a different crowd, and that crowd doesn't really care about accessibility.  I would be shocked if I walked into a retirement center and they were all playing Animal Crossing.  I wouldn't be shocked if they were still playing Wii Sports, because no other game has come along to get them to buy a Nintendo system.  Animal Crossing is selling to a totally different crowd.  It's not pulling in the Wii gamers.


Mario Kart (wheel), RFA (weight loss) and Just Dance (waggle) can't sell the numbers they're selling without some of the Wii casuals.

Was 30-100 people sharing a single console in a retirement home really responsible for a large portion of casual Wii sales?



Nov 2016 - NES outsells PS1 (JP)

Don't Play Stationary 4 ever. Switch!

I think the "arcade priority" part was spot on. Nearly all the console games we got pre-Crash were either ports of arcade games or emulated the arcade style of a simplistic, repetitive game where you try to rack up a high score against increasingly difficult foes. The NES still carried some of that forward, but also started giving us games that were proper adventures with a definite beginning, middle, and end. And gaming started to keep moving forward in that way over time, with arcade-style experiences becoming ever rarer and largely limited to fighting games and certain racing games.

Not sure if I agree with the rest, though. While Nintendo has been doing their own thing since the Wii, with novel approaches to hardware design, I don't really think Nintendo has arcade-style experiences in mind. The genres represented by Nintendo's flagship franchises are found on PS & Xbox as well. I guess if you focus solely on hardware and ignore the software then yeah, maybe you could argue that they're more old-school and less PC-like than Sony & MS. But still, focusing on just hardware seems overly narrow in scope.

Also, I do have a quibble with your generational definitions. I think there's a good reason why most people have tended to lump the pre-Crash cartridge-based consoles into a single generation. While the Atari VCS did make it to market in 1977, several years ahead of most of the other pre-Crash systems, it's worth pointing out that there was no generational cycle as we knew it at the time. The VCS/2600 didn't start to get popular until the early 80s, right when the Intellivision was coming out. It remained the dominant system until the Crash of '83. The 5200 wasn't intended to be a replacement for the 2600, but rather a high-end complement to it. It sold nowhere near as well as the 2600, and it shared at least 90% of the same games. So, the Intellivision and ColecoVision were really competing with the 2600 and vice versa (not that said competition was anywhere close; it was incredibly lopsided, with the 2600 having over 70% market share among pre-Crash consoles). The Intellivision and ColecoVision also had many of the same kinds of games as the 2600 & 5200, even sharing many of the same ports of arcade games, just with different graphics. As gaming experiences, there was little to differentiate all those pre-1983 consoles beyond controller design and graphics. And every one of them died off when the Crash hit. Splitting them into two different generations just seems kind of pointless.

Last edited by Shadow1980 - on 01 April 2021

Pyro as Bill said:
The_Liquid_Laser said:

There is no mega seller on the Switch that is as simple as Wii Sports.  The Switch is selling to a different crowd, and that crowd doesn't really care about accessibility.  I would be shocked if I walked into a retirement center and they were all playing Animal Crossing.  I wouldn't be shocked if they were still playing Wii Sports, because no other game has come along to get them to buy a Nintendo system.  Animal Crossing is selling to a totally different crowd.  It's not pulling in the Wii gamers.


Mario Kart (wheel), RFA (weight loss) and Just Dance (waggle) can't sell the numbers they're selling without some of the Wii casuals.

Was 30-100 people sharing a single console in a retirement home really responsible for a large portion of casual Wii sales?

RFA is definitely pulling in people from the Wii.  I'll give you that.  However, that is the only Switch game pulling the new gamers from the Wii.  It also isn't even in the top 10 yet.  Perhaps 7m out of the 80m Switch owners are actually new gamers from the Wii.  That is still less than 10% of the base.  The Wii crowd is not the reason why the Switch is so successful.

Just Dance...do you have sales numbers for this?  I would love to know how much Just Dance is selling on the Switch.

Mario Kart is what Nintendo called a bridge game.  It appeals both to new gamers and also to really experienced gamers.  It can be hard to tell where those sales are coming from.  What I can tell you, for sure, is that Mario Kart was the most popular game on both the Wii U and the 3DS.  It is also currently the most popular game on the Switch.  It was not the most popular game on the Wii.  Wii Sports was by far the most popular game.

