Nintendo Switch has now outsold the Wii, but its successor could be years away

Wario sitting in a pile of money
(Image credit: Nintendo)

Nintendo Switch has now surpassed the Wii’s lifetime sales in just under five years, making it the fastest home console to hit the 100 million sales mark.

Nintendo announced that the Switch had shipped 10.67 million units between October and December 2021, despite ongoing complications due to the global semiconductor shortage. It means the Switch has now shipped 103.54 million units, overtaking the Wii’s impressive tally of 101.63 million.

Nintendo recently launched the Nintendo Switch OLED model, which the company says has “got off to a good start”, but also poured cold water over a successor being announced anytime soon.

“Switch is just in the middle of its lifecycle and the momentum going into this year is good,” Furukawa said on a call after the company’s earnings report (thanks, Bloomberg). “The Switch is ready to break a pattern of our past consoles that saw momentum weakening in their sixth year on the market and grow further.”

With the Switch selling so handsomely, it’s hard to see why Nintendo would choose to release a new piece of hardware, particularly if it negatively impacted the Switch’s success. It means that a Nintendo Switch 2 releasing in the near future is unlikely.

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Nintendo Switch Wii U

(Image credit: Shutterstock/Interneteable)

After the catastrophic sales of the Wii U, which only managed to shift 13.56 million during its lifespan, the Switch has probably surpassed even Nintendo’s most lofty expectations. The console has been incredibly popular since its March 2017 release, and demand shows no sign of waning.

Like the Wii, the Switch is a product that consumers can immediately understand. Its appeal is also more widespread, too, as its hybrid nature complements most people’s busy lifestyles. Having a console that can be played at home or on the go is still very much a novelty, and Nintendo has comfortably established itself as the market leader. 

The Kyoto-based company has also delivered a stellar lineup of software during the Nintendo Switch’s lifespan, and also ported a number of Wii U titles to the system which were largely overlooked. We’ve also seen Nintendo experiment with more casual experiences, like Nintendo Labo and Ring Fit Adventure to great success. 

However, with Valve’s Steam Deck set to release on February 25, the house of Mario will finally have a like-for-like product to compete with, and one that already has thousands of games available. Depending on how much of the market Valve’s portable PC can take, we may see Nintendo react sooner than expected.

For now, though, Nintendo is clearly content to keep supporting the Switch for many years to come. And with sales maintaining a record-breaking pace, it’s hard to argue why it would consider doing anything else. 

Adam Vjestica

Adam was formerly TRG's Hardware Editor. A law graduate with an exceptional track record in content creation and online engagement, Adam has penned scintillating copy for various technology sites and also established his very own award-nominated video games website. He’s previously worked at Nintendo of Europe as a Content Marketing Editor and once played Halo 5: Guardians for over 51 hours for charity. He is now an editor at The Shortcut.