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US Sales Of Nintendo Switch, New 'Zelda' Break Company Records

Nintendo Switch and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild broke all kinds of records in the U.S. The company said in a press release that the Switch is the fastest-selling console, at least in the U.S., and that Breath of the Wild is the fastest-selling Zelda game and launch title in its history.

Nintendo said it sold roughly 906,000 units of the Switch in the U.S. throughout March. That's quite the feat--the Switch is a new type of console, most consoles debut in the holiday season, and the biggest hurdle to selling even more Switch units appears to be Nintendo's ability to manufacture the device. "While Nintendo Switch sales are off to a record-breaking start, " the company said, "shipments have not yet been able to keep up with such high demand." That problem will only be exacerbated when games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Arms, and Splatoon 2 debut in the coming months.

Breath of the Wild sold even better. Roughly 460,000 copies of the Wii U version of the game were sold in March, and the Switch version sold an estimated 925,000 units. That means Nintendo sold more copies of Breath of the Wild for the Switch than it sold of the Switch console itself. Some of those sales were probably to collectors, sure, but chances are good that the 19,000 people who have Breath of the Wild for the Switch but do not have a Switch are planning to buy the console as soon as Nintendo finds a way to keep it on store shelves. A greater-than-100% attach rate is no joke.

To put those sales in context: Nintendo said the Wii U sold 13.56 million units worldwide between its November 2012 launch and December 2016; almost 1 million Switch units have been sold in its first month of availability within the U.S. alone. The Wii U's best-selling Zelda game, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, sold roughly 2.11 million copies between September 2013 and December 2016. Breath of the Wild sold half that number (albeit in two consoles) in a fraction of the time. Saying the Switch and its flagship game have gotten off to a good start would be an understatement.

Nintendo said it plans to release worldwide sales figures for the Switch and Breath of the Wild on April 27. For now, the company's focus seems to be on meeting demand for the Switch in the U.S. It recently announced that the NES Classic Edition will be going the way of the original NES at the end of April, and we wouldn't be surprised if the company were to shift production from that miniature console to its next portable-slash-home device. For now, if you have a copy of Breath of the Wild for the Switch but no console, we hope you'll be able to play the game sooner rather than later.

  • ksharp25
    The whole reason behind the record breaking sales was two words in your title. "New Zelda". If it hadn't been for that, and the debut big title was "Mario...something", I'm thinking you'd see a lot less numbers and maybe no broken sales records for Nintendo.

    Just saying.
    Reply
  • joshua jones
    ^^^
    Reply
  • Kahless01
    good, they needed a hit. they made too many good games to die off
    Reply
  • dstarr3
    19562642 said:
    The whole reason behind the record breaking sales was two words in your title. "New Zelda". If it hadn't been for that, and the debut big title was "Mario...something", I'm thinking you'd see a lot less numbers and maybe no broken sales records for Nintendo.

    Just saying.

    I don't really see your point. Nintendo's console sold well because people wanted the Nintendo game on it? Well, yeah. That's how this works. Nintendo made products that people want, so people bought the products. It's not like they made sales records off the back of a third-party exclusive they had nothing to do with.
    Reply
  • McWhiskey
    The "new zelda" helped for sure. But I don't think it is fair to put all of the credit on the one title. The original wii sold with a "new zelda" game.
    Reply
  • techy1966
    19562861 said:
    19562642 said:
    The whole reason behind the record breaking sales was two words in your title. "New Zelda". If it hadn't been for that, and the debut big title was "Mario...something", I'm thinking you'd see a lot less numbers and maybe no broken sales records for Nintendo.

    Just saying.

    I don't really see your point. Nintendo's console sold well because people wanted the Nintendo game on it? Well, yeah. That's how this works. Nintendo made products that people want, so people bought the products.


