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Nintendo Switch becomes fastest-selling system in Nintendo history

NPD reports that 906,000 units were sold in March, and Zelda broke records as well

One month ago, it was estimated that Nintendo had sold about 1.5 million units of the Switch console worldwide. Now, thanks to NPD data cited by Nintendo of America, the house of Mario has officially proclaimed Nintendo Switch as selling "faster in its launch month than any other video game system in Nintendo history." Nintendo said it sold 906,000 units of the Switch in March, and it stressed that it managed to achieve this milestone "in a nontraditional month for a console launch."

While Nintendo is not yet providing the global sales figure, the company promised that's coming during its fiscal earnings report on April 27. Furthermore, Nintendo happily announced that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sold over 1.3 million units in the US, with 925,000 of those for Switch and about 460,000 units sold for the Wii U. Interestingly, that means Zelda actually outsold the Switch hardware itself, giving the game an unheard of attach rate of more than 100%. "This may be attributed to people who purchased both a limited edition of the game to collect and a second version to play," Nintendo suggested. Nintendo confirmed that Breath of the Wild was Nintendo's fastest-selling launch game ever and the fastest in the Zelda franchise.

The Switch continues to be in high demand and Nintendo has been having a hard time keeping up. The company promised today that it's "working to make sure everyone who wants a system is able to buy one, and more systems are continually being shipped."

It's hard to make comparisons without yet knowing the global sales total, but it's worth noting that Xbox One sold over 2 million units in its first 18 days, while Sony sold 2.1 million PlayStation 4 units in its first 14 days. Perhaps more interesting will be a comparison to Nintendo's last record-breaking launch - the Wii shipped 3.19 million units during the holiday quarter ended December 31, 2006, and ultimately went on to sell over 100 million units during its lifetime.

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James Brightman avatar
James Brightman: James Brightman has been covering the games industry since 2003 and has been an avid gamer since the days of Atari and Intellivision. He was previously EIC and co-founder of IndustryGamers and spent several years leading GameDaily Biz at AOL prior to that.
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