It is disingenuous to say the Switch is like the Wii and unlike the Wii U and 3DS.  The top 10 on the Switch looks a whole closer to the top 10 on the Wii U and 3DS than it does the top 10 on the Wii.  Here take a look.
https://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/en/finance/software/wiiu.html

This idea that the Switch is selling because it pulled in the Wii gamers that the 3DS and Wii U missed is very much like forcing a square peg into a round hole.  These "new" sales the Switch is getting are not coming from the Wii.  The extra sales are coming from the PS4 and XB1 crowd.  The PSP was essentially a portable PS2.  The Switch is essentially a portable PS4, except you can also play it on a TV just fine and it has all of Nintendo's fantastic first party games.  Twilight Princess was a launch title, but it did not make it into the Wii's top 10.  On the other hand BotW seems to just keep selling.  This is not a game for the Wii crowd.  It most definitely is a game for PS4 and XB1 gamers.



The_Liquid_Laser said:
RolStoppable said:

It's not about declaring one better over the other, it's about recognizing differences and that's the basis for the placements of consoles in the table.

Said placement then provides the answer why certain constellations don't cut into each other's sales like most others did, particularly in those cases where there is a horizontal gap (one empty cell or more) within a given generation. These situations create an additive scenario rather than a zero-sum game for total console sales, because the two sides arcade and PC have a relationship of supplementing each other rather than one being able to replace the other.

As I said, it's a condensed version. A more elaborate version would have more columns and list more consoles, including handhelds. If I had used more columns here, the formating wouldn't have worked anymore because there's only so much space that can be displayed flawlessly.

Regardless, one takeaway is that Nintendo will remain very successful if they stay on their path because neither Sony or Microsoft are interested in moving in that direction. Another takeaway is that neither Sony or Microsoft will find success on their current path in Japan because the country has never warmed up to PC gaming.

Lastly, a more personal response to you because apparently you've made a bet with curl-6 that the PS5 won't sell more than 80m units. This thread explains why Switch isn't going to cut into PS5 sales to this degree. While Switch can and will hurt the PS5 in Japan due to the unique circumstances of the country, the same thing cannot be replicated on a global scale. Switch serves the traditional console market while the PS5 is the leader in playing PC-style games on console, so in most of the world that will result in both consoles being successful with no ifs or buts. It would have to be Microsoft who has to limit PS5 sales by a large degree to keep the PS5 under 80m lifetime, but through now four generations Microsoft hasn't shown an ability to solve their ongoing problems, so their potential to damage Sony isn't particularly big. In other words, curl-6 has it very easy.

Oh, I see.  You think the Switch is like the Wii.  You think it is attracting a new crowd of people or maybe bringing back the old Wii crowd.  That is why you are defining "arcade" in terms of accessibility.  

The problem with this reasoning is that the Wii was a whole lot more accessible than the Switch is.  The Switch has no Wii Sports type of game.  If you are thinking "arcade" means accessible, then the Switch needs a mega seller that is as easy to learn as Wii Sports.  It doesn't have this.  You shouldn't put the Wii and the Switch in the same vertical column on your table, because their library of games is pretty different.

Switch is not successful because of extreme accessibility.  Switch is successful, because it is a handheld system.  Nintendo has never been defeated in the handheld space.  They are leveraging their extreme success in the handheld market and bringing it into the home market as well.  That is why the Switch is successful.  It is not about extreme accessibility.

The "arcade gameplay" on the Switch is actually pretty similar to the "arcade gameplay" on the N64 and Gamecube.  Switch's big arcade-like games are Mario Kart, Smash Bros and Mario Party.  You could find these same types of games on the N64 and Gamecube.  You could also find these types of games on the 3DS.  They sell better on the 3DS.  Now they are selling well on the Switch.  That's because the Switch is bringing in all of the handheld gamers and then bringing in some home console gamers too.  It's not bringing in the Wii crowd in big numbers.  It's merging the home and handheld markets.

I think you are too narrowly defining the Wii crowd.

Yes Wii Sports was the biggest seller, but NSMB, Mario Kart, Smash and others also sold gangbusters. People who bought those titles were very much in the Wii crowd.

