Surprise! According to Nintendo, it broke another sales record, this time with Super Mario Odyssey, which is officially the fastest-selling Super Mario title. The company said more than 1.1 million copies of the game were sold in the U.S. over five days, which makes it the fastest-selling Switch title. Nintendo also said it's sold 2.6 million Switch consoles in the U.S. to date, which means almost half of Switch owners have purchased Odyssey.
This isn't the first Switch game to break sales records—Nintendo said that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe were also the fastest-selling entries in their respective series when they debuted. (Admittedly, though, Breath of the Wild was also released for the Wii U.) Considering how popular the Mario games have been since Super Mario Bros.' launch in 1985, Odyssey was all but guaranteed to sell well.
But it's worth noting that Super Mario Odyssey unseated New Super Mario Bros. Wii as the series' king, which does come as a bit of a shock, for a few reasons. The first is that 2D Mario games often outsell their 3D counterparts. Even more interesting is that New Super Mario Bros. Wii was released three years into the Wii's lifecycle, and the Wii is the best-selling Nintendo console in history. The Switch is just eight months old.
All of these factors put Odyssey's success into perspective. It was bound to sell well, sure, but it faced stiff competition for the fastest-selling Super Mario and Switch titles. The game also had to compete with dueling opinions on what a 3D Mario game should be. Some wanted a free-roaming adventure like Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine; others preferred the structure of Super Mario Galaxy, Galaxy 2, and 3D World.
Yet now the consensus appears to be that Nintendo hit the goomba on the head with Odyssey. The company said in its press release:
The game has already been enjoyed by well over a million people, and is likely to be enjoyed by many more, as those early players continue to spread their excitement for Mario. On Metacritic.com, which aggregates scores from certain reviewers, for example, the game currently has a critical review average of 97, with 43 perfect scores. This makes Super Mario Odyssey the best-reviewed game on Metacritic for any system of the last three years, tied only with Nintendo Switch launch game The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Nintendo also said it has increased production of its Switch console to meet demand throughout the holiday season. Considering how well-received some of the console's biggest games have been, and that more series like Metroid, Xenoblade Chronicles, and others have new installments on the way, that's probably wise.