The Japanese console-maker has rebounded spectacularly after the Wii U flopped, and the future looks bright.
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2020 looks to be a banner year for the games industry, with two brand-new consoles: the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X. As competitors entice gamers with promises of 8K gaming and solid state drives, look for Nintendo to quietly expand its dominance with the Switch, with stellar IP and a more powerful Pro console rumored to hit stores this summer.
Here's a quick look at some of the need-to-know numbers that explain Nintendo's enviable position in 2020.
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Nintendo needed a big win after the lackluster sales of its Wii U console, which only moved around 13 million units between 2012 and 2017. Thanks in part to stellar launch titles like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the WIld, the Switch has proven to be a winner for the Osaka-based gamesmaker.
After the 2019 holiday rush, the hybrid console surpassed the 49.1 million unit sales of the Super NES.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate sold more than 12 million copies in its first three weeks of release, making it the fastest-selling Nintendo game of all time. It's also the best-selling fighting game of all time, outpacing genre standbys like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat. Like its predecessors, SSBU has also spawned a lively competitive scene.
Currently, hard copies of Nintendo Switch games are limited to 32 GB cards, making ports of larger, more graphically intense games a tricky proposition. Solid sales of ports like Skyrim and The Witcher 3 suggests there's a healthy audience of people who want to take graphically intense games on the go.
When the Switch launched in 2017, it needed to make a compelling case to gamers from the get-go. Breath of the Wild deserves a huge share of the credit for helping the fledgling console avoid the fate of the Wii U, moving 5.46 million pieces of hardware in its first month. Rumors claim the Switch Pro will aim to make lightning strike twice, by launching along with BotW 2.