And, the Wii launched in 2006. So we have to think about where the Wii crowd has gone.

The 6 year old kid who picked up a Wii and Mario Kart in 2009 is now headed to college looking for a multiplayer machine. The 18 year old kid who bought Wii Sports at launch to play drinking games college (I knew a few) is now in their early 30's with kids who are getting to gaming age. The 12 year old kid who got a Wii in 2008 is now in their mid 20s, and old enough to feel nostalgic.

The Wii crowd was more than just Wii Sports. And, they are now 10-15 years older than they were when they first got the Wii. So, you don't necessarily have to appeal to them in the exact same way. 

Also, there is a huge overlap between the Wii and DS market, to the point where it would be hard to say which audience is making the Wii a success. 

All that being said, I think putting the Switch in the "arcade evolution" category or claiming its success is based on accessibility or however you like to term it is mistaken.

I think the main reason for Switch's success is its versatility both in terms of form and gameplay. If you want a handheld to play on the train, you got it. If you want something to play while you're sitting on the couch with your significant other and they're watching a show that you really don't care for, you got it. If you want a multiplayer machine to play drinking games with, you got it. 

In terms of games if you want a casual pick up and play game, you got those (1-2 Switch, Animal Crossing, Clubhouse Games, Super Mario Party, Mario Kart, Smash Bros, NSMB/3D World). You want competitive multiplayer you got that (Smash, Splatoon, ARMS, Pokken). You want motion controlled games, they're there (Super Mario Party, 1-2 Switch, Mario Tennis, Ring Fit, ARMS). You want more traditional but still kid/casual friendly games, yup (Pokemon Let's Go/Sword Shield, Luigi's Mansion, Marios, Kirby). You want more "hardcore" titles, those are there too (Xenoblade 2, Monster Hunter, BOTW, Bravely Default 2, Dead Cells, Hades, Astral Chain, Witcher, Doom). Primarily driven by Nintendo's offerings, but major third parties and indies help pick up the slack.

The Switch's success kind of had me stumped for a while, because it doesn't seem amazing in any one area. Not as good as a pure casual machine as the DS or Wii, not as good for "hardcore" gamers as the PS4/XBone, not as good as a handheld as the 3DS, etc. But whatever your gaming habits are (on the go, on TV, off TV) and whatever kind of games you like, it offers a good enough experience.

To that end, pointing to the Switch's success as coming from the Wii crowd or the handheld audience or whatever is too narrow. It's drawing from pretty much all across the spectrum. Which is pretty much what Nintendo's always wanted to do, this is just their (potentially) most successful attempt yet.



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The_Liquid_Laser said:

RFA is definitely pulling in people from the Wii.  I'll give you that.  However, that is the only Switch game pulling the new gamers from the Wii.  It also isn't even in the top 10 yet.  Perhaps 7m out of the 80m Switch owners are actually new gamers from the Wii.  That is still less than 10% of the base.  The Wii crowd is not the reason why the Switch is so successful.

- The top-sellers list doesn't mean much until the end of the gen. If RFA sells 20m and Just Dance 2023 sells 10m but the top sellers are Odyssey and GTA5 at 50m, that doesn't mean the casuals didn't come back and add to Switch's success.

Just Dance...do you have sales numbers for this?  I would love to know how much Just Dance is selling on the Switch.

- I'm using the UK Amazon charts (baby seals be damned) and doing like for like comparisons between Switch 2019/2020 and Wii 2009/2010. The order is different but the same games are there (excl Wii Sports Resort).

Mario Kart is what Nintendo called a bridge game.  It appeals both to new gamers and also to really experienced gamers.  It can be hard to tell where those sales are coming from.  What I can tell you, for sure, is that Mario Kart was the most popular game on both the Wii U and the 3DS.  It is also currently the most popular game on the Switch.  It was not the most popular game on the Wii.  Wii Sports was by far the most popular game.

- Mario Kart is set to hit unprecedented numbers. You'd have to combine Mario Kart Wii and DS to beat MK8D sales assuming MK9 doesn't arrive soon. MK also brought back the wheel in a 2-pack, added auto-steer and auto-accelerate. That wasn't for experienced players.

