News Article

Nintendo Has Sold 268.97 Million Consoles And 385.15 Million Handhelds In 30 Years

Posted by Damien McFerran

Along with 2.195 billion console games and 1.907 billion handheld games

Nintendo's recent 2013 Annual Report — in which President Satoru Iwata states that he expects to see a return to bumper profits this financial year — features some illiumitating figures regarding the company's incredible sales record over the past three decades.

Since the Famicom was launched in Japan in 1983, Nintendo has sold an astonishing 268.97 million games consoles — that means Famicom / NES, Super Famicom / SNES, Virtual Boy, N64, GameCube, Wii and Wii U. The company has also shifted 385.15 million handheld consoles since the launch of the Game Boy in 1989. That includes the Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS and Nintendo 3DS.

Consoles need software of course, and the sales figures for games are equally impressive. 2.195 billion console games and 1.907 billion handheld games have been retailed by Nintendo in the past 30 years across both physical and digital distribution formats (that figure also includes bundled games).


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User Comments (52)



C-Olimar said:

Where does Virtual Boy fit in? I don't see it in handhelds or home consoles.
What will Nintendo do without its tens of sales???



Peach64 said:

Kinda crazy to think that despite their legendary status they actually have the lowest sales per console average of the big 3



Shworange said:

37 percent of all hardware sales then was pulled in by Wii. That's crazy. Also, four billion games?! Not many companies can say they sold billions of units of non disposable products. That's amazing.



marck13 said:

I am confident that the Wii U will crack that 300 Million sold consoles soon. It´s such a great tool, it deserves to sell well and to populate the globe!



C-Olimar said:

@Peach64 Not totally surprising, since they've been around a lot longer, released more consoles. GameCube and N64 are dragging Ninty down here.



DarkEdi said:

"2.195 billion console games and 1.907 billion handheld games"

One correction:
1,000, one thousand
1,000,000 one million
1,000,000,000, one thousand million
1,000,000,000,000 one billion
2,195,000,000,000 two billion one hundred ninety five thousand of retail games? are you sure? that is almost 100 games per console per person

2195 millions doesn´t the same than 2.195 billions, there are 000 between of difference



Quickman said:

Also, apart from the Wii U and VB obviously, Nintendo have made a profit on every other console that they have released I believe?



DarkEdi said:


Oh thanks, i see a lot that numbers and it is confusing. But i have another question, how do you see the difference between
1,000,000,000 (9 zeros)
1,000,000,000,000 (12 zeros) ??



DarkEdi said:

My contribution:
1 NES: 11 games (all sadly sold)
1 SNES: 50 games (i have now 30)
1 N64: 65 games aprox (i have like 50)
1 Cube: 80 games aprox (i have now like 70)
1 Wii: 110 games aprox (i have like 80), 200 download games aprox (VC and WW)
1 Wii U: 6 games, 15 download aprox
3 GB: like 30 games
3 GBC: like 20 games
2 GBA: like 40 games
1 NDS: like 60 games
1 3DS: like 13 games



Dark_Link said:

When Microsoft and Sony enter the gaming market it was already strong thanks in large part to Nintendo. When Nintendo entered the market there was a Video Game Crash and the NES changed everything! I believe it sold 60 million systems but everyone it seemed had that system and also coming out with the gameboy which was great in itself in those days. It was revolutionary and than the SNES took it even further. Nintendo's legacy is they saved gaming and they are still here making profits.
I still own an NES, SNES, N64, Gamecube, Wii and will be getting a Wii U and a 3DS and used to own a gameboy. I'm definitely a fan.



NintyMan said:

These numbers boggle my mind. Millions of home and handheld consoles with billions of games bringing entertainment to the masses? That's just flat-out impressive. Few companies can boast about how much of an impact they've made on the world with this amount of products. It's also nice to know that I've contributed to it too.



1080ike said:

"Since the Famicom was launched in Japan in 1983, Nintendo has sold an astonishing 268.97 games consoles — that means Famicom / NES, Super Famicom / SNES, Virtual Boy, N64, GameCube, Wii and Wii U. The company has also shifted 385.15 handheld consoles since the launch of the Game Boy in 1989. That includes the Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS and Nintendo 3DS." Shouldn't the numbers be in millions?



cogb1983 said:

@DarkEdi En inglés, "billion" es lo que en español es diez mil millones o millardo. That's why the numbers seem to be exaggerated.



JJtheTexan said:

@C-Olimar ***SMACK***
"We told you, NEVER utter that name in Iwata-san's presence!!!"
(Cowers behind stacks of Nintendo 64 Disc Drives)



DarkEdi said:

Gracias a todos. Thanks to all. And how do you say 1000,000,000,000 in english? (a million of millions here is called billion)



Shambo said:

Except for the disc drives and the Virtual Boy I have every (European) model of every console they ever made -and every extension I know of- at least once, some Japanese special editions too. I'm looking to get a Japanese Famicom, an American SNES mini and, yes, a Virtual boy. The latter are way too pricey though...



cogb1983 said:

My personal contribution is:

1 NES: 13 games
1 SNES: 8 games
1 Wii: 41 games
1 DS: 40 games
1 3DS: 18 games
1 Wii U: 9 games (believe it or not).



idork99 said:

Wonder what my personal contribution is in hours played for all systems combined



ueI said:

It looks like console owners buy more games than handheld owners do.



