An Italian plumber on a quest to rescue a kidnapped princess! An elf warrior with a mission to save the Kingdom of Hyrule from the evil Ganon… and also rescue a princess! The obsession of collecting them all and training them for a battle of the ages against one another!

If this made you think Super Mario, Legend of Zelda or Pokémon, you my friend are a Nintendo geek… Or just a very intuitive person.

According to Nintendo statistics, these are the prime video game franchises, out of literally millions, that the company has created throughout the years.

But how much do you truly know about the company?

Are you just a video game aficionado, or do you want to learn some real-life facts about Nintendo?

Follow us on an adventure where we might have to jump through hoops of fire and battle evil toads. We’ll also train an electrically powered pet that can only speak its own name to find the magical instrument whose melody can transport us through space... and if there’s time, perhaps save a damsel in distress.

Here’s a taste first!

Cool Nintendo Stats (Editor’s Choice)

  • Nintendo Switch sold 7.63 million units worldwide in 2017.
  • Nintendo DS is Nintendo’s most sold product worldwide with 154.02 million units moved.
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the most sold game on Nintendo Switch with over 19 million units.
  • Pokémon Go was the deciding factor in Nintendo surpassing Sony in net worth.
  • Nintendo Wii is the fifth highest-selling console of all time with 101.64 million copies distributed worldwide.
  • Nintendo Switch accounts for 85% of Nintendo’s yearly revenue.

Amazing! And there’s plenty more where that came from!

But before dragging you into the deep stats waters, a short history lesson!

When Was Nintendo Founded? 

The date of origin for the company goes way back to 1889 when it was founded by Fusajiro Yamauchi. Originally an enterprise that produced handheld playing cards, it ventured into all kinds of different businesses before becoming a toy production company in the 1960s.

But the real story starts in the 1970s, specifically in 1974 when Nintendo secured the rights for the Magnavox Odyssey video game console. This led it to becoming a full-fledged video game company that pioneered the video game craze of the 1980s.

The rest is, as they say, history, as Nintendo has become one of the most famous and influential video game software and web developers in the world with a number of originally produced and developed consoles.

Nintendo’s Home Consoles

  • 1977 – Color TV-Game
  • 1985 – Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)
  • 1990 – Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES)
  • 1996 – Nintendo 64
  • 2001 – Nintendo Game Cube
  • 2006 – Nintendo Wii
  • 2012 – Nintendo Wii U
  • 2017 – Nintendo Switch


Nintendo Handheld Consoles

  • 1980 – Game & Watch
  • 1989 – Game Boy
  • 2001 – Game Boy Advance
  • 2004 – Nintendo DS
  • 2011 – Nintendo 3DS
  • 2019 – Nintendo Switch LiteThis probably brings back some memories, right?

After a trip down memory lane, we start our journey with stat number…

1. Nintendo receives its largest revenue from the Americas, which amounted to $4.2 billion in 2018.

Based on the Nintendo market share statistics, the Americas are the company’s most profitable market. Statista reveals that in 2018 Nintendo managed to generate a mind-blowing revenue of $4.2 billion from that market alone.

The video game manufacturing company also made $9.96 billion in net sales for the same year, a figure that jumped up to $10.91 billion in 2019.

2. Nintendo sold 15 million Nintendo Switch units in North America alone in 2017.

In March 2017, it was revealed that a total of 15 million Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite units have been sold in North America. It is an increase of 20% year-to-date as of September.

An even more interesting fact reveals that 14 Nintendo switch games accounted for one million sold units, and four games accounted for six million sold units. These are Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Super Smash Bros, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Super Mario Odyssey.

3. Nintendo Switch sold 7.63 million units worldwide in 2017.

When the news broke that Nintendo Switch sold more units than PS4 in Japan, everyone got flabbergasted. Since its release in March, Nintendo Switch sold over 1.5 million units in Japan, while PS4 managed to move about 660,000 units for the same period.

Now that shouts success!

Nintendo global statistics say that 7.63 million units have been sold worldwide in 2017, while at the same time having strong software sales of 27.48 million.