It is disingenuous to say the Switch is like the Wii and unlike the Wii U and 3DS.  The top 10 on the Switch looks a whole closer to the top 10 on the Wii U and 3DS than it does the top 10 on the Wii.  Here take a look.
https://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/en/finance/software/wiiu.html

- It's disingenuous to say Switch has an overly complicated control system when it's just 2 x upgraded Wiimotes, 2 x SNES/PS1 controllers or an upgraded Wiimote-Nunchuk combo. ARMS controls are similar to Wii Boxing, Mario Tennis/Golf have the same MC option as Wii Tennis/Golf and Bowling in 51 Clubhouse Games controls similarly to Wii Bowling.

The touchscreen tablet form factor and familiarity is arguably just as accessible as a TV remote and IR sensor bar given the prevalence of smart devices today.

This idea that the Switch is selling because it pulled in the Wii gamers that the 3DS and Wii U missed is very much like forcing a square peg into a round hole.  These "new" sales the Switch is getting are not coming from the Wii.  The extra sales are coming from the PS4 and XB1 crowd.  The PSP was essentially a portable PS2.  The Switch is essentially a portable PS4, except you can also play it on a TV just fine and it has all of Nintendo's fantastic first party games.  Twilight Princess was a launch title, but it did not make it into the Wii's top 10.  On the other hand BotW seems to just keep selling.  This is not a game for the Wii crowd.  It most definitely is a game for PS4 and XB1 gamers.

- I think you're falling into the trap of believing the Wii's success was primarily due to Wii Sports. Wii Sports was bundled everywhere except Japan and it isn't the highest selling Wii game there. Do you think Wii's sales would have been badly hurt if Wii Sports would have been delayed for 2 years but we got Wii Fit and motion controlled Mario Tennis, Golf, Bowling at launch instead?


When Switch can match the value of Wii and Wii Sports (+WSR) then you'll see even more of the casuals come back like they did for RFA and Just Dance. It would be stupid for Nintendo to repeat the same stupid mistake of releasing a sports compilation for free and then attempting to sell standalones afterwards. Better to rinse the hardcore consumer at full price first and then bring Switch Sports later.



Nov 2016 - NES outsells PS1 (JP)

Don't Play Stationary 4 ever. Switch!

The_Liquid_Laser said:
Pyro as Bill said:


Mario Kart (wheel), RFA (weight loss) and Just Dance (waggle) can't sell the numbers they're selling without some of the Wii casuals.

Was 30-100 people sharing a single console in a retirement home really responsible for a large portion of casual Wii sales?

RFA is definitely pulling in people from the Wii.  I'll give you that.  However, that is the only Switch game pulling the new gamers from the Wii.  It also isn't even in the top 10 yet.  Perhaps 7m out of the 80m Switch owners are actually new gamers from the Wii.  That is still less than 10% of the base.  The Wii crowd is not the reason why the Switch is so successful.

Just Dance...do you have sales numbers for this?  I would love to know how much Just Dance is selling on the Switch.

Mario Kart is what Nintendo called a bridge game.  It appeals both to new gamers and also to really experienced gamers.  It can be hard to tell where those sales are coming from.  What I can tell you, for sure, is that Mario Kart was the most popular game on both the Wii U and the 3DS.  It is also currently the most popular game on the Switch.  It was not the most popular game on the Wii.  Wii Sports was by far the most popular game.

It is disingenuous to say the Switch is like the Wii and unlike the Wii U and 3DS.  The top 10 on the Switch looks a whole closer to the top 10 on the Wii U and 3DS than it does the top 10 on the Wii.  Here take a look.
https://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/en/finance/software/wiiu.html

This idea that the Switch is selling because it pulled in the Wii gamers that the 3DS and Wii U missed is very much like forcing a square peg into a round hole.  These "new" sales the Switch is getting are not coming from the Wii.  The extra sales are coming from the PS4 and XB1 crowd.  The PSP was essentially a portable PS2.  The Switch is essentially a portable PS4, except you can also play it on a TV just fine and it has all of Nintendo's fantastic first party games.  Twilight Princess was a launch title, but it did not make it into the Wii's top 10.  On the other hand BotW seems to just keep selling.  This is not a game for the Wii crowd.  It most definitely is a game for PS4 and XB1 gamers.

