After many months of total secrecy, speculation, and then anticipation, the Nintendo Switch was finally released last Friday. Unlike pretty much all other Nintendo Hardware launches, this one was simultaneous worldwide, with all three main regions getting it on the same day (March 3rd).
And now, we’re finally getting the first sales data for the console. On Monday, we learned that the Nintendo Switch had sold about 80 000 units in the United Kingdom, with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild as the best-seller. But what about Japan? Famitsu has the answer!
According to them, the Nintendo Switch sold about 330 637 units during its first three days on the market. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was the best-seller with 193 060 units sold (NB: only include physical copies and download cards, not Nintendo eShop sales).
As comparison, here’s how the most recent Nintendo platforms sold at launch in Japan (data from Famitsu):
- Nintendo DS (December 2014): 468 880 units
- Nintendo 3DS (February 2011): 374 764 units
- Wii (December 2006): 371 396 units
- Wii U (December 2012): 308 570 units.
This is a pretty satisfying debut for the Nintendo Switch, especially as first week sales were limited by stock: many retailers experienced shortages, some of them as early as Saturday. Hopefully, Nintendo can get the situation under control as soon as possible, or the second week drop is not going to be really pretty…
The real test begins now: first week sales are important, but they very rarely determine the fate of a platform. After all, Wii U sales dropped like a rock after the holiday period, and the Nintendo 3DS began struggling soon after its launch, both because of a lack of games. For the Nintendo Switch to be a success, there’s no secret: Nintendo will need a steady stream of releases.