Nintendo Switch passes the GameCube in lifetime sales

The install base now sits at 22.86 million.

The Nintendo Switch has overtaken another console in lifetime sales: the GameCube. The Japanese console maker sold 3.19 million units in the last quarter, bringing the Switch's total install base to 22.86 million. The beloved GameCube, by comparison, managed 21.74 million in its six-year run. (The Switch eclipsed the Wii U back in January.) For Nintendo, these are healthy numbers. The company sold 2.93 million Switch consoles in the same period last year, before entering a bumper holiday season that shifted 7.23 million units. The house of Mario will need similar success this Christmas to hit its sales target of 20 million for the current financial year.

Nintendo's books are also looking solid. Today, the company reported revenue of 221 billion yen (roughly $1.96 billion), up from 220 billion yen (roughly $1.95 billion) during the same quarter last year. Operating profit, meanwhile, hit 30.9 billion yen (roughly $274 million), up from 23.8 billion yen (roughly $211 million) in the second quarter of 2017. The growth is small, but positive in a generally quiet period for Nintendo. Aside from Super Mario Party, and the cardboard-folding Labo Vehicle Kit, there haven't been many Switch exclusives recently. The company has been leaning instead on indies and third-party releases like Mega Man 11.

The Japanese game developer has some blockbuster releases planned for the holiday season, however. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a beloved brawler that features almost every conceivable character from Nintendo's back catalogue. It will be joined by the adorable and beginner-friendly Pokémon: Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee, which work in tandem with the still immensely popular Pokémon Go mobile game. The system will also benefit from a raft of smaller third-party releases such as Transistor, Guacamelee 2 and the dungeon-crawler Diablo 3. For Nintendo, this is as good as it gets (in a year where it doesn't have a mainline Mario or Zelda release, anyway.)