I would agree. Ring Fit is seeing a nice boost especially because people are in lock down globally and many can't or won't go to a gym to all in home fitness equipment is seeing a big boost (try buying a home gym, the prices are fucked). 

But the Switch was already a huge hit before that released and if you removed that game it would still be selling the same IMO. 

The Switch's top 10 software sales is more like the Wii U or a more conventional Nintendo platform just with bigger numbers for the usual Nintendo franchise staples. 



The_Liquid_Laser said:
Pyro as Bill said:


Mario Kart (wheel), RFA (weight loss) and Just Dance (waggle) can't sell the numbers they're selling without some of the Wii casuals.

Was 30-100 people sharing a single console in a retirement home really responsible for a large portion of casual Wii sales?

RFA is definitely pulling in people from the Wii.  I'll give you that.  However, that is the only Switch game pulling the new gamers from the Wii.  It also isn't even in the top 10 yet.  Perhaps 7m out of the 80m Switch owners are actually new gamers from the Wii.  That is still less than 10% of the base.  The Wii crowd is not the reason why the Switch is so successful.

Just Dance...do you have sales numbers for this?  I would love to know how much Just Dance is selling on the Switch.

Mario Kart is what Nintendo called a bridge game.  It appeals both to new gamers and also to really experienced gamers.  It can be hard to tell where those sales are coming from.  What I can tell you, for sure, is that Mario Kart was the most popular game on both the Wii U and the 3DS.  It is also currently the most popular game on the Switch.  It was not the most popular game on the Wii.  Wii Sports was by far the most popular game.

It is disingenuous to say the Switch is like the Wii and unlike the Wii U and 3DS.  The top 10 on the Switch looks a whole closer to the top 10 on the Wii U and 3DS than it does the top 10 on the Wii.  Here take a look.
https://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/en/finance/software/wiiu.html

This idea that the Switch is selling because it pulled in the Wii gamers that the 3DS and Wii U missed is very much like forcing a square peg into a round hole.  These "new" sales the Switch is getting are not coming from the Wii.  The extra sales are coming from the PS4 and XB1 crowd.  The PSP was essentially a portable PS2.  The Switch is essentially a portable PS4, except you can also play it on a TV just fine and it has all of Nintendo's fantastic first party games.  Twilight Princess was a launch title, but it did not make it into the Wii's top 10.  On the other hand BotW seems to just keep selling.  This is not a game for the Wii crowd.  It most definitely is a game for PS4 and XB1 gamers.

Mario Kart is what Nintendo called a bridge game.  It appeals both to new gamers and also to really experienced gamers.  It can be hard to tell where those sales are coming from.  What I can tell you, for sure, is that Mario Kart was the most popular game on both the Wii U and the 3DS.  It is also currently the most popular game on the Switch.  It was not the most popular game on the Wii.  Wii Sports was by far the most popular game.

Uhhhhhhh... so? We'll accept for argument's sake that Wii Sports was the most popular game on the Wii (bundles for both games make it a bit hard to say definitively). Mario Kart 8 still has sold more than 7 million than Mario Kart 7/8Wii U combined. If we assume there is significant overlap between the Wii U and 3DS audience, it seems safe (and rather conservative) to say that there will be 15-20 million more unique Mario Kart 8 owners than there were during the Wii and 3DS era.

Where did those sales come from? Not all from one place obviously, but it seems like the most likely source of additional source would be people that we know liked Mario Kart in the past. Fans of the Wii and DS game seem like a pretty logical suggestion. 

It is disingenuous to say the Switch is like the Wii and unlike the Wii U and 3DS.  The top 10 on the Switch looks a whole closer to the top 10 on the Wii U and 3DS than it does the top 10 on the Wii.  Here take a look.
https://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/en/finance/software/wiiu.html

This idea that the Switch is selling because it pulled in the Wii gamers that the 3DS and Wii U missed is very much like forcing a square peg into a round hole.  These "new" sales the Switch is getting are not coming from the Wii.  The extra sales are coming from the PS4 and XB1 crowd.  The PSP was essentially a portable PS2.  The Switch is essentially a portable PS4, except you can also play it on a TV just fine and it has all of Nintendo's fantastic first party games.

I don't think Pyro said that... but anyways, how can you compare the Switch top 10 to the Wii to argue that Switch is not getting sales from the Wii, then go on to argue that the extra sales are coming from the PS4 and XB1 crowd.

