The Switch Had The Best Launch Of Any Nintendo Console Ever

According to Nick Wingfield, the New York Times' technology correspondent, the Nintendo Switch sold more units in America its first 48 hours than any Nintendo console that came before it, including the ultra-popular Wii.


That statistic comes directly from Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime himself, Wingfield said on Twitter. Fils-Aime and Wingfield didn't share any specific sales figures for North America, but said that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was the "best selling standalone launch title" (i.e. not included with the system itself, like Super Mario World and Wii Sports were) in the company's history. The previous record holder was Super Mario 64.

Wingfield notes that the Switch still has a long way to go before it tops the Wii's 100 million worldwide sales, but that the Switch's debut is a "good start" for the console, particularly given the system's flimsy launch line-up.

Wingfield's claims seem to support other news reports, which taken together paint a pretty rosy picture for Nintendo. Famitsu claims that retailers sold 330,637 Switches on launch weekend, while British game-sellers moved around 80,000 Switch units in the UK, about twice as many as the Wii U during a similar timeframe. In the United Kingdom, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild came in at number 2 on the sales charts, behind the PlayStation 4-exclusive Horizon Zero Dawn. However, the latter came out on a Wednesday (Tuesday in the United States), while the former hit stores on Friday, meaning that Horizon had a few extra days to rack up sales.


In an interview with the Seattle Times, Fils-Aime says that Nintendo plans to ship about 2 million Switch consoles in the system's first month. While the Switch is currently sold out at most major retailers, new shipments are arriving regularly—for example, Toys R Us received a second batch of Switch consoles on Sunday, just two days after the system's release.

All-in-all, this is good news for early adopters, who gambled on the idea that the Switch would be a more resilient console than its predecessor, the Wii U, which—despite a number of solid games—ended up being one of Nintendo's biggest mistakes.