A major contributor to the success was Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which sold 4.42 million copies worldwide.

4. Nintendo turned its luck around in 2017 with a 9% jump in gaming market share.

In 2017, the Japanese gaming giant Nintendo had a turnaround year, as its market share on the gaming industry jumped by 9% to a total of 22% by the end of the year.

Many refer to this as Nintendo revival, as it managed to make substantial profits in 2016. It is mostly due to the release of the Nintendo Switch and other well-known franchises.

On the other hand, Microsoft started losing its grip on the world’s gaming market by dropping down a whopping 25% to finish the year with a market share of 31%.

5. Apple tops the list of biggest gaming companies with a net worth of $526.82 billion in 2018.

The gaming industry is surely an important one, as tech giants compete against each other to get a foothold on the market. The leader is Apple with a net worth of $526.82 billion, but others are trucking along ever so closely. Nintendo market share for 2018 shows that its innovative tactics are paying off as the company continues to build for the future.

Major gaming companies and what they are worth in 2018:

  • Ubisoft - $3.69 billion
  • Nintendo - $20.11 billion
  • King - $5.69 billion
  • Electronic Arts - $22.9 billion
  • Apple - $523.82 billion
  • Activision Blizzard - $29.23 billion
  • 2K - $3.22 billion
  • Microsoft - $402.06 billion
  • Sony - $37.45 billion
  • Tencent - $197.4 billion

6. Pokémon Go was the deciding factor in Nintendo surpassing Sony in net worth.

Is Nintendo worth more than Sony?

You can ask Pokémon Go for the answer to that question, as it paved the way for Nintendo to surpass Sony in net worth in 2016. Nintendo is officially worth more than double what it once was.

Less than two weeks after the release of Pokémon Go, Nintendo earned a whopping $23 billion. The market share increase allowed the Japanese gaming giant to reach a figure of $40 billion, and it owes everything to Pokémon Go.

At the same time, Sony was worth $38 billion.

7. Nintendo Switch sales are on pace to match PlayStation 4 lifetime sales numbers.

After the end of the fiscal quarter in July 2019, Nintendo revealed that the sales of Nintendo Switch are very similar to those of PlayStation 4. Nintendo Switch lifetime sales numbers pin the needle at a figure of 36.87 million units sold so far, in line with the numbers for PS4.

Just a reminder that Switch was released on March 3, 2017, while PlayStation 4 made its debut on November 3, 2013.

However, PlayStation 2 is the highest-selling console of all time with 158 million units sold.

That being said, PlayStation 4 is the best-selling system of this console cycle, currently doing much better than Xbox One.

The upcoming Cyber Monday sales will most likely add to these numbers and boost them quite a bit.

8. Nintendo DS is Nintendo’s most sold product worldwide with 154.02 million units moved.

When it comes to world sales of popular Nintendo products and consoles, Nintendo facts and figures clearly state that Nintendo DS takes the first spot with 154.02 million units moved as of September 30, 2019.

Coming a close second is a surprising entry for some, as the Game Boy has sold 118.69 million units around the world.

However, Nintendo sells both hardware and software units alike. So, as far as software sales go, the Nintendo DS also tops the list with 948.69 million units moved, followed closely by Nintendo Wii with 921.19 million units.

Nintendo statistics for the most sold units:

  • Nintendo DS – 154.02 million (HW) – 948.69 million (SW)
  • Game Boy – 118.69 million (HW) – 501.11 million (SW)
  • Nintendo Wii – 101.63 million (HW) – 921.19 million (SW)
  • Game Boy Advance – 81.51 million (HW) – 377.42 million (SW)
  • Nintendo 3D S – 75.45 million (HW) – 380.72 million (SW)
  • Family Computer (NES) – 61.91 million (HW) – 500.01 million (SW)
  • Super Family Computer (SNES) – 49.10 million (HW) – 379.06 million (SW)
  • Nintendo Switch – 41.67 million (HW) – 246.01 million (SW)
  • Nintendo 64 – 32.93 million (HW) – 224.97 million (SW)
  • Nintendo GameCube – 21.47 million (HW) – 208.57 million (SW)
  • Nintendo Wii U – 13.56 million (HW) – 102.96 million (SW)

9. Early players of Nintendo Switch weren’t in their targeted demographics plans.

Looking into the history of Switch, the Nintendo target demographic was much different when it was released compared to today.