First off, comparing top ten is sort of an arbitrary cutoff. More importantly though, I don't think anyone is arguing that a large share of the Switch's sales are coming from 3DS owners. They are the most obvious source, so the top 10 is going to look pretty similar. But, the Switch is outpacing the 3DS by about 30 million, so even if we assume 100% of 3DS owners stayed with Nintendo (unlikely) then we still have a big chunk to account for.

You say, that the sales game from PS4 and XBox 1? Well, if you think that top 10 sales are a useful metric, let's look at those.

https://www.vgchartz.com/games/games.php?name=+&keyword=&console=PS4&region=All&developer=&publisher=&goty_year=&genre=&boxart=Both&banner=Both&ownership=Both&showmultiplat=No&results=50&order=Sales&showtotalsales=0&showtotalsales=1&showpublisher=0&showpublisher=1&showvgchartzscore=0&showvgchartzscore=1&shownasales=0&showdeveloper=0&showcriticscore=0&showcriticscore=1&showpalsales=0&showreleasedate=0&showreleasedate=1&showuserscore=0&showuserscore=1&showjapansales=0&showlastupdate=0&showlastupdate=1&showothersales=0&showshipped=0

Our numbers aren't perfect, but they should be good enough for our general purpose. 

The top games are Spider-man, GTAV, Uncharted IV, two Call of Duties, two Fifas, Red Dead Redemption, and the Last of Us. 

None of these games, nor anything like them, are in the top 10 on the Switch. Putting aside BOTW for a moment, we'll get to it, there is nothing in the top 10 that is remotely like the games that are thriving on Switch. Gritty shooters, sports sims, and open world games, aren't making the Switch a success. If you're judging by top 10 games, you'd have to conclude that the Wii audience is a FAR more likely source of new owners than the PS4. 

Twilight Princess was a launch title, but it did not make it into the Wii's top 10.  On the other hand BotW seems to just keep selling.  This is not a game for the Wii crowd.  It most definitely is a game for PS4 and XB1 gamers.

Now we can get to BOTW. I'll grant for argument's sake that Breath of the Wild is "a game for PS4 gamers". Even with that, this is extreme cherry picking.

Sure BOTW is still selling well. But... what else is selling?

Smash Ultimate has more than doubled the 3DS version, and will Ultimately (see what I did there) double the Wii U and 3DS combined.

NSMB U on Switch has already outsold the Wii U version which was a launch title. Very likely will outsell NSMB2.

Mario Odyssey will double (at least) 3D Land sales.

Super Mario Party is approaching 15 million. Sold about 3 million on 3DS.

Animal Crossing Switch will Triple sales of New Leaf by the year's end.

Pokemon Shield has outsold X and Y.

Clubhouse Games has sold over 2.5 million copies. 

Oragami King has already outsold Sticker Star by about half a million copies. Ditto for Star Allies. 

Twilight Princess vs BOTW is at best one piece of data suggesting that "PS4 style games" are selling well on the Switch (and honestly, I'd say that despite being both open world games there is a monumental difference between BOTW and something like Spider-man). Nothing else that is doing big numbers on the Switch is very PS4 ish.

Meanwhile, pretty much all of Nintendo's key franchises are beating and in most cases outright crushing their 3DS numbers. 

If we're trying to see if these gamers came more from the PS4/XBox One crowd or were lapsed Wii/DS owners, we are left with two possibilities.

A) PS4 and XBox Owners came to the Switch in large numbers primarily for BOTW. Despite the Switch not really having the kinds of games that thrived on the PS4. And then, they didn't really buy any of the PS4 style games on the Switch in big numbers. And they traded Fifa, Call of Duty, Halo, Gears of War, and Uncharted for Animal Crossing, Pokemon, Mario Kart, and Mario Party. 

or...

B)The Switch appealed to a large swath of lapsed Wii/DS owners, and people with similar tastes. They have been buying games similar to those which they enjoyed on the DS or Wii, which is why games like those have seen large increases in sales. They're not especially interested in PS4ish games, which is why while some of those games do decently on Switch (not saying no PS4 owners bought a Switch), they are not performing exceptionally well. These fans for whatever reason also really like Breath of the Wild. Logical reasons might include the age of the gamers (the younger Switch owners are now old enough for a more complicated game), the quality of the game (Twilight Princess was a great formulaic Zelda game, BOTW is a transcendant potential Game of the Generation), the style of the game (BOTW definitely takes some cues from things like Minecraft that have become quite popular), etc. 

