Why Nintendo Switch is Dominating (And What It Means for Gamers)

It's no secret that the Nintendo Switch has been a massive success. But if you need concrete proof that Nintendo's hybrid console has taken over the world, just look at the numbers.

Credit: Shaun Lucas/Tom's Guide

(Image credit: Shaun Lucas/Tom's Guide)

Nintendo just released its fiscal year sales data for 2017, which include some incredibly impressive stats for both the Switch itself as well as Nintendo's first-party games. According to the Japanese games giant, Nintendo's new console has sold an impressive 17.79 million units since it launched in March 2017. Super Mario Odyssey sold a whopping 10.41 million units, while Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Splatoon 2 moved roughly 9 million and 6 million units, respectively.

"A game console is only as good as the games that can be played on it, and Nintendo’s studios have done a great jump pumping out the hits since launch," said Lewis Ward, research director for gaming and AR/VR at IDC. According to a survey conducted by IDC in October 2017, prospective Switch buyers were more excited about their system's game library than those for any other console.

If you had even the slightest worry that Switch would go the way of the Wii U, fear not. The Switch's massive success means that you can expect Nintendo's console to stick around for years to come, and the big sales numbers behind games like Mario and Splatoon seem like an indication that we'll be seeing the big N invest in major first-party games for quite a while (Metroid Prime 4 and an untitled Pokemon game are the two big ones on the horizon).

MORE: A Year with Nintendo Switch: What We Love and Hate

"It’s an old formula for them but it keeps working: specialize the entire platform so that it’s appealing to children and their parents, and make the experience simple to use for all ages and cover the basic couch-based multiplayer angle," said Ward, elaborating on why the Switch has been so successful thus far. Ward also points to the Switch's relatively affordable $299 price point as a major factor, especially as the $399 PS4 Pro and $499 Xbox One X try to court power users.

"Nintendo has returned to its historical position of making a value argument to prospective buyers," continued Ward.

But the Switch's massive sales aren't the only big news coming out of Nintendo. According to Bloomberg, Nintendo veteran Shuntaro Furukawa is taking over for Tatsumi Kimishima as the company's president. The 46-year-old Furukawa is 22 years younger than Kimishima, which could result in a significant cultural shift towards a Nintendo that's even more in tune with the average gamer. The Switch itself was a pretty bold experiment, as are the company's just-launched Nintendo Labo building toys -- with a younger leader at the helm, it's possible we'll see Nintendo become even more fearlessly creative.

Credit: Shaun Lucas/Tom's Guide

(Image credit: Shaun Lucas/Tom's Guide)

So, what does this all mean for you? The Nintendo Switch will only get bigger from here, meaning you should expect even more major games from both Nintendo and its third-party partners. And with its new leadership, the gap between Nintendo and the folks that play its consoles could become smaller than ever.

Michael Andronico

Mike Andronico is Senior Writer at CNNUnderscored. He was formerly Managing Editor at Tom's Guide, where he wrote extensively on gaming, as well as running the show on the news front. When not at work, you can usually catch him playing Street Fighter, devouring Twitch streams and trying to convince people that Hawkeye is the best Avenger.