Nintendo handheld console sales eclipse half a billion

nintendo handheld console sales

From the tiny 8-bit screen of the original Game Boy to the crisp HD Switch, Nintendo has always been at the forefront of handheld consoles. Games like Tetris, Pokémon, and Fire Emblem have provided players with countless hours of joy on the go. While those hours may be countless, the hardware is not. Nintendo regularly updates their sales data, and a little math shows they recently hit an incredible milestone. Counting only the major releases, Nintendo handheld console sales have eclipsed half a billion!

As indicated above, this Nintendo handheld console sales figures include Switch. Yes, it’s a handheld. It’s just also capable of displaying on your TV. Glad we’ve got that sorted. With that out of the way, you can check out the sales breakdown below. For those who are curious about the specifics, I’ve included Switch Lite sales.

Nintendo handheld console sales

  • Game Boy (Color) – 118.69 million
  • Game Boy Advance – 81.51 million
  • Nintendo DS – 154.02  million
  • Nintendo 3DS – 75.94 million
  • Nintendo Switch – 84.59 million (of which 14.7 million were Switch Lite)
  • Total – 514.75 million

Added all up, Nintendo handheld console sales broke the half-billion mark in 32 years. That comes out to around 16 million handhelds sold per year for over three decades. Other companies have taken their shot at the handheld market, and Sony even had some success with PSP. But there’s just no competing with the absolutely staggering level of consistent success Nintendo has achieved in the dedicated gaming handheld business.

Editor’s note: This article was originally posted on May 4, 2021, and it was updated on May 6, 2021, to include Nintendo’s most recent sales data. These figures come from Nintendo’s official investor relations website, and they are current as of March 31, 2021.



Ben Lamoreux
Nintendo Enthusiast's Managing Editor. I grew up on Super Nintendo and never stopped playing. Been writing video game news, opinions, reviews, and interviews professionally for over a decade. Favorite franchises include Zelda, Metroid, and Mother.