Nintendo surpasses Sony and Microsoft in sales of video game consoles

2 min. reading
Digitalisation, Gaming and eSports, New technologies / 9 March, 2022
Nintendo surpasses Sony and Microsoft in sales of video game consoles

Karla García Gil Journalist

The Nintendo Switch console continues to climb rungs in the video game industry, with 103.5 million units sold since 2017, the year of its launch. The Switch, whose sales have benefited from the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, has become Nintendo’s top-grossing desktop console and the third best-selling console of all time, behind only PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 4, with 155 million and 116.9 million units respectively, according to Statista data.

In the past two years, Nintendo has sold nearly 48 million units of the Switch console, elevating it above the original PlayStation and Wii, which have sold only 102.4 million and 101.6 million respectively.

Undoubtedly, Nintendo’s triumph could have been greater if it were not for the limitations represented by the global chip shortage, which has forced the company to cut its sales prospects.

It is worth mentioning that Sony has led the industry for the last two and a half decades, with three of its PlayStations occupying first, second and fourth place in the ranking of the most commercially successful home consoles in the world.

Semiconductor crisis and its effects

Semiconductor crisis and its effects

The production of chips is among the most complex processes in existence, taking several months and hundreds of stages in its manufacture, in addition, it requires precision equipment that operates subatomic particles.

Semiconductor crisis

The shortage of semiconductor chips has posed multiple challenges for the video game industry. Video game consoles in particular have been affected by such crisis, as buying the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5 or Xbox X and S series is very difficult, as is accessing a graphics card for PC gaming.

Toshiba and Intel have mentioned that the chip shortage could continue until 2023. The Japanese company is one of the main manufacturers of power regulator chips used in PC graphics cards and video game consoles; however, demand has far exceeded production and therefore, it has been impossible for Toshiba to meet the deadlines for orders. The company plans to invest US$545 million in its production line until 2024, which would boost semiconductor production.

On the other hand, all PCs depend on Nvidia or AMD cards to process the most advanced video games, so both companies have upgraded their production lines with more powerful and innovative equipment, but almost impossible to find. Similarly, many video game consoles use AMD chips, which has put additional pressure on the supply chain.

Despite the above, Nintendo surpassed 84.5 million units sold in 2021 worldwide, predicting that these results would continue to grow, and indeed, we can see this in 2022, with the Switch breaking records.

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