In 2017, when the game came out, 70% of players were men. However, only a year later, the gaming audience was split almost 50/50, with slightly more female players.

Nintendo Switch made a drastic change when shifting to a broader audience base as opposed to its original idea that added to the enormous popularity and sales numbers for the Switch.

10. Nintendo Switch accounts for 85% of Nintendo’s yearly revenue.

It seems that Nintendo Switch is the star of the show for the Japanese gaming mogul. In regard to the Nintendo market share for 2019, Switch accounted for 85% of the $10.8 billion revenue that Nintendo incurred.

During this period, a total of 16.5 million consoles were sold, mostly because of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate sales number reached an incredible 13.81 million.

What makes things more interesting is that the Switch managed to outsell Xbox’s entire segment from 2018.

If we look at the end of the 2019 fiscal year, Nintendo made a jump of 36.4% from last year, as worldwide sales of software, hardware, and Nintendo Switch online raked up $9.26 million for the given period.

11. Nintendo Switch is the fastest-selling home video game system in US history.

Shortly after its release in the US, Nintendo Switch became the fastest-selling home gaming system, with five million units sold in no less than 10 months.

Wicked! It surpassed the selling pace of Nintendo Wii, which sold 4 million copies for the same period.

Both the Switch and SNES Classic Edition were part of a revival year for Nintendo, as it eventually raked up a $9.6 billion income, which represented a mind-boggling 500% rise year-over-year according to Nintendo growth statistics.

12. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the most sold game on Nintendo Switch with over 19 million units.

The Super Mario franchise is one of the most recognizable and famous video games out there. Not only has it amazed people in Japan but also everyone around the world.

The latest addition to the Italian plumber franchise is Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. The game was originally released in 2017 and has already reached an important milestone. Numbers say that it is the most sold Switch game for Nintendo today, with 40 million units sold in less than two and a half years.

Fun fact: It took Sony PlayStation 4 two years to move 30 million units of the console.

Top 10 Nintendo’s most sold games:

  1. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – 19.01 million
  2. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate – 15.71 million
  3. Super Mario Odyssey – 15.38 million
  4. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – 14.54 million
  5. Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! – 11.28 million
  6. Splatoon 2 – 9.28 million
  7. Super Mario Party – 7.59 million
  8. Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe – 4.59 million
  9. Super Mario Maker 2 – 3.93 million
  10. The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening – 3.13 million

13. The Mario franchise is Nintendo’s most profitable franchise with $601 million earned.

Nintendo market share history reveals that the Mario franchise is still the most profitable one for Nintendo. It tops the list with a mind-blowing $601 million earned, out of which $337.7 million go to the Super Mario Series.

The second biggest earner is the Pokémon series with $340 million.

Here is the list of Nintendo’s top profitable franchises:

  1. Mario - $601 million
  2. Pokémon - $340 million
  3. Wii Series - $202.57 million
  4. The Legend of Zelda - $106.62 million
  5. Donkey Kong - $58.02 million
  6. Super Smash Bros - $54.92 million
  7. Kirby - $38 million
  8. Brain Age series - $33 million
  9. Animal Crossing – $31.86 million
  10. Nintendodogs series - $27 million

14. Sony still holds an advantage in total current-generation console sales with 62% in 2018.

PlayStation market share for current-gen home consoles stands at 62%, which accounts for 88 million units of the PlayStation 4 console.

Second in line is Microsoft with 29% of home consoles sales (41 million XO sold), while the third spot is taken by Nintendo with 9% (14 million credited to Wii U).

However, on the hybrid console front, Nintendo has the whole market, with 100% and 24 million units sold in 2018.