If instead of cherry picking (looking just at BOTW, acting as though Wii Sports was the sole game that made the Wii sell, not considering what's selling on PS4/Xbox One) you look at all the data, Wii/DS owners being a major contributor to the Switch's success makes WAY more sense than PS4/XBone owners.



Breath of the Wild is selling better than Twilight Princess because it's a more widely appealing game. It's the first Zelda game that I've seen with a lot of female fans. It's not a Sony/PS4 style game in the slightest, the game is very much Nintendo style. A large part of what made Breath of the Wild popular was all the really cool stuff you can do in the game, it's a bit of an evolution of the original Zelda which had a very similar appeal to it. Breath of the Wild's physics engine definitely takes into account what Nintendo learned with games like Wii Sports and Mario Galaxy. But if someone sat down playing Zelda and said "Finally, a Nintendo console with games that aren't like Nintendo, and more like the stuff on PS4" I'd think they were nuts.

The console that was most like a Playstation was easily Gamecube. It was a PS2 clonebox along with Xbox. It remains to date my least favourite generation, because the only console I was remotely happy with was the Dreamcast, and that one flopped hard after around 2 years. It was a long wait for the Wii playing GBA and DS almost exclusively as far as current consoles went... Similar experience to the Switch with the Wii U.

Last edited by Jumpin - on 01 April 2021

I describe myself as a little dose of toxic masculinity.

Pyro as Bill said:
The_Liquid_Laser said:

RFA is definitely pulling in people from the Wii.  I'll give you that.  However, that is the only Switch game pulling the new gamers from the Wii.  It also isn't even in the top 10 yet.  Perhaps 7m out of the 80m Switch owners are actually new gamers from the Wii.  That is still less than 10% of the base.  The Wii crowd is not the reason why the Switch is so successful.

- The top-sellers list doesn't mean much until the end of the gen. If RFA sells 20m and Just Dance 2023 sells 10m but the top sellers are Odyssey and GTA5 at 50m, that doesn't mean the casuals didn't come back and add to Switch's success.

Just Dance...do you have sales numbers for this?  I would love to know how much Just Dance is selling on the Switch.

- I'm using the UK Amazon charts (baby seals be damned) and doing like for like comparisons between Switch 2019/2020 and Wii 2009/2010. The order is different but the same games are there (excl Wii Sports Resort).

Mario Kart is what Nintendo called a bridge game.  It appeals both to new gamers and also to really experienced gamers.  It can be hard to tell where those sales are coming from.  What I can tell you, for sure, is that Mario Kart was the most popular game on both the Wii U and the 3DS.  It is also currently the most popular game on the Switch.  It was not the most popular game on the Wii.  Wii Sports was by far the most popular game.

- Mario Kart is set to hit unprecedented numbers. You'd have to combine Mario Kart Wii and DS to beat MK8D sales assuming MK9 doesn't arrive soon. MK also brought back the wheel in a 2-pack, added auto-steer and auto-accelerate. That wasn't for experienced players.

It is disingenuous to say the Switch is like the Wii and unlike the Wii U and 3DS.  The top 10 on the Switch looks a whole closer to the top 10 on the Wii U and 3DS than it does the top 10 on the Wii.  Here take a look.
https://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/en/finance/software/wiiu.html

- It's disingenuous to say Switch has an overly complicated control system when it's just 2 x upgraded Wiimotes, 2 x SNES/PS1 controllers or an upgraded Wiimote-Nunchuk combo. ARMS controls are similar to Wii Boxing, Mario Tennis/Golf have the same MC option as Wii Tennis/Golf and Bowling in 51 Clubhouse Games controls similarly to Wii Bowling.

The touchscreen tablet form factor and familiarity is arguably just as accessible as a TV remote and IR sensor bar given the prevalence of smart devices today.

