The current hardware generation is starting to show its age in terms of sales. That’s giving the younger Nintendo Switch an opportunity to snatch up a lot of hardware dollars. Nintendo’s hybrid home/handheld console outsold the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in the U.S. last month, according to industry-tracking firm The NPD Group.
“Nintendo Switch is the best-selling hardware platform of February,” NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said. “And [for] 2019 year to date.”
And it makes sense that Switch is selling better. The rest of the hardware market in the U.S. is finally starting to trend down. While console sales were up year-over-year for all platforms in 2018, that’s not the case in 2019 so far.
“Hardware spending in February 2019 declined 12 percent when compared to a year ago, to $277 million,” said Piscatella.
But Nintendo isn’t just performing well in relation to the current PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The Switch delivered some of the best February results for the company in years.
“Nintendo generated its highest February-month hardware dollar sales since February 2011,” said Piscatella. “The company also reached the highest year-to-date dollar sales for Nintendo-produced hardware since 2011.”
In February 2011, Nintendo was selling both the Wii and Nintendo DS. And while both were beyond their prime at that point, they combined to sell more than 900,000 total consoles. Although, it’s important to remember the Switch costs more than either of those systems did at that point. Regardless, the Switch has momentum and each month it finds new ways to maintain that velocity.
The Switch’s strong February sales come despite a dearth of new, big-name releases at retail. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was once again the platform’s best-selling game, though. And it seems likely that the megahit continues to drive adoption.
Smash Ultimate was the No. 7 best-selling game of February in the U.S., and that does not include digital. Through the first two months of 2019, Smash is the No. 8 best-selling game of the year.