Nintendo has sold a lot of hardware and video game software over the years. I mean… a lot. Millions of hardware and yes… billions of software. One special aspect as it pertains to the traditional sale of Nintendo hardware is the attach rate of the games sold on it. They have almost always been high, and some of the attach rates fly in the face of common complaints – like when folks say that Wii owners only bought the console for one game, when the attach rate is almost 9 games deep. We even have numbers compiled for Wii U and 3DS, where surprisingly the attach rate for Wii U games is higher than it is for the 3DS. Who’d have thunk it?

Nintendo Entertainment System (Famicon)

Total Sales: 61.91 Million Software: 500.01 Million Attach Rate: 8.08

Game Boy (including Pocket and Color edition)

Total Sales: 118.69 Million Software: 501.11 Million Attach Rate: 4.22

Super Nintendo Entertainment System (Super Famicon)

Total Sales: 49.1 Million Software: 379.06 Million Attach Rate: 7.72

Nintendo 64

Total Sales: 32.93 Million Software: 224.97 Million Attach Rate: 6.83

Game Boy Advance

Total Sales: 81.51 Million Software: 377.42 Attach Rate: 4.63


Total Sales: 21.74 Million Software: 208.57 Million Attach Rate: 9.59


Total Sales: 153.98 Million Software: 942.32 Million Attach Rate: 6.12


Total Sales: 100.9 Million Software: 892.34 Million Attach Rate: 8.84

3DS (as of January, 2014)

Total Sales: 42.74 Million Software: 152.29 Million Attach Rate: 3.56

Wii U (as of January, 2014)

Total Sales: 5.86 Million Software: 29.37 Million Attach Rate: 5.01

Obviously, you can see a few interesting aspects from all of this. Who knew the Wii had the second highest attach rate in Nintendo’s history? Also while not many have bought the Wii U, the ones that have are buying 5 games a pop. Pretty interesting. You can also tell just how much video games have grown over the years. Today, even 49.1 million unit sales wouldn’t be considered much of a success when consoles are aiming for 80+ million, something Nintendo has only pulled off once on the home console front. To no one’s surprise however, Nintendo’s handheld offerings have always been more popular than their traditional home console offerings, though the software attach rate has seemingly always been much smaller. I also never knew the GCN had a 9.59 attach rate. That is insanely high for a console with such low sales figures.

Our Verdict

I am the current Editor-in-Chief of Zelda Informer and have been running the show here since July 16th, 2008. I've actually been running Zelda Fan sites since 1998, so I've been in this "industry" for roughly 16 years. I'm 28 years old and have two kids, one biological, the other more of a step daughter (not legally yet, but practically). I live with my girlfriend and our two kids (Aiden, age 1 and half, Melody age 3 and half). I'm attending college to create video games web applications, and I naturally love Nintendo (I run a Zeld a website after all!). For those curious, I currently own a Wii U, Xbox One, 3DS, PlayStation 3, and a gaming PC (and a gaming capable laptop too!). I do plan to eventually get a PlayStation 4, likely when more comes out I am interested in playing on the system. I do play the Wii U more than any other system I own.


Leave a reply

You may also like

More in 3DS