U.S. shoppers provided a nice boost to Nintendo’s balance sheet last weekend.
The gaming giant reported Wednesday that consumers spent $250 million on Nintendo products from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday. Sales were led by the popular Nintendo Switch console, which had its best-selling week ever in the U.S. as lifetime sales reached 8.2 million units (U.S only).
The Switch also became the best-selling Nintendo console in U.S. history over that five-day period, surpassing Nintendo Wii sales. Adobe Analytics reported that the Switch was one of the top-selling products across all categories during last weekend’s shopping extravaganza.
Other consoles such as the Nintendo 3DS, NES Classic Edition, and Super NES Classic Edition helped Nintendo increase hardware sales this weekend by 45 percent year-over-year.
As part of its most recent earnings report, Nintendo said it sold 3.19 million Switch consoles worldwide in the September quarter, up from 2.92 million units in the same period a year ago, reaching a lifetime total of 22.86 million units for the hybrid home/mobile console.
The Switch has already exceeded its immediate predecessor, the Wii U, in lifetime unit sales. Nintendo expects 20 million units sold for the Switch for the current fiscal year, which ends in March 2019.
During an interview at the GeekWire Summit in October, Reggie Fils-Aimé, president and COO of Redmond-based Nintendo of America, explained how the company learned from the Wii U in developing the concept for the Switch, which can be picked up and taken on the go.
“Certainly without our experiences on the Wii U we would not have the Nintendo Switch in terms of what we learned, and importantly what we heard from our consumers,” he said. “They were telling us, I want to play with this tablet, this Gamepad, for the Wii U, but as soon as I get more than 30 feet away, it disconnects. So the core concept, something that you could take with you anywhere, anytime, was really compelling. So it was an important step for us to be able to deliver on this proposition.”
For the upcoming holiday season, Nintendo is counting a major lift from Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for Nintendo Switch, set for release on Dec. 7; and Pokémon: Let’s Go! Pikachu/ Let’s Go! Eevee, scheduled for release on Nov. 17 on the Switch. The Pokémon games will be released in conjunction with a separately sold, $50 device called the Poké Ball Plus.
Nintendo is part of a gaming industry that is seeing increased sales across the board. The latest report from NPD Group indicates the 12-month period that ended in October 2018 has seen the highest amount of consumer spending on video games since 2011. This past October in particular marked the single highest amount of spending in one month since the NPD began to track the market in 1995.