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Nintendo Switch Becomes Fastest-Selling Video Game System in Nintendo History

We knew the Nintendo Switch was selling well, especially with retailers constantly selling the stock as fast as they received them. We just didn’t know how well, until now!

The Nintendo Switch launched on March 3 and sold more than 906,000 units during the month, making it the fastest selling video game system in Nintendo’s history. As Nintendo notes, this is especially noteworthy since the system launched outside of the holiday shopping season.



In addition, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild broke records as well, selling over 1.3 million games, of which 925,000 copies were on Nintendo Switch and 460,000 on Wii U. If you’re double checking that Switch number, no you’re not crazy! Nintendo sold more copies of Zelda on Switch than Switch systems sold, giving it an attach rate of over 100 percent. How can this be? Nintendo think it’s probably due to people double dipping and purchasing both a limited and standard edition of the game. This made Breath of the Wild the fastest selling Nintendo launch game of all time as well as the fastest selling game ever in The Legend of Zelda series.



That’s very impressive for Nintendo’s new machine and for Zelda in particular! The Switch is still out of stock at most places nationwide and Nintendo continues to replenish them as quickly as they can. With Mario Kart 8, ARMS, and Splatoon 2 coming from its first party studios, Nintendo anticipates demand to continue to be high for the Switch and its library of games.


Nintendo Switch, the new home gaming system that people can also take on the go, has sold faster in its launch month than any other video game system in Nintendo history. The Nintendo Switch system sold more than 906,000 units in March, according to the NPD Group, which tracks video game sales in the United States. That makes Nintendo Switch one of the fastest-selling video game systems of all time. Notably, this sales surge was accomplished in a nontraditional month for a console launch.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild game sold over 1.3 million units*. That total includes more than 925,000 units sold for Nintendo Switch and nearly 460,000 units sold for the Wii U console. That means that Nintendo sold more of this game for Nintendo Switch than it sold Nintendo Switch systems, for an attach rate of more than 100 percent. This may be attributed to people who purchased both a limited edition of the game to collect and a second version to play.

This was all enough to make The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild the fastest-selling Nintendo launch game of all time, as well as the fastest-selling game ever in The Legend of Zelda series.

“Nintendo always strives to offer consumers something fun, new and different,” said Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America’s President and COO. “With its various play modes and the innovative features of the Joy-Con controllers, Nintendo Switch provides unique experiences that people can take with them anywhere and share with anyone.”

While Nintendo Switch sales are off to a record-breaking start, shipments have not yet been able to keep up with such high demand. Nintendo is working to make sure everyone who wants a system is able to buy one, and more systems are continually being shipped. In just over two weeks, the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe game will launch for Nintendo Switch on April 28 with more content than any other Mario Kart game in series history, including 48 racing tracks, new Battle modes, new characters and other additions. Competition on Nintendo Switch gets even hotter heading into summer, with the release of the ARMS game on June 16 and the Splatoon 2 game on July 21.

A full accounting of worldwide Nintendo Switch sales, as well as other financial information, will be provided on April 27, when Nintendo issues its fiscal-year earnings release. For more information, keep an eye on Nintendo’s investor relations page at

*Data regarding physical sales of games are from the NPD Group. Data regarding digital downloads of games and combined physical/digital life-to-date numbers are from Nintendo’s internal sales figures. All numbers, unless otherwise stated, are specific to the United States only.


Craig Majaski

Craig has been covering the video game industry since 1995. His work has been published across a wide spectrum of media sites. He's currently the Editor-In-Chief of Nintendo Times and contributes to Gaming Age.

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