Switch breaks US sales record, just pips Wii U in Japan

Ben Parfitt
Switch breaks US sales record, just pips Wii U in Japan

Nintendo has said that its new Switch console has sold more in its first two days in the US than any other machine in the platform holder's history.

New York Times reporter Nick Wingfield has word from Nintendo of America boss Reggie Fils-Aime that Switch has beaten the US record previously set by Wii, and that's despite Switch arriving earlier in the year in March. The Wii, in contrast, launched in November.

Furthermore, Zelda: Breath of the Wild has become the fastest selling standalone launch title in Nintendo's US history, beating Super Mario 64.

Meanwhile in Japan, Famitsu has reported the Switch sold an estimated 330,637 units during its first three days on sale between March 3rd and March 5th. This surpasses the first 48 hours figures of the Wii U in Japan, but the Wii's still out in front with an estimated 371,936 units sold during its first two days when it went on sale back in December 2006. Still, considering the Switch wasn't released during the Christmas holiday season like its predecessors, over 330,000 units is still highly respectable.

Famitsu also noted that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sold an estimated 193,060 units at retail on Switch. This figure doesn't include any download figures, but considering the Wii U's best-selling launch game in Japan, New Super Mario Bros U, only sold an estimated 170,563 units during its first two days, it seems Nintendo's decision to launch with Zelda instead of Mario has paid off.

The UK numbers were, again, solid but not sensational. Switch allegedly sold 80k units in its first 48 hours on sale in the UK. That's double the 40k Wii U managed in its opening weekend, but below the 113k shifted by the 3DS in the same period.

For further context, Wii sold around 105k in its opening weekend. The Xbox One managed 150k, and the PS4 250k.

Critical smash hit The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was the Switch's best-selling UK title, although it didn't make to the top of the UK Charts, being beaten by new PS4 IP Horizon Zero Dawn, which became PS4's biggest ever new IP launch.

78 per cent of Breath of the Wild's sales were for Switch and 22 per cent for Wii U. The Switch game ranks as the third biggest Zelda launch ever behind Wind Waker and Twilight Princess.

Breath of the Wild accounted for 75 per cent of all total Switch software sales for the week, with two others making the Top Ten – 1-2 Switch at No.4 and Super Bomberman R at No.7. The Switch version of Just Dance 2017 also sees that game re-enter the Top 40 at No.24, although Skylanders Imaginators misses out on a Top 40 spot despite the new Switch version.

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