Nintendo’s Switch console has now reached nearly 37 million units sold over its lifetime. (Nintendo Photo) Nintendo, the youngster of the video game console market — well, at least the youngster the current console generation — continues to grow steadily as its primary competitors struggle with the inevitable effects of old age. Sales of Nintendo’s hybrid Switch console rose to 2.13 million units in the June quarter, up more than 13 percent from the same period a year ago, Nintendo said in its . The company’s profits fell overall, but that was largely due to the effects of exchange rates rather than any fundamental issues in Nintendo’s business. With the latest results, nearly 37 million Switch consoles have been sold since the March 2017 release. That compares to 13.5 million units over the life of the company’s prior console, the Wii U; and more than 100 million units of the blockbuster Wii console. Sony’s PlayStation 4, originally released in 2013, sold another 3.2 million units in the June quarter, according to Sony’s earnings release. That pushed the PS4’s cumulative total to more than 100 million units, , according to Daniel Ahmad, senior analyst at Niko Partners, . This makes PlayStation 4 the fastest home console to reach 100 million unit sell in. Faster than both the PS2 and Wii which were just behind. It took PS2 a total of five years and 9 months. PS4 was just 5 years and 7 months. — Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) However, overall sales of the PS4 were flat compared to the same quarter a year ago. Sony blamed the result on the buzz surrounding This type of lull is a classic sales-and-marketing challenge for consumer electronics makers, as some of those who would otherwise buy an existing console decide to wait to buy the new one, or to buy the existing one at a cheaper price when the new one comes out. “PS4 hardware unit sales in the first quarter were slightly below our expectations primarily due to the news regarding our next generation console,” Sony said . “Taking this into account, we have decided to prioritize profitability going forward, and have revised downward our forecast for hardware unit sales by 1 million units to 15 million units.” The black line in this Sony graphic shows the declining trend in PS4 unit sales in recent years, but the console still reached 100 million units in record time. At the same time, Sony said, “The fact that we plan to sell 15 million units this fiscal year, which is the 7th year since launch, demonstrates that the PS4 platform is still garnering support from many users.” Nintendo , the Switch Lite, but that announcement was after the end of the June quarter. The company has , with numerous users reporting problems with the Switch controller. reported Tuesday that the Switch can now run Android apps, thanks to an unofficial port. Nintendo, based in Japan, has its North American headquarters in Redmond, Wash. Across town, Microsoft’s gaming segment was . This unit, including Xbox hardware, Xbox Live subscriptions and gaming revenue, declined 10 percent year-over-year to $2.05 billion in the quarter, due largely to a 48 percent decrease in Xbox hardware sales. The Xbox One also dates to 2013. Last month, , code-named Project Scarlett, to be released for the 2020 holidays. Across the industry, game console spending in the U.S. is down 20 percent so far this year, according to the NPD research firm. Hardware spending in June dipped 33 percent year-over-year to $235 million, NPD reported.
The Xbox One X. (GeekWire Photo) In a fiscal year littered with firsts, Microsoft’s gaming division hit a new high water mark. RELATED: The division, which includes Xbox hardware, Xbox and software and services, revenue from games made by Microsoft as well as other studios, generated more than $10 billion in annual revenue for the first time. In the fourth quarter, revenue grew by a whopping 39 percent over the previous year to reach $2.29 billion. “In gaming, we are pursuing our expansive opportunity — from the way games are created and distributed to how they are played and viewed, surpassing $10 billion in revenue this year for the first time,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said on a call with investors Thursday. “We are investing aggressively in content, community and cloud services across every endpoint to expand usage and deepen engagement with gamers. The combination of Xbox Live, Game Pass subscriptions and Mixer are driving record levels of growth and engagement.” Microsoft is in a battle with Nintendo and Sony in the competitive gaming market. Microsoft’s banner year compares to a similarly strong performance, while Sony’s industry-leading gaming division put up big numbers once again. Nintendo, whose North American headquarters is just down the road from Microsoft’s Redmond, Wash., struck gold with the Nintendo Switch this year. The smash-hit console for its fiscal year ending in March, up 105 percent from the year before. Sony, with the PlayStation 4, is the and its financials reflect that. For the year ending in March, the company’s Game and Network Services division and $1.6 billion in profit for the year, more than any other part of the company. Xbox Live subscriptions actually declined this quarter, from 59 million in Q3 to 57 million, but that figure is still up 8 percent over a year ago. Microsoft’s streaming service last month, up from 10 million six months ago. Mixer, which on its one-year anniversary, competes with Twitch, the Amazon-owned streaming service that has more than . Microsoft is coming off the release of its newest and most powerful console, the Xbox One X, last year. In June, an eventful E3 conference saw Microsoft announce the and creation of a new one. The company also revealed that it is and a is on the way.