DarkEdi said:

Sí, hablo español. es que luego son confusos algunos detalles del idioma. Aún así estoy viendo que el Wii vendió 100 millones, eso la hace la más exitosa de todas.



Giygas_95 said:

My contributions: SNES (my first console)
GB Color
GBA Micro
DS lite
3DS (later sold and upgraded to 3DS XL)
Wii U
Too many games to list.



The_Mysteron said:

'Nintendo has sold an astonishing 268.97 games consoles'
Wow. Nearly 300 consoles. In 3 decades. :0



Caryslan said:

@DarkCoolEdge Yeah, the DS managed to still sell alot of games, but piracy was what killed the PSP. The funny thing is that the PSP sold 70 million units in its lifetime, but it had one of the lowest software attachment rates out of any system. People pirated alot of PSP games, and it hurt many of those titles at retail.

I guess people see no issue in pirating handheld games, which is sad since it basically helped kill the PSP market in NA and made publishers scared to bring anything over.

The DS has a problem with piracy, but I don't think it was ever to the level of what the PSP suffered. I have seen people online admit proudly that they play pirated PSP games and hack the PSP's firmware.

I'm happy the 3DS and PS Vita have managed to keep hackers and pirates at bay. People really need to stop justifying piracy or thinking it's ok to do. If you can't afford a game now, then wait till it drops in price or find a cheaper hobby. I wish people would realize that piracy is stealing at the end of the day.

And thanks to them,they we might have scared off numerous publishers who might have brought their games over, but stopped when they realized their games might be stolen by hackers. Once again, one only needs to look at the PSP to see how piracy can kill a system.



FritzFrapp said:

I've done my bit:

14 Game & Watches
1 Famicom and Disk: 72 carts, 51 disks [now all sold]
1 NES: 53 games

1 Game Boy: 28 games
1 SNES: 18 games
 [& 1 Super Game Boy]
1 N64: 49 games
1 Game Boy Color: 9 games
1 Pokemon Mini: 5 games
3 GameCubes: 102 games [& 1 Game Boy Player]
3 Game Boy Advance SPs: 84 games [1 NES Edition, 1 Zelda Edition, 1 Minish Cap Limited Edition]
1 DS: 130 games

1 DS Lite
1 Wii: 100 games, 21 downloads
1 Game Boy Micro [Famicom Edition Japan]
1 DSi: 14 downloads
1 3DS: 22 games,
1 Wii U: 12 games, 16 downloads
plus some collectables, toys, cards etc. And some shares.

In rough chronological order from 1980, all were launch consoles except my US SNES and Game Boy Color.



Pachterkid said:

And yet the PS2 outsold the SNES, N64, and GameCube combined...

The Playstation 1 and 2 sold a combined 257.49 million units. Factor in PS3 sales and Sony (with just three consoles) has outsold everything Nintendo has ever produced.

Oh wait. Was I not supposed to point that out? Silly me, this is Nintendo Life, where Nintendo can do no wrong and is totally not screwed with the Wii U. My comment should have been along the lines of "Go Nintendo!!"



Urbanhispanic said:

I own the NES, SNES, N64, Gamecube, Wii, GBA SP, DS and 3DS.

I'll have to count all my games to get an accurate count on my "contribution".

Also, I plan on getting a Wii U and at least 6 games in the future.



SCAR said:

Used game sales don't really count. You have the game/console represented by those numbers, but you bought it from another owner, who probably charged you more if it was a rare game. It's called after market.
It really only counts if you buy the game new, kinda.

The DS and Wii make up a little over a 3rd of those sales, if I'm not mistaken. Video games have become alot more widespread over the years. The population has gotten bigger, and more people know about video games.



QuickSilver88 said:

@Shadowkiller97 Yes we only know what trillions are in America because our government has racked up 16 trillion in debt. We have crappy Obama phones in the US why can't we get an Obama 3DS program going so all the low rents can get a free portable game



DarkEdi said:


Incredible video! Then US people use the short system so it sounds like biggest numbers, but the other countries use the long system. I didn´t know the short system was more used in people there.



Ernest_The_Crab said:

@koopakid The market was smaller back in the days of the SNES. Also, they screwed themselves when they tried to compete in terms of power with the N64 (also due to the lack of CDs) and the Gamecube.

Which funny enough, history seems to prove, every time in the gaming market, that the least powerful console of each generation comes out on top.

Seems history is on their side at the very least.



tripunktoj said:

I know they wouldn't add much, but Id like to see Game & Watch (Even if I don't know if they should count as console, game or both... maybe that's why they were left out of the count) and many other rare handhelds like Pokémon Mini in the list



unrandomsam said:

@Caryslan Piracy costs less than used games sales. (Still don't think it should be called that as it makes real piracy such as happens off the coast of Somalia seem trivial and insignificant). Bootlegging is also much worse (And extremely prevalent for DS games).

Without riivolution New Super Mario Bros Wii is garbage. (Some of the mod's are great).

I won't be getting the Wii U version until it can be modded in a similar way.

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