It seems like just yesterday the late Satoru Iwata was teasing the arrival of “NX,” a new project from Nintendo that would change the way people play games. Nintendo’s beloved former President tragically never got to see his dream fulfilled, but the device we now know as Nintendo Switch has likely achieved success beyond even his imagination.
In its first year on the market, Nintendo Switch has certainly eclipsed 15 million units sold (more than Wii U in its entire life) with the official count as of December 31st, 2017 sitting at 14.86 million. The home console and handheld hybrid has moved plenty of software as well, with 52.57 million units sold. That includes over 9 million copies of Super Mario Odyssey, over 7 million copies of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and over 6.7 million copies of Breath of the Wild on Switch alone. Splatoon 2 is nearing the 5 million mark, and even ARMS and Xenoblade Chronicles 2 have eclipsed 1 million, all in the first year of the console’s life.
The impact that Switch has had on Nintendo’s market value is almost unbelievable. At ¥6.89 trillion, Nintendo has its highest market cap since 2008, the height of the Wii and DS craze. This is double what the company was worth just before Nintendo Switch launched one year ago.
Aside from the raw numbers, Switch has also proven to have an incredible impact on people who matter more than the investors: the fans. Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey are some of the highest-rated games of all time, pulling in numerous Game of the Year awards and leaving us with countless memories. Looking ahead, Nintendo will continue to create fun in new ways with projects like Nintendo Labo, exactly the kind of outside-the-box thinking that Iwata would have loved.
It’s been an incredible year for Nintendo, the Switch, and gamers around the world. What are some of your favorite memories from the first year of Nintendo Switch’s life? For me, nothing will ever quite replace leaping off of the Great Plateau and venturing out into the massive, wonderful world of Breath of the Wild. As someone who’s been a fan of Zelda games for his entire life, Breath of the Wild was exactly the fresh breath of air Nintendo promised. As someone who isn’t usually all that interested in vast, open worlds (which often feel empty and bland), I was amazed at how Breath of the Wild kept me playing until sunrise every day. I wanted to live in that world, and that’s a feeling a game hasn’t truly given me in a long time.