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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. 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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Matthew Handrahan


Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.