This idea that the Switch is selling because it pulled in the Wii gamers that the 3DS and Wii U missed is very much like forcing a square peg into a round hole.  These "new" sales the Switch is getting are not coming from the Wii.  The extra sales are coming from the PS4 and XB1 crowd.  The PSP was essentially a portable PS2.  The Switch is essentially a portable PS4, except you can also play it on a TV just fine and it has all of Nintendo's fantastic first party games.  Twilight Princess was a launch title, but it did not make it into the Wii's top 10.  On the other hand BotW seems to just keep selling.  This is not a game for the Wii crowd.  It most definitely is a game for PS4 and XB1 gamers.

- I think you're falling into the trap of believing the Wii's success was primarily due to Wii Sports. Wii Sports was bundled everywhere except Japan and it isn't the highest selling Wii game there. Do you think Wii's sales would have been badly hurt if Wii Sports would have been delayed for 2 years but we got Wii Fit and motion controlled Mario Tennis, Golf, Bowling at launch instead?


When Switch can match the value of Wii and Wii Sports (+WSR) then you'll see even more of the casuals come back like they did for RFA and Just Dance. It would be stupid for Nintendo to repeat the same stupid mistake of releasing a sports compilation for free and then attempting to sell standalones afterwards. Better to rinse the hardcore consumer at full price first and then bring Switch Sports later.

- The top-sellers list doesn't mean much until the end of the gen. If RFA sells 20m and Just Dance 2023 sells 10m but the top sellers are Odyssey and GTA5 at 50m, that doesn't mean the casuals didn't come back and add to Switch's success.

Hey, maybe you are right and the Wii gamers will come back in droves during the next few years.  What we do know is that they aren't really on the Switch right now.  Right now the Switch has sold about 80m units, and about 7m are Ring Fit Adventure.  All of the titles that are in the Switch's top 10, right now, are not the titles that uniquely brought in new gamers like Wii Sports, Wii Play, etc....  We do have RFA which is like Wii Fit.  I totally agree that this is actually the type of game that can bring in Wii gamers.

- It's disingenuous to say Switch has an overly complicated control system when it's just 2 x upgraded Wiimotes, 2 x SNES/PS1 controllers or an upgraded Wiimote-Nunchuk combo. ARMS controls are similar to Wii Boxing, Mario Tennis/Golf have the same MC option as Wii Tennis/Golf and Bowling in 51 Clubhouse Games controls similarly to Wii Bowling.

The touchscreen tablet form factor and familiarity is arguably just as accessible as a TV remote and IR sensor bar given the prevalence of smart devices today.

Really?  Do you really believe all of this?  The PS1 controller is what a complicated control system looks like, especially if you are talking about the one with 2 analogue sticks.  This is the single biggest thing that keeps so-called casual gamers away from other game systems like the PS4.  A simple control system is the Wii remote with no nunchuck necessary.  You just swing it like in Wii Bowling or Wii Tennis.  Another simple control system would be a game like Pac-Man.  It just needs a joystick and no buttons.  This made the game more successful than most of its contemporaries which needed a joystick + 1 button.  The simpler the controls, the better.

Also the phrase "The touchscreen tablet form factor and familiarity is arguably just as accessible as a TV remote and IR sensor bar given the prevalence of smart devices today" makes it sound like you are defending the Wii U.


- I think you're falling into the trap of believing the Wii's success was primarily due to Wii Sports. Wii Sports was bundled everywhere except Japan and it isn't the highest selling Wii game there. Do you think Wii's sales would have been badly hurt if Wii Sports would have been delayed for 2 years but we got Wii Fit and motion controlled Mario Tennis, Golf, Bowling at launch instead?

Yeah, I think the biggest killer app on the Wii was Wii Sports.  And then 33m came back to buy Wii Sports Resort.  It was clearly a popular franchise on the Wii.

When Switch can match the value of Wii and Wii Sports (+WSR) then you'll see even more of the casuals come back like they did for RFA and Just Dance. It would be stupid for Nintendo to repeat the same stupid mistake of releasing a sports compilation for free and then attempting to sell standalones afterwards. Better to rinse the hardcore consumer at full price first and then bring Switch Sports later.

I can agree with what you said here.  If Nintendo actually releases another good sequel to Wii Sports, then yeah the Wii crowd will buy the Switch too.  They just haven't done that yet.