    No sorry he is half right people are buying this wanna be console because of the name Nintendo and the 3 or 4 games they rerere-release every time they release low spec hardware. There is a reason the last few gens of Nintendo sits and collects dust it gets boring fast. People rag on sony and MS for dragging the gaming industry down with low spec hardware that makes PC ports lack luster and a bit outdated graphics wise but when nintendo does it all is good. Lets face it they did not even try this time around basically a tablet SoC inside that is pretty weak being that its 2017 and this thing will be around a few years and one of it first titles barely ran on it. Nintendo are built for suckers. There I corrected that for you.

    Reply
  • jeremy2020
    Not to mention that everything always breaks records. When was the last time a console released and the company didn't say it broke records?
    Reply
  • DerekA_C
    yeah I lost interest in Nintendo after wii 1 was fun about a few months and dead, PC gaming will always be the longest lasting system for me going back to 1990 and still gaming hard on it today that's an impressive feet for me. PC's can emulate almost every console to date and as systems get more powerful with more cores the easier it will be to emulate shoot you can even use wii motes on PC's these days so what do these consoles truly offer, IMO NOTHING but a big waste of money and time, unless your a novice PC user and can't manage to do advanced features or figure out how to do what you want and more with it.
    Reply
  • dstarr3
    19562927 said:
    19562861 said:
    19562642 said:
    The whole reason behind the record breaking sales was two words in your title. "New Zelda". If it hadn't been for that, and the debut big title was "Mario...something", I'm thinking you'd see a lot less numbers and maybe no broken sales records for Nintendo.

    Just saying.

    I don't really see your point. Nintendo's console sold well because people wanted the Nintendo game on it? Well, yeah. That's how this works. Nintendo made products that people want, so people bought the products.


    No sorry he is half right people are buying this wanna be console because of the name Nintendo and the 3 or 4 games they rerere-release every time they release low spec hardware. There is a reason the last few gens of Nintendo sits and collects dust it gets boring fast. People rag on sony and MS for dragging the gaming industry down with low spec hardware that makes PC ports lack luster and a bit outdated graphics wise but when nintendo does it all is good. Lets face it they did not even try this time around basically a tablet SoC inside that is pretty weak being that its 2017 and this thing will be around a few years and one of it first titles barely ran on it. Nintendo are built for suckers. There I corrected that for you.

    Hardware specs aren't everything. If you really are only concerned about hardware specs and only hardware specs, you wouldn't own any consoles at all.
    Reply
  • number1guy
    19562927 said:
    19562861 said:
    19562642 said:
    The whole reason behind the record breaking sales was two words in your title. "New Zelda". If it hadn't been for that, and the debut big title was "Mario...something", I'm thinking you'd see a lot less numbers and maybe no broken sales records for Nintendo.

    Just saying.

    I don't really see your point. Nintendo's console sold well because people wanted the Nintendo game on it? Well, yeah. That's how this works. Nintendo made products that people want, so people bought the products.


    No sorry he is half right people are buying this wanna be console because of the name Nintendo and the 3 or 4 games they rerere-release every time they release low spec hardware. There is a reason the last few gens of Nintendo sits and collects dust it gets boring fast. People rag on sony and MS for dragging the gaming industry down with low spec hardware that makes PC ports lack luster and a bit outdated graphics wise but when nintendo does it all is good. Lets face it they did not even try this time around basically a tablet SoC inside that is pretty weak being that its 2017 and this thing will be around a few years and one of it first titles barely ran on it. Nintendo are built for suckers. There I corrected that for you.

    People are buying the Switch because they want to play Zelda? Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat??? Man, who would have ever thought that exclusive games drive console sales!

    Sarcasm aside...

    Games obviously drives sales, nothing new there. The reason why XBOX and PS4 get so much flack for holding back games on PCs, is because the XBOX and PS4 are quite literally glorified and under-powered PCs in a box. They sell themselves on exclusive games (sounds familiar, yeah?) and would be mostly redundant otherwise. Now contrary to what you said and think, Nintendo doesn't necessarily get a pass on using outdated hardware. The difference here is that Nintendo makes the experience different enough from its cut-and-paste juniors (Let us not forget who revived the video game industry), that you buy their hardware more for the concept and not the "zomg moar teraflops."
    Reply