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Nintendo Switch and Zelda break European and US records

Zelda beat Mario 64 as fastest selling launch title, Switch sales hit 313,000 in Japan

Update: Nintendo of Europe says that Nintendo Switch sold more in its launch weekend than any other Nintendo hardware in history.

What's more, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the biggest-selling Nintendo launch title ever in Europe - beating the previous record holder Wii Sports (which was bundled with the hardware).

The firm points out that this was achieved during a 'traditionally quiet time for the games industry'.

Meanwhile, Nintendo Switch sold more than any previous Nintendo console across its first two days in the Americas, and its performance in Japan surpassed that of the Wii U with 330,637 units sold between March 3 and March 5, according to Famitsu.

The console's US performance was described to New York Times reporter Nick Wingfield by Nintendo's Reggie Fils-Aime, who said that it had beaten the Wii into second place. The information provided was for "the Americas" rather than North America specifically, though the US will have been the main contributor to sales.

Fils-Aime also briefed Wingfield on the performance of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which has sustained a 98 Metacritic average across 68 reviews. In addition to the critical praise, the pick of the Switch's relatively sparse launch line-up has also beaten Mario 64 to a different honour.

In Japan, the Switch sold 313,700 units in its first week, according to Famitsu data tweeted by Bloomberg's Tokyo-based reporter Yuji Nakamura. That's some way behind the Wii, and narrowly short of PlayStation 4, but a slight improvement on the Wii U.

Both Wingfield and Nakamura noted the fact that the Switch had launched in March, rather than the busier holiday season. GamesIndustry.biz has previously discussed the next Christmas period as the "true test" for Nintendo's console. Last week, Rob Fahey also suggested that Nintendo's decision to launch in "traditionally a quiet quarter for the industry" will allow it to find its feet while targeting its most loyal fans, before a more concerted push for "casual consumers" at the end of the year.

"By then, supply should be well-established, and core consumers won't find themselves competing with casual consumers in the case of shortages, which should ease stock issues (and frayed tempers) on all sides," Fahey said.

The Switch sold 80,000 units in the UK during its first weekend on sale, twice the amount sold by the Wii U.

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Latest comments (5)

Nick Parker Consultant 8 months ago
We need to be careful when comparing "launch week-ends". The Switch was launched on Friday. The Wii was launched on a Sunday (the 19th November 2006) in the Americas and on a Saturday (the 2nd December 2006) in Japan - so how many days make up a "week-end"? Comparable is Europe and the UK where the Wii was launched on Friday the 8th December 2006. A great start however for Nintendo.
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Christopher Dring Publisher, GamesIndustry.biz8 months ago
You're right Nick, the Japanese data is pretty vague in terms of which timespan.

But the 'launch weekend' only refers to Europe, the 'Americas' data is for the first two days, according to the tweet.
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Keldon Alleyne Developer, leader, writer, Avasopht Ltd8 months ago
The Wii-U, which had the least amount of sales of any of the Nintendo consoles by a long shot sold out at launch. In fact it did better than the Gamecube in its first 2 weeks, but by week 35 had only 66% of the sales.

Therefore launch sales mean nowt, it really just tells you how many systems were shipped.
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Christopher Dring Publisher, GamesIndustry.biz8 months ago
To a degree you're right, although 3DS was in fully supply and this out-performed that... but then 3DS' sales immediately fell over.

In the UK, Xbox 360's launch saw 70,000 units sold, PS4 had 160,000 sales and Wii had 105,000 sales. By the end of the generation, Xbox 360 was No.1, Wii No.2 and PS4 No.3. Which just illustrates how launch sales do, generally, mean very little.

However, the start is reassuring. We pretty much knew after the Wii U launch that that machine was in trouble. We knew after the PS4 launch that that machine was going to fly off shelves.

With Switch, it's neither of those things.
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Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany8 months ago
@Keldon Alleyne: Although you are right there, keep in mind that provably pre-orders are included into this numbers. I believe we can consider those ones as an actual sale.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Alfonso Sexto on 8th March 2017 10:43am

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