15. Nintendo Switch will be the best selling game console for both 2019 and 2020.

Nintendo predictions for tier Switch sales estimated a 100 million milestone by the end of the year. However, DFC suggests that although it will most likely be the top-selling console for 2019, it will fall short of that figure.DFC estimates that the Nintendo Switch will encompass 45% of the market, while PlayStation 4 will end up at around 39%.

Even though they still say that the 2020 year will also be the year of the Switch, they don’t have exact stats to support this claim.

16. Nintendo Switch will probably surpass Xbox One by units sold by the end of 2019.

Even though the Xbox market share for 2019 shows that they are on a solid pace to end the year, chances are Nintendo Switch will overtake it.

As of March 2019, Xbox One still had an edge over Nintendo Switch with 42,200,713 units compared to 32,937,511.

But PlayStation 4 remains the undisputed leader with an astonishing 94,697,429 units sold, as it’s on pace to break the 100 million mark.

17. Some 60% of people that own Switch also bought Super Mario Odyssey.

If you own a Nintendo Switch, chances are that you are a proud owner of the Super Mario Odyssey video game. According to Nintendo statistics, 61% of Switch users have also bought Super Mario Odyssey.

To be exact, 9.07 million copies of the game were sold in a mere two months after its release.

18. Nintendo sold a total of 300 million home game devices all-time.

In 2018, Nintendo managed to cross the 300 million thresholds of sold home game units all-time. Leading the charge is Nintendo Wii with more than 100 million units sold. However, the Switch added a lot by incurring 20 million a very short time after its release.

Console market share for 2018 states that the total number stands at 300.54 million Nintendo home game units sold around the world.

19. Nintendo’s sale of handheld devices greatly outnumbers the sales of home consoles all-time.

It is both interesting and impressive to see that the number of handheld consoles from Nintendo is greater than the home gaming systems.

Handheld gaming devices from Nintendo have sold exactly 727.65 million units so far, with Nintendo DS being their number one product based on the recent Nintendo market share all-time record numbers.

20. Nintendo Wii is the fifth highest-selling console of all time with 101.64 million copies distributed worldwide.

Nintendo Wii is the highest selling home console produced by the Japanese gaming company with more than 100 million units moved. Although Nintendo is doing much better on the handheld and hybrid video game front, it is still doing pretty well when it comes to home gaming systems, as it manages to battle against the top dogs in the sector.

Based on the console market share from 2019, Nintendo Wii is the fifth most sold console in the world. PlayStation 2 still proudly occupies the first place with 157.68 million units sold worldwide.

List of Top Selling Video Game Consoles Worldwide:

  1. PlayStation 2 - 157.68 million
  2. Nintendo DS – 154.90 million
  3. Game Boy – 118.69 million
  4. PlayStation – 104.25 million
  5. Nintendo Wii – 101.64 million
  6. PlayStation 4 – 88.06 million
  7. PlayStation 3 – 86.90 million
  8. Xbox 360 – 85.50 million
  9. Game Boy Advance – 81.51 million
  10. PlayStation Portable – 80.82 million

20 stats is a nice and round number I should say.But just in case we missed something, let’s finish things off with a quick...

Let’s Wrap Things Up

Friends, gamers, countrymen… We hope you have enjoyed our short breakdown of Nintendo’s history filled with all kinds of fun stats and facts.

We went through all the basics and covered some fun stuff, like the most popular games and consoles. At the same time, we also made sure we discussed serious things like the Nintendo revenue breakdown.

For me, as a writer, this was a fun trip down memory lane, as I grew up playing the early Super Mario games. It is fun when you remember your childhood and start thinking about the things that used to entertain you back then. As adults, we don’t have that much time to play video games, but the child inside us that wants to do it all the time will never disappear.

I hope you enjoyed reading about the latest Nintendo statistics as much as I had fun writing them.

Aaaand remember, your princess may not be in this castle, but you are free to roam around other Leftronic articles to look for her.

Happy gaming, everybody!