Nintendo Hardware Sales in America Show An Alarming Trend of Decline

Nintendo has a mammoth task ahead of it with the Nintendo NX.

Posted By | On 27th, Sep. 2016 Under News | Follow This Author @Pramath1605

nintendo new logo

Nintendo have their work cut out for them with the upcoming NX- we’ve all known that for a while, and we don’t necessarily need someone to tell it to us. But you don’t understand the extent of Nintendo’s current plight until you see their hardware sales numbers in America laid bare in their glory. Video game analyst at Niko Partners Daniel Ahmad has done just that, and the takeaway is stark. It is then that you realize- Nintendo have been bleeding hardware sales and market share for a very long time now.

In fact, barring the aberration that were the DS and Wii, their handhelds and home consoles have both been in a state of steady decline, with each new generation selling less than the previous one. Even this generation, the Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo’s bright spot, and the highest selling system of the cycle (higher selling than even the PS4, with 60 million units sold worldwide), has sold less than half of the DS, and well below previous Nintendo handhelds.

These numbers make you realize- Nintendo need to stem the bleeding, and fast. The NX is supposed to be their comeback after the Wii U, and there is a general hope that the machine, which acts as a successor to Wii U and 3DS both, will end up selling well. And that will involve it reversing a steady trend of progressively lower sales.

Happily for Nintendo, they may be able to do that- even with the 3DS, though the handheld has not managed to recreate the glory days of Gameboy, Gameboy Advance, or Nintendo DS, Nintendo managed to generate some demand for the system when Pokemon GO launched for smartphones in July, when it ended up as the highest selling system in America according to NPD. This shows us that there is a demand for Nintendo hardware on the market, and that people will buy it- Nintendo just has to make it an appealing prospect.

You can check out their handheld and home console sales for yourself below:


  • 34.00m – NES
  • 23.35m – SNES
  • 20.63m – N64
  • 12.93m – GCN
  • 48.64m – Wii
  • 6.29m – Wii U


  • 44.06m -GB/C
  • 41.64m -GBA/SP
  • 59.93m -NDS Family
  • 20.11m -3DS Family

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  • cweb1988

    man….I didn’t realize the Wii U flopped THAT hard. Holy crap.

    • chaz

      Keep in mind these are only American sales. Worldwide Wii U sales start at 13.5 million units. Which is… still bad, but not that bad.

    • LifeOnMars

      vgchartz LOL

    • chaz

      Funny. Except I’m not using VGChartz numbers. Try again, maybe?

    • LifeOnMars

      What suprises me is how it was still selling so well in the US compared to Europe.

    • chaz

      The Wii U?
      NA has always been the biggest market for Nintendo, while Europe has always been their weakest one (though Nintendo are very strong in continental Europe, such as France and Germany, they are weaker in markets like the UK).

  • mustachio

    I have high hopes for Nintendo this time around. I have had a console buying addiction my whole life starting with the NES. I felt for the longest time that Sony and Microsoft were surpassing them. This time around not so much. After buying Xbone and PS4 i was disappointed. I feel that there is nothing unique about the systems. They might as well be PC’s. Every game release i find myself picking up the PC version. Nintendo seems the only one focused on an experience that you cant get with a PC. Nintendo games really hold there replay value over the years.
    I would be nice if the NX could play DS games

    • Jimmy Boy

      Switch looks like the approach the DS took almost 15 years earlier when it phased out Game Boy in favor of the new DS. Remember in 2004 how the DS was not the successor to the Game Boy Advance? Yet, today, Wikipedia lists the DS as the Game Boy Advance’s successor!! Don’t forget too in 2006 when Game Boy Micro was flopping and the DS was flying off shelves, Reggie himself said that the Game Boy Advance was dead, and not getting a successor. Think that same thing will happen with 3DS? Very, very likely.


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