Roughly 3 out of every 10 Nintendo Switch games released to date were launched in 2020, emphasizing the healthy growth and continuing popularity of Nintendo's hybrid handheld console.
Today is the Nintendo Switch's fourth birthday and it fell mildly short of a milestone: a total of 4,839 games have launched for the console since its inception according to Mat Piscatella, Executive Director & Video Game Industry Advisor of analyst firm The NPD Group.
That's certainly an impressive number of games in its first few years, but what's even more interesting is just how many were released in 2020: More than 30% of all Nintendo Switch games ever released were launched last year.
More than 1,500 games launched on the Switch last year, roughly 31.5% of the lifetime titles released to date. That's 55 more games than were launched in 2019, showing a respectable growth during a difficult time in the industry; it's also roughly four times as many games that launched in Nintendo Switch's first year.
"According to The NPD Group's GamePulse, 4,839 games have launched on Nintendo Switch in the U.S. market through the end of February 2021," Piscatella said in a tweet. "1,530 released in 2020 alone. That's... that's a lot of games."
How does that stack up against its competitors, though? The Switch only managed 360 games in 2017 versus Xbox One's 645 and PS4's 928 according to data provided to TechRaptor by Mat Piscatella. Once Nintendo got going, though, it easily eclipsed the competition — the Xbox One released 651 games last year and the PS4 launched 940 games.
Will We See Even More Nintendo Switch Games in 2021?
One has to wonder: will this trend for new Nintendo Switch games continue into 2021? Judging by the data we have thus far, I wouldn't be surprised to see even more gains throughout 2021.
Nintendo managed this feat despite being in the midst of the ongoing pandemic, a worldwide event that has heavily affected the gaming industry and slowed down game development left and right. Those development challenges are reflected in The NPD Group's chart — 2020's growth wasn't quite as strong as the leap from 2018 into 2019. We may see ongoing impact here as games will be delayed in production over last year and this year. Generally platforms standardized releases around their 4th to 5th year after release, and it stays there for several years.
That said, it's been more than a year since the lockdowns began in earnest in the West and that means that developers have likely had plenty of time to acclimatize to the new working environment — 2021 may very well end up being the Switch's biggest year yet.
What do you think of the Nintendo Switch launching so many games in its fourth year? Do you think we'll see an increase in the number of game releases throughout 2021? Let us know in the comments below!